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Case Brief #2 - Issue Is the Long Island Railroad Company...

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Zach Holland B Law 210 Case Brief #3 Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co. Court of Appeals of New York, 1928 Facts: Helen Palsgraf, the plaintiff of the case, was patiently waiting for her train. As Palsgraf was waiting a man was rushing to catch a train across the tracks from her. A railroad guard saw the man as he looked off balance and close to falling. The guard attempted to reach for the man as another guard pushed the man from behind to help him in his attempt to make in on the train. The man was carrying an unknown package, which contained fireworks and he dropped the package on the railroad tracks. The package ultimately exploded which caused scales at the other end of the station platform to fall on Palsgraf. These events stemmed the plaintiff to sue the railroad company. The trial and appellate court both ruled in her favor, finding that the railroad guards had been negligent. The defendant appealed to New York’s highest state court.
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Unformatted text preview: Issue: Is the Long Island Railroad Company responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries even though the guards were unaware of what the unknown package contained? Holding: No, case was dismissed in the Court of Appeals of New York Reasoning: The outcome would have been very different if the man that was pushed was harmed and he had in fact filed the suit, but there was no negligence towards the plaintiff. There were no violation of the plaintiff’s rights and the guard did not know what the package contained and he also did not purposefully and knowingly throw the package on the ground. No hazard was present during the moments before the explosion. The court applied the direct consequence test and decided that the guards were liable for the proximate consequences (pushing the man) but not liable for the domino effect type consequences. This is because there was no foreseeable risk of injury....
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