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Osborne v. Montgomery

Wisconsin Supreme Court
234 N.W. 372 (Wis. 1931)

Osborne v. Montgomery


A newspaper hired 13-year-old Lester Osborne (plaintiff) to run errands. Osborne was returning to the newspaper on his bicycle. Dudley Montgomery (defendant) lawfully stopped his car on the same road on which Osborne was riding. Montgomery opened the car door to get out just as Osborne was approaching. Osborne’s bicycle hit the car door, tipping the bicycle and throwing Osborne to the ground. Osborne was injured and sued Montgomery for negligence. Montgomery contended that Osborne was contributorily negligent. The trial court's jury instructions included that (1) ordinary care is the degree of care exercised by an ordinarily prudent man under the circumstances; (2) negligence is the lack of ordinary care; and (3) someone is negligent when he, without intending to commit a wrong, acts in some way or fails to take some precaution that, under the circumstances, he should have reasonably foreseen would result in injury or damage. The jury found that Montgomery was negligent in failing to look around before opening the car door and awarded Osborne $2,500 in damages. Montgomery appealed directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rosenberry, C.J.)

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