NEGLIGENCE AND STRICT LIABILITY
ANSWERS TO PROBLEMS CHAPTER 8
A statute requiring railroads to fence their tracks is construed as intended solely to prevent animals that stray onto the
right of way from being hit by trains. B & A Railroad Company fails to fence its tracks. Two of Calvin's cows wander onto
the track. Nellie is hit by a train. Elsie is poisoned by weeds growing beside the track. For which cow(s), if any, is B & A
Railroad liable to Calvin? Why?
Violation of Statute
The railroad company is liable for Nellie, the cow that was hit by the
train, and probably not for Elsie.
For a statute to be adopted as the standard of conduct of a
reasonable man, the intent of the statute must have been to protect the interest against that
particular harm which occurred and against that hazard from which the harm resulted.
of this statute was to protect cows from the hazard of the trains, not from poisonous weeds.
Restatement, Second, Torts, Section 286.
With respect to Elsie, the facts do not indicate whether
the railroad was otherwise negligent towards Elsie or whether Calvin is negligent for allowing his
cows to roam freely.
Martha invites John to come to lunch. Though she knows that her private road is dangerous to travel, having been guttered
by recent rains, Martha doesn't warn John of the condition, reasonably believing that he will notice the gutters and
exercise sufficient care. While John is driving over, his attention is diverted from the road by the screaming of his child,
who has been stung by a bee. He fails to notice the condition of the road, hits a gutter, and skids into a tree. If John is not
contributorily negligent, is Martha liable to John?
Duty to Invitees
A possessor of land who knows of dangerous conditions on his
property and fails to warn licensees is liable only if he should expect that they will not discover the
Restatement, Second, Torts, Section 342.
In this case, it appears that Martha reasonably
expected John to notice the dangerous conditions.
The situation may be different if he had been
invited for dinner and had to travel the road at night.
Nathan is run over by a car and left lying in the street. Sam, seeing Nathan's helpless state, places him in his car for the
purpose of taking him to the hospital. Sam drives negligently into a ditch, causing additional injury to Nathan.
liable to Nathan?
Duty of Care
Yes, for the additional injuries.
Once a person takes charge of another person
in a helpless condition, even though he is not under a duty to do so, he is then under a duty to
exercise reasonable care to secure that person’s safety, and is liable if he fails to do so.
Restatement, Second, Torts, Section 324.