Rogers v. Elliott
Massachusetts Supreme Court
15 N.E. 768 (Mass. 1888)
Elliott (defendant) was a custodian and property manager at a Roman Catholic Church. As part of his duties, he rang a large bell daily. Rogers (plaintiff) was located in a house near the church and was recovering from severe sunstroke. When Elliott rang the bell one day, Rogers suffered convulsions. Rogers’ physician believed these were due to the noise from the bell, and informed Elliott of this fact. Elliot stated that he would continue to ring the bell regardless of the harm Rogers might suffer. Elliott rang the bell the next day and Rogers again suffered damage. Rogers brought suit against Elliott alleging that Elliott’s use of the church property was unlawful.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Knowlton, J.)
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