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BEST V. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 291 U. S. 411 (1934)

U.S. Supreme Court

Best v. District of Columbia, 291 U.S. 411 (1934)

Best v. District of Columbia

No. 477

Argued February 9, 1934

Decided March 5, 1934

291 U.S. 411


1. To warrant the direction of a verdict for the defendant on the opening statement of plaintiff's counsel, it is not enough that the statement be indefinite; it must clearly appear, after resolving all doubts and uncertainties in favor of the plaintiff, that no cause of action exists. P. 291 U. S. 415.

2. Where a wharf for unloading sand lies adjacent to a public street from which, for want of a proper fence or barrier, its surface may be both seen and entered, and when children of tender years, attracted by the sand piles, are accustomed to enter and use it as a playground, going in and out at their pleasure, the owner is under a duty to take reasonable precautions either to prevent such use or to keep the flooring in repair so that children will not be exposed to the danger of falling through holes. Railroad Co. v. Stout, 17 Wall. 657; Union Pacific Ry. v. McDonald, 152 U. S. 262, applied. United Zinc Co. v. Britt, 258 U. S. 268, distinguished. P. 291 U. S. 416.

62 App.D.C. 271, 66 F.2d 797, reversed.

Certiorari, 290 U.S. 619, to review a judgment affirming a judgment for the District of Columbia entered on a directed verdict, in an action for the death of a child, alleged to have been caused by negligence. The verdict

Page 291 U. S. 412

was directed at the close of the opening statement by counsel for the administrator.

Page 291 U. S. 413

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