Lamson v. American Axe & Tool Co.
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
58 N.E. 585 (Mass. 1900)
Lamson (plaintiff) was a long-time employee of American Axe & Tool Co. (American) (defendant). Lamson was employed by American to paint hatchets. After he finished, Lamson would place the hatchets on racks to dry. His work station was directly under these racks. After Lamson was employed for American for several years, American replaced its drying racks with new racks. Lamson believed these racks to be unstable and prone to causing hatchets to fall off them. Lamson complained about his fear of suffering injury from a falling hatchet, but he was told he could either continue using the racks or leave. One day, the hatchet fell and injured Lamson just as he predicted. Lamson brought suit against American for negligence.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Holmes, C.J.)
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