Butler v. Frazee,
211 U.S. 459 (1908)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Butler v. Frazee, 211 U.S. 459 (1908)

Butler v. Frazee

No. 36

Argued December 3, 1908

Decided December 21, 1908

211 U.S. 459


The common law rule of assumption of known risk by the employee has never been modified by statute in the District of Columbia, and even if hardship results, the Court must enforce the rule.

One understanding the condition of machinery and dangers arising therefrom, or who is capable of so doing and voluntarily, in the course of employment, exposes himself thereto, assumes the risk thereof, and if injury results, cannot recover against his employer.

Although the plaintiff, if of full age and understanding, may testify to the contrary, where the elements and combination out of which the danger arises are so visible and have been of such longstanding that the dangers are obvious to all, the question is one of law for the court, and the judge should instruct the jury that a verdict for plaintiff cannot be sustained.

In this case, held that an employee in a laundry, who had been employed in laundries for two years and was familiar with the machinery used therein, could not recover for injuries received by a machine on which she had been working for three months, and the imperfections, if any, of which she did not at any time report to her employer.

25 App.D.C. 392 affirmed.

Page 211 U. S. 460

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 211 U. S. 461

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