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Torts cases (negligence)
Terms in this set (73)
Stewart v. Motts, Pa. (1995).
Π was burned when Δ poured gasoline into carburetor while repairing car. Held, Δ owed π duty of reasonable care under the circumstances.
Posas v. Horton, Nev. (2010).
Π was rear-ended after stopping for pedestrian by Δ who was following too closely. Held, emergency instruction inappropriate due to Δ's negligence.
Shepherd v. Gardner Wholesale, Inc., Ala. (1972).
Π with cataracts tripped over concrete slab in front of Δ's business. Held, physically disabled are not required to use higher standard of care.
Creasy v. Rusk, Ind. (2000).
Π was injured by combative Alzheimer's patient at care facility. Held, trend toward deinstitutionalization suggests treating mentally disabled as everyone else including general duty of reasonable care.
Hill v. Sparks, Mo. App. (1976).
Δ ran over and killed sister while driving machinery of which he was professional operator. Held, actor with superior qualities must use them in reasonable manner under the circumstances.
Robinson v. Lindsay, Wash. (1979).
Π child lost thumb snow mobile accident where driver was 13. Held, jury should be instructed to apply standard of reasonable care for minors when engaging in inherently dangerous activity.
Ardinger v. Hummell, Alaska (1999).
14-year-old let other minor drive car. Held, adult standard applies.
Goss v. Allen, N.J. (1976).
Held, adult standard applies when minor uses firearms.
Marshall v. S. Ry. Co., N.C. (1950).
Π crashed into railroad trestle. Held, reasonable care while driving requires being able to stop within range of lights.
Chaffin v. Brame, N.C. (1951).
Π crashed into unlit truck after being blinded by oncoming car. Held, range-of-light rule should not be applied indiscriminately and standard of reasonable care is appropriate.
Pipher v. Parsell, Del. (2007).
Π was injured when passenger jerked steering wheel for second time after Δ did nothing to address situation after first instance. Held, passenger's conduct was foreseeable after first instance. Driver is responsible for foreseeable dangerous conduct of vehicle's passengers.
Ind. Consol. Ins. Co. v. Mathew, Ind. App. (1980).
Δ started lawnmower in garage and fire destroyed building. Held, Δ did not breach duty because there is no identifiable specific alternative conduct.
Stinnett v. Buchele, Ky. App. (1980).
Δ asked π to work on roof of barn. Held, Δ did not breach duty because he did not have superior knowledge of attendant risks of job.
Lowery v. Echostar Satellite Corp., Okla. (2007).
Π was injured when she fell from roof while repairing satellite dish after company's refusal. Held, risks of climbing onto roof are obvious and company therefore had no superior knowledge of the risks.
Bernier v. Boston Edison Co., Mass. (1980).
Complicated accident resulted in light pole installed by Δ falling and injuring πs. Held, negligence affirmed because burden or precautions low and risk of harm to pedestrians severe.
Parsons v. Crown Disposal Co., Cal. (1997).
Π thrown from horse after horse scared by garbage truck. Held, main factor in finding no breach is social utility of garbage collection - no negligence due to using machinery that makes noise.
Parsons v. Crown Disposal Co., 2d Cir. (1947).
Barge sunk without bargee on board. Court looked to absence of bargee to decide whether recovery to owners should be reduced. Held, negligence because probability of harm high with busy harbor at wartime.
Martin v. Herzog, N.Y. (1920).
Buggy driver traveling without lights in violation of statute was killed by Δ. Held, jury must be instructed that failure to comply with statute is negligence per se.
O'Guin v. Bingham County, Idaho (2005).
Children trespassing on unfenced county dump were killed by pit wall collapse. Held, Δ's violation of statute is sufficient to establish duty element.
Impson v. Structural Metals, Inc., Tex. (1972).
Δ attempted to pass π within 100' of intersection in violation of statute. Held, defenses proposed by Δ (forgot intersection, poor markings, attention to other traffic) fall under lack of reasonable care.
Thoma v. Cracker Barrel, Inc., Fla. Dist. App. (1995).
Π slipped on liquid. Held, matter for jury whether constructive notice because witness saw no spill for 15 minutes.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Spates, Tex. (2006).
Π slipped on trash on floor for 30 seconds. Held, no constructive notice as matter of law.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Wright, Ind. (2002).
Π slipped on puddle. Held, store manual of procedures cannot be used as evidence of what is considered reasonable care by Δ.
Duncan v. Corbetta, N.Y. App. Div. (1991).
Π injured when stairs collapsed and standard was to use pressure-treated lumber. Held, proof of custom and usage is admissible to establish standard by which reasonable care may be judged.
Levine v. Russell Blaine Co., N.Y. (1937).
Π injured by thick bristly rope when custom was smooth one. Held, violation of custom does not establish negligence without evidence of how and why thick rope might cause foreseeable risk.
The T.J. Hooper, 2d Cir. (1933).
Tug boats held liable for loss of barges because ships unseaworthy due to lack of radios. Held, radios not standard but an imperative precaution.
Miller v. Warren, W.Va. (1990).
