Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The laisez-faire policy of the common law recently won a resounding victory in Pennsylvania. In an action for the death of her husband, the plaintiff alleged that he was invited by the defendant to visit the latter's land for a consultation upon problems common to their work, strip-mining for coal, which requires deep cuts in the land from which it is necessary to remove accumulated water; that during the conversation the defendant invited the deceased to aid in the repair of a pump in one of the water-filled cuts; that the defendant, by "urging, enticing, taunting and inveigling" his visitor, caused the latter to jump into the cut which contained eight or ten feet of water; that the defendant knowing that the deceased was drowning refused to extend the aid which would have saved him. On demurrer, held for the defendant; he had no duty to help his invitee.'It can be readily agreed that there was no coercion in the ordinary sense; that there was no deceit, since it was not stated that the defendant knew and the deceased did not know the depth of water; that the deceased was stupid in jumping and that there is no duty to rescue strangers from dangers, self-created or otherwise. But the arguments of the court do not meet the issues.