P was driving across a bridge elevated over the ground. P lost control of his car and crashed through the railing onto the ground.
P sued D for negligence in not installing and maintaining proper railing on the bridge.
Trial court found for P.
WA Supreme Court reversed, found for D.
Is a county negligent for failing to install safety railing on an elevated bridge.
A county is not negligent for failing to install safety railing on an elevated bridge because the construction of such railing would create an undue burden on the county and hinder the construction of new roads.
Automobiles are becoming more and more common and require changes in law. Railings were useful for horse and buggies and people, but not so much for cars.
Counties should not be responsible for installing railings on long stretches of road since this would introduce and undue burden.
The social utility of more roads is higher than safer roads.
It would be near impossible to make the bridge any safer since there is no way to hammer posts in the ground on this elevated bridge.
Old case - railings back then were harder to do on bridges. Probably would not be decided the same today.