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Osterlind v. Hill

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
160 N.E. 301 (1928)



Albert Osterlind and a companion, Ryan, rented a canoe from Harold Hill (defendant), a commercial lessor of boats. Osterlind and Ryan were intoxicated. Their canoe capsized. Osterlind clung to the canoe for half an hour, calling for help. Hill apparently heard the calls but did not respond. Osterlind eventually let go of the canoe and drowned. The administrator of his estate (plaintiff) sued Hill, alleging that Hill’s conduct was willful, wanton, reckless, or negligent and that such conduct caused Osterlind to suffocate and drown. The trial court sustained Hill’s demurrer to the complaint. The administrator of Osterlind’s estate appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Braley, J.)

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