WRIGHT V. NORFOLK AND WESTERN RAILROAD CO.FACTS:
The plaintiff was injured at a crossroad between the street and the defendant’s railroadtrack. Plaintiff was an experienced truck driver who drove truck across RR tracks, he had drivenacross the railroad nine times before, he also lived less than a mile to the train, and he was wellfamiliar with the track hit by train. Train had an advance warning signs painted in yellow but noother warning devices, or traffic control in place. Plaintiff was known to turn his A/C, radio, andCB radio on when driving. On this particular day the plaintiff didn’t hear the train.The plaintiff filed a negligence action, the jury returned verdict for the plaintiff for $4million but sustaining a post trial motion, the trial court set the verdict aside and awarded judgment for the defendant. Plaintiff appealed
Whether the plaintiff was liable for contributory negligence when he drove through thetrack without exercising the precaution he should have which ultimately was the proximate causeof his injury.
For the purpose of determining proximate cause of injury, when a person actednegligently as to cause a reasonable person to differ as a matter of law that their contributorynegligence was the proximate cause of the injury, the actor is barred from recovery
Here, the defendant’s track was not reasonably safe but the plaintiff is anexperienced truck driver, had lived near the track for ten years, driven over the track severaltimes that day and the day before, was aware about the lack of visibility in regards to the angle of the track to the road, also from his truck and therefore needs to utilize his senses to cross thetrack b/c he had failed to listen due to his closed window, radio and A/C blasting he had failed toexercise reasonable care needed to cross the road. Had he look and listen, he would have noticedthe train and would have easily avoided the train.
Therefore, the plaintiff failure to look and listen was contributory negligenceas a matter of law, which barred him from recovery any damages.
MCINTYRE V. BALENTINE