Name: Parrots v. Wells, Fargo & Co. (The Nitro-Glycerine Case)
The defendants were paid to ship a crate upon arriving at their destination discoveredthe contents were leaking. The leaking appeared to have stained another box, in accordance todefendant’s business policy the content and stained box were taken to the defendants’ building to be examined. In the present of the defendant and other people with a mallet and chisel proceededto open the case and thus engage the substance in the case resulting in an explosion. Theexplosion destroyed the properties and also caused injuries to the building occupied by thedefendant but owned by the plaintiff. The trial court held the defendants are not liable for thedamage to other property than the one they leased.
Whether the plaintiff is entitled to recover for the injuries caused by the explosion to his buildings, outside of the portion leased by the defendants.
For the purpose of negligence, negligence has been defined as the omission to dosomething which a reasonable man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate theconduct of human affairs, would do, or something which a prudent and reasonable man wouldnot do. The law does not charge culpable negligence upon any one who takes the usual precautions against accident, which careful and prudent men are accustomed to take under similar circumstances.
Here, the leaking content caused the explosion that destroyed properties andcaused injuries to the defendants’ leased building. It is not require for the defendant to know thecontents in which they are being asked to transport when there is no attendant circumstancesawakening suspicions to that character, there is no presumption of law that he had suchknowledge in any particular case of any kind, and cannot be held liable for negligence.
Therefore, the measure of care against accident, which one must take to avoidresponsibility, is that which a person of ordinary prudence and caution would use if his owninterests were to be affected, and the whole risks were his own.