Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiff, Anjou (Plaintiff), slipped and fell on a banana peal left on the Defendant, Boston Elevated Railway Co.’s (Defendant), train platform.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Circumstantial evidence can be used to establish proof of negligence.
The Plaintiff, a passenger on the defendant’s railway, injured herself when she slipped and fell on a banana peel. The Plaintiff had been following behind one of the railroad’s uniformed workers when she slipped. The banana peal was described as black, dry and gritty and appeared as if it had been trampled on.
Issue. Whether the Defendant is negligent.
Held. The Defendant was negligent in not removing the banana peal.
Discussion. Points of Law - for Law School Success
It was described by several who examined it in these terms: it felt dry and gritty as if there were dirt upon it, as if trampled over a good deal, as flattened down, and black in color, every bit of it was black, there wasn't a particle of yellow and as black, flattened out and gritty. View Full Point of Law
Because the appearance of the banana peal suggested that it had been on the ground for some time, it could be inferred that the peal had been seen and could have been removed by one of the employees of the railway. This fact distinguishes this case from Goddard, as there is evidence upon which to base a conclusion that the peal was not dropped a moment before the Plaintiff’s fall by another passenger. Here, the railway employees had time to pick up the hazard and they did not.