Leroy Fibre Co. v. Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry.
232 U.S. 340, 34 S.Ct. 415, 58 L.Ed. 631 (1914)

  • Chicago Railroad had a track that went past Leroy’s factory. There were bales of flax lying around about 75′ from the tracks. A train went past, some sparks flew, and the flax caught fire and burned. Leroy sued for negligence.
    • Chicago argued that Leroy was contributorily negligent because they had left combustible flax lying around next to a railroad.
  • The Trial Court found for Chicago. Leroy appealed.
    • The Trial Court found that Leroy was contributorily negligent.
  • The US Supreme Court reversed.
    • The US Supreme Court found that as a matter of law, a plaintiff cannot be guilty of contributory negligence for using his land in a lawful manner.