Erie R. Co. v. Stewart - without him there the people can...

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Erie R. Co. v. Stewart 40 F.2d 855 (1930) Fact: Operative Facts: A passenger of an automobile truck was passing a train crossing, and there is usually a “watchman” in the train crossing to warn others that a train is coming, which is employed by the train company. The watchmen wasn’t there this time, and so the automobile truck assumed that it could pass safely. However the train came and injured the passenger. Issue: Since there is no law or statute requiring a watchmen, whether there was a duty of care for the watchmen to be there. Rule: If the watchmen was there long enough and had a pattern over a long period of time, which others could infer that when there is no watchmen, then it is reasonably safe to cross. Rational: The court left it to the jury to decide with the instructions that, if the watchmen was a company hire, and had been “Watching” for the trains for enough set of time, for it to be considered traditional, and
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Unformatted text preview: without him there, the people can reasonable infer that there was no trains coming, then the watchman had a duty to be there, or a duty to post a notice that he was not going to be there. However, if it was a purely voluntarily, and he was not always there, and people could rely on him when he was there, but can’t if he wasn’t, or knew of the voluntary nature of it, and could not reasonably infer that if he is not there, then the train won’t come, then he owes no duty. Holding: Broad: There is not duty to warn unless a person makes himself a “standard” and other people rely on him as a standard, and he one day just stops without giving notice. Narrow: If someone does something to help others in a manner where it becomes reasonable reliant on the person, then that person has a duty to continue or a duty to disclose of its non-continuance. Synthesis: Dissent/Concurrences:...
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