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Ploof v. Putnam

Law Dictionary
CASE BRIEFS

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Torts Keyed to Epstein

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 83 Vt. 494, 76 A. 145 (1910)

Brief Fact Summary. To escape a storm, Ploof (Plaintiff) tied his boat to Putnam’s (Defendant’s) dock. Defendant untied Plaintiff’s boat. Plaintiff and his family were injured and the boat was destroyed.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Necessity will justify entries upon land and interferences with personal property that would otherwise have been trespass.


Facts. Defendant owned a dock. Defendant’s servant was in charge of the dock when Plaintiff and his family were sailing. A storm arose and Plaintiff was forced to tie his boat to Defendant’s dock. Defendant’s servant untied Plaintiff’s boat. Plaintiff and his family were injured and the boat was destroyed. Plaintiff sued in trespass, claiming that it was Defendant’s servant’s duty to allow Plaintiff to tie his boat to Defendant’s dock. The trial court ruled for Plaintiff. Defendant appealed.

Issue. Is Defendant permitted to untie Plaintiff’s boat when Plaintiff tied his boat to Defendant’s dock out of necessity?

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