Washington & Georgetown R. Co. v. McDade,
135 U.S. 554 (1890)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Washington & Georgetown R. Co. v. McDade, 135 U.S. 554 (1890)

Washington and Georgetown Railroad Company

No. 137

Argued December 2-3, 1889

Decided May 19, 1890

135 U.S. 554




An employer of labor in connection with machinery is not bound to insure the absolute safety of the machinery or mechanical appliances which he provides for the use of his employees, nor is he bound to supply for their use the best and safest or newest of such appliances, but he is bound to use all reasonable care and prudence for the safety of those in his

Page 135 U. S. 555

service by providing them with machinery reasonably safe and suitable for use, and if he fails in this duty, he is responsible to them for any injury which may happen to them through a defect of machinery which was or ought to have been known to him and which was not known to the employees; but if an employee who is injured by reason of a defect in such machinery knew of the defect which caused it and remained in the service of his employer and continued to use the defective machinery without giving notice thereof to him, he must be deemed to have assumed the risk of all danger reasonably to be apprehended from such use.

When a person employed by another to labor in connection with machinery is wanting in such reasonable care and prudence as would have prevented the happening of an accident and is injured by the machinery, he is guilty of contributory negligence, and his employer is thereby absolved from responsibility for the injury although it was occasioned by defect in the machinery and through the negligence of the employer.

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