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Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad 222 App. Div. 166

Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad 222 App. Div. 166

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Published by Thalia Sanders
this is about a tort that was caused by a train, and the failure to appeal, timely

222 App. Div. 166
this is about a tort that was caused by a train, and the failure to appeal, timely

222 App. Div. 166

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Published by: Thalia Sanders on Apr 09, 2014
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Westlaw Delivery Summary Report for PATRON ACCESS,-
Date/Time of Request: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 13:37 EasternClient Identifier: PATRON ACCESSDatabase: NYOFFFMFINDCitation Text: 222 A.D. 166Lines: 130Documents: 1Images: 0
business law 2
The material accompanying this summary is subject to copyright. Usage is governed by contract with Thomson Reuters,West and their affiliates.
 
Palsgraf v. Long Island R. Co.222 A.D. 166, 225 N.Y.S. 412N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept. 1927.222 A.D. 166225 N.Y.S. 412HELEN PALSGRAF, Respondent,v.THE LONG ISLAND RAILROAD COMPANY,Appellant.Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division,Second Department.December 9, 1927.CITE TITLE AS: Palsgraf v Long Is. R.R. Co.
RailroadsInjuries to passengers
 ---
 Action for injuriessuffered by plaintiff while she was awaiting trainat defendant's station which injuries werecaused by explosion of fireworks dropped by an-other passenger
 ---
 Other passenger attemptedto board moving train and was assisted by de-fendant's employees
 ---
 Verdict for plaintiff proper
The plaintiff, while at the passenger station of thedefendant awaiting her train, was injured throughthe explosion of fireworks which were dropped by apassenger who was endeavoring to board a movingtrain and who was being assisted in his efforts bytwo of defendant's servants. While it does not ap-pear that the passenger had any authority to carryexplosives under the Code of Ordinances of theCity of New York, still it does not appear that theprovisions of the Code of Ordinances (chap. 10, art.6, § 92, subd. 6) were violated.The verdict of the jury in favor of the plaintiff isproper, since the jury might well have found thatthe act of the other passenger in undertaking toboard the moving train was negligent, and that theacts of the defendant's employees in assisting himwhile he was engaged in a negligent act were alsonegligent. It is no defense that the employees werenot chargeable with notice of the contents of thebundle carried by the other passenger.LAZANSKY, P. J., and YOUNG, J., dissent, withopinion.222 A.D. 166 (1927)APPEAL by the defendant, The Long Island Rail-road Company, from a judgment of the SupremeCourt in favor of the plaintiff, entered in the officeof the clerk of the county of Kings on the 31st dayof May, 1927, upon the verdict of a jury for $6,000,and also from an order entered in said clerk's officeon the 27th day of May, 1927, denying defendant'smotion for a new trial made upon the minutes.
William McNamara
 [
 Joseph F. Keany
 with him onthe brief], for the appellant.
 Matthew W. Wood,
 for the respondent.SEEGER, J.The action was brought to recover damages result-ing from negligence. The plaintiff was a passengerintending to take a train of the defendant at the de-fendant's East New York passenger station on the24th day of August, 1924. While plaintiff was at thestation waiting for her train, another train came intothe station. After this train had started from the sta-tion, two young men came up and undertook toboard it while the train was in motion. One of thesemen had a bundle under his arm. Two of the de-fendant's employees undertook to help him on thetrain while it was in motion, one of them the train-man and the other the man on the platform. Duringtheir efforts to assist the man onto the moving trainthese men knocked the bundle out from under thepassenger's arm and it fell under the train. Thebundle contained explosive fireworks which ex-ploded and caused a large scale, near which theplaintiff was standing, to be thrown against theplaintiff, severely injuring her. There was no evid-ence to show that the passenger carrying the bundlehad any authority or permit under the Code of Or-dinances of the City of New York to carry or trans-port fireworks, or of the value of the fireworks, and222 A.D. 166 Page 1222 A.D. 166
(Cite as: 222 A.D. 166, 225 N.Y.S. 412)
© 2010 Thomson Reuters. No Claim to Orig. US Gov. Works.
 
