October 24 Case and Notes

October 24 Case and Notes - Chapter 5 Causation in Fact But...

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October 24, 2008 Chapter 5 Causation in Fact But for the negligence, would these things have happened. Public policy limitations to causations, wants to know how long does my liability run? 1. Sine Qua Non Perkins v. Texas and New Orleans Ry. Co. Supreme Court of Louisiana, 1962 Law: Negligence is a cause in fact of the harm to another if it was a substantial factor in bringing about that harm. Facts: The accident occurred at an intersection shortly after dawn. Located on the NW side of the intersection is a warehouse, 500 ft. in length, that parallels the tracks. The warehouse obstructs the view to the west for an automobile driver and the north for the train personnel. There was a swinging red light, r.r. stop sign, bell, and traffic stop sign present. The engineer was unable to see an auto approaching from the left of the engine. Between 30 and 60 ft from the intersection a car was seen entering the intersection. The train was traveling 37 m.p.h. the car 3-25. The train struck the car killing both occupants. Reasoning: The collision would not have been avoided if the train had been traveling at a slower speed. Evidence was presented that even if the train were traveling at 25 mph the stopping distance was extended past the minimal requirement to avoid impacting the car. Speed was not a substantial factor in bringing about the accident. Issue: Whether the cause in fact of the death was the negligent speed and operation of the train? Procedure: Widow of Perkins sued R.R. D. Ct awarded damages, appealed Ct. of App. affirmed. Holding: Reversed. Notes from the Case: Have a breach… so there is negligence and serious injury after the neg. Take breach, difference between 37 and 25 and say is that the cause of the accident? Or would the accident have occurred if they were going the speed limit? You have to assess whether the accident occurred between 0-25 as a hypo and you have to figure out what if… If you don’t have a connection b/w breach and damages, you don’t have a liability. Note 2 on pg. 261: The car is driving 30 in a 25. A tree is struck by lightning and hit the car. If you weren’t driving that fast you wouldn’t have been in the position you were in and your car wouldn’t have been struck. There is a breach, but is there causation? Is there liability? There is no causation in that case because the reason he was negligence is because he was going too fast and regardless of how fast you were going, trees could fall on you, not foreseeable and it is not anticipated that as a result of the negligence, that a tree will fall on you. 2. Proof of Causation Court of Appeals of Louisiana, 1885 Law: The causation element requires proof of both cause in fact and proximate cause.
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Facts: PL Mrs. Reynold emerged from a sitting room where she was awaiting an incoming train which was late. As she left the room and headed down the steps she misstepped and fell down the stair. She
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October 24 Case and Notes - Chapter 5 Causation in Fact But...

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