Washington Law Review


A municipal corporation is not an insurer of its streets; and is not obliged to so construct and maintain them as to secure absolute nnmunity from any danger in using them. Generally stated, its duty is to exercise ordinary care to keep them in a reasonably safe condition for public travel; this duty being in some states imposed by statute, and in others, arising by mere implication. The Washington rule is well illustrated by the case of Sutton v. Snohomish, in which the court said: "Where a city has exclusive control and management of its streets with power to raise money for their construction and repair, a duty arises to the public from the character of the powers granted to keep its streets in a reasonably safe condition for use in the ordinary modes of travel, and the city is liable to respond in damages to those injured by a neglect to perform such duty." Negligence in the performance of that duty is the basis of corporate liability And where injury is the result of neglect to keep streets in repair, or remove obstructions, or remedy causes of danger occasioned by third parties, it is the general rule that the municipality will be liable, only if it has notice of such condition, such notice being either express or implied, actual or constructive.

First Page