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Vincent et al. v. Lake Erie Transportation Co. [1910] 109 Minn. 456, 124 N.W. 221

Facts:

After D's ship finished unloading at P's dock, a storm developed, sufficiently dangerous to make it imprudent for the ship to leave or drift away from dock, and more violent than could reasonably be anticipated.
As mooring lines chafed or parted D's crew replaced them.
The securely-moored ship was driven by weather to cause $500 of damage to the dock.

Issue(s):

Does D avoid liability for damages to P's property, caused by D's deliberate actions undertaken for D's benefit, because D's actions were privately necessary and prudent?

Ratio:

The prudence and private necessity of an action are not defenses against liability for resulting injury.

Analysis:

Not a case where life or property was menaced by an object of P that had to be destroyed; nor where unavoidable accident caused damages beyond D's control. Rather, D prudently and advisedly availed itself of P's property to preserve D's own more valuable property.

Holding:

Affirmed order denying appellant (D) a new trial.

Comments:

Only two cases are cited by the opinion, and they provide only hypotheticals to the opinion's analysis.


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