Πs were injured in fire at hotel with no smoke alarms. Δ contended no negligence because firm alarms not required by statute. Held, compliance with statute does not constitute reasonable care per se - is floor not ceiling.
Byrne v. Boadle, Exch. (1863).
Π was injured when barrel of flour fell from warehouse but could present no evidence of negligence. Held, doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies because Δ controls evidence and event itself creates presumption of negligence.
Quinby v. Plumbsteadville Family Practice, Inc., Pa. (2006).
Quadriplegic π fell off exam table and died. Held, summary judgment for π due to strong inference.
Koch v. Norris Pub. Power Dist., Neb. App. (2001).
Power line fell and caused fire on sunny, dry day, damaging π's property. Held, res ipsa allowed because power lines ordinarily do not fall without intervention by person or weather absent negligence.
Cosgrove v. Commw. Edison Co., Ill. App. (2000).
Power line fell on stormy night and ignited gas leak. Held, res ipsa for gas company but not electric company. Weather may down power line but ruptured gas line ordinarily does not occur absent negligence.
Warren v. Jeffries, N.C. (1965).
Kids got in Δ's car which rolled backward and ran over and killed child after he jumped out. Held, res ipsa loquitur is not applicable because π presented no evidence supporting theory of negligence as cause of accident.
District of Columbia v. Singleton, Md. (2012).
Π passengers injured in bus crash did not call bus driver or other eye witnesses to testify. Held, res ipsa loquitur unavailable due to tactical decision to avoid reliable eyewitnesses.
Giles v. City of New Haven, Conn. (1995).
Π elevator operator was injured in accident and Δ elevator company alleged operator error. Held, res ipsa loquitur available because "exclusive control" requirement only intended to allow inference that negligence is Δ's. Court must allow possible jury inference that Δ is most likely responsible.
Escola v. Coca Cola Bottling Co., Cal. (1944).
Π was injured by exploding bottle. Held, res ipsa loquitur available because π can show Δ had control at point of negligence by excluding negligence of other parties.
Collins v. Super. Air-Ground Ambulance Serv., Ill. App. (2003).
Π elderly patient suffered broken leg after being transport to care facility by Δ. Held, res ipsa loquitur available although two actors because otherwise essence of doctrine would be frustrated.
Right v. Breen, Conn. (2006).
Π was in car accident caused by Δ but could not prove harm at trial. Held, no recovery because negligent conduct without actual injury is insufficient for a negligence cause of action.
Howard v. Union Carbide Corp., La. (2010).
Chemical leak caused watery eyes, nose and throat irritation, coughing, and headaches lasting a day. Held, legally cognizable harm but damages reduced to $100-500 per claimant.
Hale v. Ostrow, Tenn. (2005).
Π was injured after tripping over crumbled sidewalk while trying to walk around overgrown bushes in front of Δ's property. Held, applying but-for test, factual cause as to bushes is matter for the jury.
Cabral v. Ralphs Grocery Store Co., Cal. (2011).
Deadly rear-end collision with truck parked on side of highway. Δ argued no factual cause because could have stopped for non-negligent reasons. Held, alternative non-negligent reason for conduct irrelevant to causation analysis.
Salinetro v. Nystrom, Fl. Dist. App. (1977).
Π's fetus was killed by x-rays after doctor did not ask if pregnant. Π testified that she would have said no if asked. Held, no factual cause because asking if pregnant would not have changed result.
Jordan v. Jordan, Va. (1979).
Π husband was injured when Δ wife backed car without looking in rearview mirror. Held, no factual cause because wife could not have seen husband squatting behind car even if she had looked.
Ranes v. Adams Lab., Iowa. (2010).
Π allegedly injured by prescription drug. Held, π failed to prove that drug caused vasculitis or that π suffered from vasculitis.
Yount v. Deibert, Kan. (2006).
Held, boys playing with fire inside house that later burned created inference of causation for jury to consider.
CSX Transp., Inc. v. Miller, Ala. (2010).
Held, because jury unable to apportion liability between aggravation of injury and preexisting injury, liability for entire injury.
Spann v. Suqualak Lumber Co. Inc., Miss. (2008).
Held, lumber company negligence in causing fog of emissions and negligence of drivers are both factual causes of collisions.
Landers v. E. Tex. Salt Water Disposal, Tex. (1952).
Two companies released salt water and oil into π's lake on same day and killed his fish. Held, where multiple parties cause indivisible injury, all tortfeasors will be held jointly and severally liable.
Lasley v. Combined Transp., Inc., Or. (2011).
Π killed when truck pilled load on freeway and car crashed into π's truck, causing fire. Held, actions of both parties are substantial factors. Evidence of driver's intoxication does not change causation analysis because expert testify accident would not have resulted in fire if π was not stationary.
Anderson v. Minneapolis, St. Paul Ry., Minn. (1920).
Π's property burned by fire. Δ's engine started a fire but there were other wildfires in the area. Held, for π on basis that fire set by engine was "material or substantial element in causing π's damage."
Summers v. Tice, Cal. (1948).
Π injured when two hunters negligently shot in his direction. Held, burden shifts to Δs and may both be treated as joint tortfeasors.
State v. CTL Distrib., Inc., Fla. Dist. App. (1998).
