James Ryan vs. New York Railroad Company

James Ryan vs. New York Railroad Company - The difficulty...

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Econ 404 02:47:13 rmf34 James Ryan vs. New York Railroad Company Judge(s): Hunt, J. Court: Court of Appeals of New York (Location, Date): Syracuse New York. March, 1866. Plaintiff : James Ryan Case Summary : One engine set fire to its woodshed and the large quantity of wood within. The plaintiffs house about 30 feet from the shed set on fire. It was burned to the ground, people tried to save it, but now he is trying to recover from the railroad company the value of the building. Is the owner of the first building responsible for the damage to the second building in such a scenario? Generally, people are liable for the consequences of their acts. There was carless management or insufficient condition of one of the engines that started the fire in the first place. Liable for the proximate results, but not for remote damages.
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Unformatted text preview: The difficulty is in determining the proximate and the remote acts. It is reasonable to assume that fires will spread. But how it happens is by chance and unforeseen acts (weather). The remoteness of the damage is the question. It is better for people to insure their own houses than to protect those next to them. This is impossible. There are so many causes it’s impossible to protect against them all. Each person should take care of their own house and pay for insurance. Defense : New York Railroad Company Verdict : The remoteness of the damage is the question on which the case should be decided and it prohibits a recovery by the plaintiff in this case. Law and Economics Notes :...
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This note was uploaded on 12/11/2007 for the course ECON 4040 taught by Professor Hay during the Fall '07 term at Cornell.

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