it does not appear that the provisions of such Codeof Ordinances were violated. (Code of Ordinancesof City of N. Y. chap. 10, art. 6, § 92, subd. 6.)The defendant contends that the accident was notcaused by the negligence of the defendant.The sole question of defendant's negligence submit-ted to the jury was whether the defendant's employ-ees were ‘careless and negligent in the way theyhandled this particular passenger after he cameupon the platform and while he was boarding thetrain.‘ This question of negligence was submitted tothe jury by a fair and impartial charge and the ver-dict was supported by the evidence. The jury mightwell find that the act of the passenger in undertak-ing to board a moving train was negligent, and thatthe acts of the defendant's employees in assistinghim while engaged in that negligent act were alsonegligent. Instead of aiding or assisting the passen-ger engaged in such an act, they might better havediscouraged and warned him not to board the mov-ing train.
 *168
 It is quite probable that without theirassistance the passenger might have succeeded inboarding the train and no accident would havehappened, or without the assistance of these em-ployees the passenger might have desisted in his ef-forts to board the train. In any event, the acts of de-fendant's employees, which the jury found to benegligent, caused the bundle to be thrown under thetrain and to explode. It is no answer or defense tothese negligent acts to say that the defendant's em-ployees were not chargeable with notice that thepassenger's bundle contained an explosive. Whilethere seems to be no precedent for this case, everycase must stand upon its own facts. In principle thecase is similar to the squib case (
Scott v. Shepherd,
2 Wm. Bl. 892), where a lighted squib was thrownin or near a crowd of people, and it was success-ively thrown by two or more persons until it landedupon and burned the plaintiff; or the negro boy case(
 4 Den. 464), where a boyin escaping a threatened attack of the party pursu-ing him ran against and knocked out the faucet of acask of valuable wine, destroying it. The pursuingparty was held liable for the loss. Also the ballooncase (
 19 Johns. 381), where the de-fendant, while in a balloon, descended in a gardenunder circumstances which tended to invite peopleto go to his assistance and in doing so the veget-ables in plaintiff's garden were trampled upon anddestroyed, for which the defendant was held liable.It must be remembered that the plaintiff was a pas-senger of the defendant and entitled to have the de-fendant exercise the highest degree of care requiredof common carriers.The judgment and order appealed from should beaffirmed, with costs.HAGARTY and CARSWELL, JJ., concur;LAZANSKY, P. J., with whom YOUNG, J., con-curs, dissents and reads for reversal.LAZANSKY, P. J. (dissenting).The facts may have warranted the jury in findingthe defendant's agents were negligent in assisting apassenger in boarding a moving train in view of thefact that a door of the train should have been closedbefore the train started, which would have preven-ted the passenger making the attempt. There wasalso warrant for a finding by the jury that as a resultof the negligence of the defendant a package wasthrown between the platform and train, exploded,causing injury to plaintiff, who was on the stationplatform. In my opinion, the negligence of defend-ant was not a proximate cause of the injuries toplaintiff. Between the negligence of defendant andthe injuries, there intervened the negligence of thepassenger carrying the package containing
*169
 anexplosive. This was an independent, and not a con-curring act of negligence. The explosion was notreasonably probable as a result of defendant's act of negligence. The negligence of defendant was not alikely or natural cause of the explosion, since thelatter was such an unusual occurrence. Defendant'snegligence was a cause of plaintiff's injury, but tooremote.The judgment should be reversed, with costs to theappellant, and the complaint dismissed, with costs.222 A.D. 166 Page 2222 A.D. 166
(Cite as: 222 A.D. 166, 225 N.Y.S. 412)
© 2010 Thomson Reuters. No Claim to Orig. US Gov. Works.

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