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Sowles v. Moore

Vermont Supreme Court
26 A. 629 (1893)


Facts

William Moore’s (defendant’s) ice company cut ice from the surface of a frozen lake without placing proper guards around the hole. Henry Sowles (plaintiff) was driving a horse-drawn sled on the road next to the lake. When Sowles tried to turn the sled around, the sled skidded and spooked the horses. The horses bolted onto the ice, fell into the hole, and drowned. Sowles sued to recover the value of the horses. The jury found Moore did not put proper guards around the hole, but that guards would not have stopped the horses from running into the hole. Therefore, the trial court entered judgment finding Moore not liable. Sowles appealed and the Vermont Supreme Court granted review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Tyler, J.)

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