Hazardous substance spilled by one of seven truckers and proved that CTL did it. Held, not all seven liable because no showing that all parties negligent.
Summers v. Tice, Cal. (1948).
Π left brain damaged when neurological injury went undiagnosed. Π established that she had a 50-60% chance of better outcome with non-negligent treatment. Held, lost chance itself is compensable injury and π may recover π may recover damages proportional to lost chance.
Dillon v. Evanston Hosp., Ill. (2002).
Doctors left piece of catheter in π which lodged in heart. Jury awarded damages for increased risk of future harm. Held, risk of future harm requires proof of increased risk of future harm and damages proportional to probability of risks materializing.
Williams v. Manchester, Ill. (2008).
Woman had abortion after requiring x-rays and medication to treat injury from car accident. Held, no recovery because increase risk of future harm to fetus was not actionable present injury.
Thompson v. Kaczinski, Iowa. (2009).
Δs left pieces of trampoline in yard within 40 feet of highway for several weeks. Π injured after swerving to avoid it. Held, trampoline blowing into road is conceivably among risks that made conduct tortious.
Abrams v. City of Chicago, Ill. (2004).
Π's baby was killed while traveling to hospital while in labor when hit by intoxicated driver. City had failed to send ambulance. Held, such a traffic accident was not sufficiently foreseeable - no proximate cause.
Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R. Co., N.Y. (1928).
Δ train guard attempted to help man onto train, dislodging package which exploded. Π was injured by falling scales. Held, Δ owed no duty to π because harm to persons situated like π was unforeseeable.
Mellon Mortg. Co. v. Holder, Tex. (1999).
Π raped in Δ garage by policeman who pulled her over several blocks away. Held, not within scope of liability - π not member of class that Δ could foresee being victim of crime in garage.
Hughes v. Lord Advocate, House of Lords (1963).
Workers left open manhole and burning kerosene lanterns. Boys found lanterns and broke one, causing kerosene to vaporize and explode. Held, within scope of liability because burns were foreseeable and merely occurred in unforeseeable manner.
Doughty v. Turner Mfg., Queen's Bench. (1964).
Π injured when asbestos lid fell into vat and caused explosion. Foreseen risk was splashing. Held, harm not within scope of liability because injury was of "entirely different kind" than that foreseen.
Wagner v. Intl. Ry., N.Y. (1921).
Passenger fell into gorge while sitting between train cars. Π injured while attempting rescue. Held, rescue is foreseeable as a matter of law.
Hammerstein v. Jean Dev. West, Nev. (1995).
Diabetic π injured got blister turned gangrenous after walking down stairs due to false fire alarm. Held, within scope of liability because injury to foot of guest foreseeable, even if extent not foreseeable.
McCahill v. New York Transp. Co., N.Y. (1911).
Δ suffered broken thigh but died in hospital of delirium tremens. Held, Δ liable for death of π.
Marcus v. Staubs, W.Va. (2012).
Δ bought beer for teenage girls who later stole a car and crashed it, causing death and injuries. Held, is for the jury to decide whether subsequent acts of girls were reasonably foreseeable to Δ.
Collins v. Scenic Homes, Inc., Ala. (2009).
Δ disregarded safety code in building apartment complex and arson fire caused death and injuries. Held, liability question for jury because issue is whether injuries from fire were foreseeable result of negligence.
Tenney v. Atlantic Assocs., Iowa (1999).
Π raped after landlord failed to control keys. Held, "the happening of the very event the likelihood of which makes the actor's conduct negligent and so subjects the actor to liability cannot relieve him of liability."
Doe v. Linder Constr. Co., Tenn. (1992).
Δ developer allowed workers access to keys who entered unit and raped π. Held, injury was not reasonable foreseeable and therefore criminal acts were superseding cause.
Johnson v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 7th Cir. (2009).
Δ did not check decedent's ID when selling her bullets. Held, suicide was unforeseeable act which breaks "chain of causation."
Delaney v. Reynolds, Mass. App. (2005).
Depressed, substance-addicted π shot herself with gun Δ left unlocked. Held, jury should be allowed to consider whether risk of intentionally injuring herself with Δ's gun was foreseeable.
Derdiarian v. Felix Contracting Corp., N.Y. (1980).
Worker was injured by scalding enamel when driver negligently crashed into negligently protected construction site. Held, liability issue for jury - risk of driver crashing into site is prime hazard.
Ventricelli v. Kinney Sys. Rent A Car v. Felix Contracting Corp., N.Y. (1978).
Δ negligently leased car to π with faulty trunk lid. Π was injured by another car while fixing in parking lot. Held, attempting to fix was foreseeable but being hit by car was not.
Pittsburgh Reduction Co. v. Horton, Ark. (1908).
Δ left explosive where children could find them but boy's mother said nothing before he gave them to a friend who was injured. Held, mother's tolerance of explosive broke causal connection and terminated risk.
Marshall v. Nugent, 1st Cir. (1955).
Π was struck by negligent oncoming car after being forced off road by negligent truck driver. Held, Δ liable for injuries despite convoluted sequence of events - risks created by negligence were not yet entirely over.
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