Wishing everyone a fun and happy holiday.  America’s independence as a country based on democracy and rule of law is near and dear to us here at Jeffrey Scott Lasswell, P.C.   As a personal injury lawyer, my stock and trade is law.  It is the only way I can recover justice – and money – for my injured clients.

One of the earliest cases in America that first formed “tort” law was an 1850 case penned by Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Brown v. Kendall.  “While trying to stop a fight between his own dog and Brown’s dog, Kendall raised a stick over his head, striking and partially blinding Brown, who was standing behind him. There was no evidence that Kendall intended to strike Brown. The trial judge framed the litigation in terms of the old notion of trespass as a direct and forcible injuring. Thus he concluded that the plaintiff could recover unless the defendant was able to convince the jury that he had acted with ‘extraordinary care.’ . . . Reversing the trial court, Shaw’s opinion held that, henceforth, all accident litigation in Massachusetts — whether for forcible or nonforcible, or direct or indirect injurings — would proceed under the heading of negligence. An accident victim’s right to recover would therefore hinge on his ability to prove that his injuries resulted from the defendant’s breach of a duty to use ordinary care to prevent injury to another. Thus, if in Brown itself, the
plaintiff could not establish to a jury’s satisfaction that Kendall was careless in the way he went about separating the fighting dogs, he could not recover.”  Goldberg, John C. P., Zipursky, Benjamin Charles.; The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law : Torts.

Happy 4th of July!