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Taylor v.

Manila Railroad and Electric Light Company

Facts:

Taylor- 15 yrs. Old, the son of a mechanical engineer, more mature than the average boy of his
age, and having considerable aptitude and training in mechanics. He had previously worked as a cabin
boy and as a mechanical draftsman.

Manila Railroad and Electric Company- foreign corporation engaged in the operation of a street
railway and an electric light system in the city of Manila. Its power plant is situated at the eastern end of
a small island in the Pasig River within the city of Manila, known as the Isla del Provisor. The power plant
may be reached by boat or by crossing a footbridge, impassable for vehicles, at the westerly end of the
island.

Taylor together with a boy named Manuel Claparols, about 12 years of age, crossed the footbridge to
the Isla del Provisor, for the purpose of visiting one Murphy, an employee of the defendant, who and
promised to make them a cylinder for a miniature engine. Finding on inquiry that Mr. Murphy was not in
his quarters, the boys, impelled apparently by youthful curiosity and perhaps by the unusual interest
which both seem to have taken in machinery, spent some time in wandering about the company's
premises. The visit was made on a Sunday afternoon and no one was there.

They walked across the open space in the neighborhood of the place where the company dumped in the
cinders and ashes from its furnaces. Here they found some twenty or thirty brass fulminating caps
scattered on the ground. These caps are approximately of the size and appearance of small pistol
cartridges and each has attached to it two long thin wires by means of which it may be discharged by
the use of electricity. They are intended for use in the explosion of blasting charges of dynamite, and
have in themselves a considerable explosive power. The boys picked up all they could find, hung them
on stick, of which each took end, and carried them home. After crossing the footbridge, they met a little
girl named Jessie Adrian, less than 9 years old, and all three went to the home of the boy Manuel. The
boys then made a series of experiments with the caps. They trust the ends of the wires into an electric
light socket and obtained no result. They next tried to break the cap with a stone and failed. Manuel
looked for a hammer, but could not find one. Then they opened one of the caps with a knife, and finding
that it was filled with a yellowish substance they got matches, and David held the cap while Manuel
applied a lighted match to the contents. An explosion followed, causing more or less serious injuries to
all three. Jessie, who when the boys proposed putting a match to the contents of the cap, became
frightened and started to run away, received a slight cut in the neck. Manuel had his hand burned and
wounded, and David was struck in the face by several particles of the metal capsule, one of which
injured his right eye to such an extent as to the necessitate its removal by the surgeons who were called
in to care for his wounds.

Plaintiff’s Argument: because of his youth and inexperience, his entry upon defendant company's
premises, and the intervention of his action between the negligent act of defendant in leaving the caps
exposed on its premises and the accident which resulted in his injury should not be held to have
contributed in any wise to the accident, which should be deemed to be the direct result of defendant's

"attributable to the negligence of the defendant. properly speaking. and the cases based thereon." Issue: WON the electric company should be liable for the damages sustained by David Taylor Swift (It’s a love story baby just say yes uh uh yun oh) Ruling: No. we are of opinion that under all the circumstances of this case the negligence of the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises was not the proximate cause of the injury received by the plaintiff. upon the authority of the Turntable and Torpedo cases. and this latter the proximate cause of the accident which occasioned the injuries sustained by him. The care and caution required of a child is according to his maturity and capacity only. without other fault on his part. and that the defendant. (3) The connection of cause and effect between the negligence and the damage. and this is to be determined in each case by the circumstances of the case.negligence in leaving the caps exposed at the place where they were found by the plaintiff. But while we hold that the entry of the plaintiff upon defendant's property without defendant's express invitation or permission would not have relieved defendant from responsibility for injuries incurred there by plaintiff. was guilty. In support of his contention. therefore is not civilly responsible for the injuries thus incurred. (2) Negligence by act or omission of which defendant personally. if such injury were attributable to the negligence of the defendant. Plaintiff contends. we are satisfied that plaintiffs action in cutting open the detonating cap and putting match to its contents was the proximate cause of the explosion and of the resultant injuries inflicted upon the plaintiff. or some person for whose acts it must respond. such is not the rule in regard to an infant of tender years. on the other hand. must establish by competent evidence: (1) Damages to the plaintiff. that because of plaintiff's youth the intervention of his action between the negligent act of the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises and the explosion which resulted in his injury should not be held to have ." and. counsel for plaintiff relies on the doctrine laid down in many of the courts of last resort in the United States in the cases known as the "Torpedo" and "Turntable" cases. which therefore was not. In order to establish his right to a recovery. Torpedo Doctrine: While it is the general rule in regard to an adult that to entitle him to recover damages for an injury resulting from the fault or negligence of another he must himself have been free from fault.

