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February 1, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(5):369. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530310045008

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Two leading citizens of Franklin, Pa., are reported to have entered suit against the Venango Water Company on the ground that typhoid fever germs in its water mains were the cause of an outbreak of the disease in the families of the plaintiffs. It is said that if the damages asked for are obtained, including the expenses of the illness and due compensation for the physical and mental distress involved, some fifty or more similar suits will follow. If there has been gross neglect of possible precautions there should be no question as to a certain amount of liability; and the beneficial effects of a decision in the form of a fine are easily to be foreseen. The question of how far a water company is empowered to take the needed measures to protect the watershed from which it draws its supply may be raised and a legal decision on

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