103 Eng. Rep. 926 (K.B. 1809)

A seminal case on the doctrine of contributory negligence.

Plaintiff was injured when thrown by his horse that came upon an obstruction negligently left on the road by Defendant.  The evidence showed that Plaintiff was riding his horse very fast and that had he been riding at a moderate speed he could have averted the obstacle.  The court affirmed the jury’s verdict for Defendant.  According to the Court, “[o]ne person being in fault will not dispense with another’s using ordinary care for himself.  Two things must concur to support this action, an obstruction in the road by the fault of defendant, and no want of ordinary care to avoid it on the part of the plaintiff.”

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