such is not the rule in regard to an infant of tender years. and placed a match to the contents. The law fixes no arbitrary age at which a minor can be said to have the necessary capacity to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of his own acts. so as to make it negligence on his part to fail to exercise due care and precaution in the commission of such acts. although it is worthy of observation that in all of the "Torpedo" and analogous cases which our attention has been directed. became frightened and ran away." the doctrine laid down in the Turntable and Torpedo cases lends us no direct aid. and it is because we can not agree with this proposition. plaintiff at the time of the accident was a well-grown youth of 15. In the case at bar. show clearly that he knew what he was about. as described by the little girl who was present. His attempt to discharge the cap by the use of electricity. The series of experiments made by him in his attempt to produce an explosion. which must be determined by "the particular circumstances of this case. who was within him at the time when he put the match to the contents of the cap. knowing. On this point. followed by his efforts to explode it with a stone or a hammer. As was said in case of Railroad Co. more mature both mentally and physically than the average boy of his age. vs. and the record discloses throughout that he was exceptionally well qualified to take care of himself. and this is to be determined in each case by the circumstances of the case. as he undoubtedly did. Stout (supra).contributed in any wise to the accident. . The care and caution required of a child is according to his maturity and capacity only. that we have thought proper to discuss and to consider that doctrine at length in this decision. despite his denials on the witness stand.50 a day as a mechanical draftsman thirty days after the injury was incurred. and yet he willfully. although we accept the doctrine of the Turntable and Torpedo cases. because of his entry upon defendant's uninclosed premises without express permission or invitation' but it is wholly different question whether such youth can be said to have been free from fault when he willfully and deliberately cut open the detonating cap. recklessly. he may not have known and probably did not know the precise nature of the explosion which might be expected from the ignition of the contents of the cap. in whose favor judgments have been affirmed. The evidence of record leaves no room for doubt that. A well-grown boy of 15 years of age. that his action would result in an explosion. True. the record discloses that the plaintiffs. and the final success of his endeavors brought about by the application of a match to the contents of the caps. he well knew the explosive character of the cap with which he was amusing himself. and knowingly produced the explosion. and of course he did not anticipate the resultant injuries which he incurred. Nor can there be any reasonable doubt that he had reason to anticipate that the explosion might be dangerous. and at the age at which a minor can be said to have such ability will necessarily vary in accordance with the varying nature of the infinite variety of acts which may be done by him. were of such tender years that they were held not to have the capacity to understand the nature or character of the explosive instruments which fell into their hands. The question of negligence necessarily depends on the ability of the minor to understand the character of his own acts and their consequences. but he well knew that a more or less dangerous explosion might be expected from his act. admit of no other explanation. 9 years of age. "While it is the general rule in regard to an adult that to entitle him to recover damages for an injury resulting from the fault or negligence of another he must himself have been free from fault. in view of the fact that the little girl. was able to earn P2. he had been to sea as a cabin boy.

No measures seems to have been adopted by the defendant company to prohibit or prevent visitors from entering and walking about its premises unattended. Magamit ta ta ni atung sulat2x ni Mam Osorio sa dog2x nga nibite. that he was sui juris in the sense that his age and his experience qualified him to understand and appreciate the necessity for the exercise of that degree of caution which would have avoided the injury which resulted from his own deliberate act. similar to those found by plaintiff. It was proven that caps. (3) that an invitation or license to cross the premises of another cannot be predicated on the mere fact that no steps have been taken to .We are satisfied that the plaintiff in this case had sufficient capacity and understanding to be sensible of the danger to which he exposed himself when he put the match to the contents of the cap. not due to his wanton or willful acts. that while the workman employed in blasting the well was regularly employed by J. a firm of contractors. Towar (128 Mich. in a very able decision wherein it held. on the McKinley extension of the defendant company's track. Stout. in the language of the syllabus: (1) That the owner of the land is not liable to trespassers thereon for injuries sustained by them. G. more or less extensively. (2) that no exception to this rule exists in favor of children who are injured by dangerous machinery naturally calculated to attract them to the premises. 463) formally repudiated and disapproved the doctrine of the Turntable cases. but must be proven by him who alleges it. that some of these caps were used in blasting a well on the company's premises a few months before the accident. It was conclusively proven. however.. 3. Defendant did not file introduce rebuttal evidence on this matter. and there is no proof whatever in the record that the blasting on the McKinley extension was done by independent contractors. so that while it may be true that these injuries would not have been incurred but for the negligence act of the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises. Counsel for appellant endeavors to weaken or destroy the probative value of the facts on which these conclusions are based by intimidating or rather assuming that the blasting work on the company's well and on its McKinley extension was done by contractors. A doctrine in a case which is directly opposite with that of Torpedo exists. Court ruled that the caps are owned by the electric company. There was a question on the ownership of the caps. Add-ons: 1. were used. especially that laid down in Railroad Company vs. Plaintiff presented evidence to establish ownership. The caps when found appeared to the boys who picked them up to have been lying for a considerable time. and from the place where they were found would seem to have been discarded as detective or worthless and fit only to be thrown upon the rubbish heap. nevertheless plaintiff's own act was the proximate and principal cause of the accident which inflicted the injury. Ryan vs. he did the work on the well directly and immediately under the supervision and control of one of defendant company's foremen. White and Co.. when they felt disposed so to do. 2. and that the injury incurred by him must be held to have been the direct and immediate result of his own willful and reckless act. Negligence is not presumed.

(4) that there is no difference between children and adults as to the circumstances that will warrant the inference of an invitation or a license to enter upon another's premises. .interfere with such practice.