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U.S. Supreme Court

District of Columbia v. Woodbury, 136 U.S. 450 (1890)

District of Columbia v. Woodbury

No. 234

Argued March 278-28, 1890

Decided May 19, 1890

136 U.S. 450


The municipal corporation called the District of Columbia, created by the Act of June 11, 1878, 18 Stat. 116, c. 337, is subject to the same liability for injuries to individuals arising from the negligence of its officers in maintaining in safe condition, for the use of the public, the streets, avenues, alleys and sidewalks of the City of Washington, as was the District under the laws in force when the cause of action in Barnes v. District of Columbia, 91 U. S. 540, arose.

Barnes v. District of Columbia, 91 U. S. 540, has never been questioned, and is again affirmed.

Evidence that a medical man who had been in the habit of contributing articles to scientific journals was unable to do so by reason of injuries caused by a defect in a public street is admissible in an action to recover damages from the municipality without showing that he received compensation for the articles.

The admission of incompetent evidence at the trial below is no cause for reversal if it could not possibly have prejudiced the other party.

General objections at the trial below to the admission of testimony, without indicating with distinctness the precise grounds on which they are intended to rest, are without weight before the appellate court.

The stenographic report of an oral opinion of the court below, as reported by the reporter of that court, cannot be referred to to control the record certified to this Court.

The charge of the court below correctly stated the rules of law applicable to this case, and they are reduced to seven propositions, by this Court in its opinion, and approved.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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