Putnam (defendant) owned an island and a dock on Lake Champlain. On November 13, 1904, Ploof (plaintiff) and his family were sailing their boat on the lake. A violent storm arose that threatened the safety of Ploof’s boat and the lives of himself and his family. Ploof anchored his boat to Putnam’s dock to save it from the storm. Putnam, through his servant, untied Ploof’s boat from the dock. The boat crashed into the shore and was destroyed, and Ploof and his family suffered injuries. Ploof brought suit against Putnam for damages based on his injuries, arguing that his act of tying the boat to Putnam’s dock was justified by necessity. The trial court entered judgment for Ploof, and Putnam appealed.