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It is a matter of common experience that children of tender years are guided in their actions by childish instincts, and are lacking in that discretion which is ordinarily sufficient to enable those of more mature years to appreciate and avoid danger, and in proportion to this lack of judgment on their part, the care which must be observed toward them by others is increased. And it has been held in numerous cases to be an act of negligence to leave unguarded and exposed to the observation of little children dangerous and attractive machinery which they would naturally be tempted to go about or upon, and against the danger of which action their immature judgment opposes no warning or defense.
The railroad had a turntable which had a mechanism to keep it from turning, and which was not enclosed in any way. The neighborhood children had been known to play on the turntable. One day when the turntable was not secured, the child was injured while playing on the turntable. The child filed a personal injury action. The trial court found in favor of the child and denied the railroad's motion for new trial. The railroad appealed.
Was the railroad company liable for the injuries of the child received while playing on the exposed and unguarded turntable that the railroad company maintained?
The court affirmed the trial court's judgment. The court held that even though the child was a trespasser, the railroad was guilty of negligence if it could have reasonably anticipated the child's injury. The court held that the fact that the turntable had allegedly been secured was not conclusive proof that the railroad had exercised ordinary care. The court held that the fact that other children may have set the turntable in motion did not affect the railroad's liability.