Rule : If burden of taking preventative caution is less than the probability of an accident occurring times the amount of loss (aka damages) incurred, then the party is negligent. Adams v. Bullock (N.Y. 1919). No Breach Defendant ran a trolley line powered by overhead wires. Plaintiff, 12 year old boy, was playing on a bridge that had trolley wires running underneath. He was swinging a wire about 8 feet long and was shocked and burned when the wires made contact
with trolley lines. Bridge was protected by an 18 inch wide parapet and trolley wires were 4 feet 7 and 3/4 inches below the top of the parapet. "Only some extraordinary casualty [P], not fairly within the area of ordinary provision, could make it a thing of danger." It would have been extremely difficult to prevent the injury from happening (it is impossible to insulate a trolley wire, and you can’t just get rid of the trolley), and the accident was unlikely and unpredictable. "To avert the possibility of this accident and others like it at one point or another on the route, the defendant must have abandoned the overhead system, and put the wires underground [B]." High burden. Rule : D cannot be held liable of breach if there is no evidence that a duty to minimize risks by taking reasonable precautions was ignored. Bolton v. Stone (A.C. 1951). No Breach Plaintiff lived next to Lord's Cricket Ground. 7 foot fence surrounded the grounds. One day she was struck by a ball hit over the fence. Evidence that in previous 30 years, balls rarely went over the fence and have never caused injury. The hit was exceptional (normally hits didn’t breach the boundaries of the cricket club), so probability of it happening again was low, and there would be few other precautions the club could have taken. [B > P (L)] Test : "the test to be applied here is whether the risk of damage to a person on the road was so small that a reasonable man in the position of the appellants, considering the matter from the point of view of safety, would have though it right to refrain from taking steps to prevent the danger." Rule : D is only held liable for risks that are foreseeable or frequent. Eckert v. Long Island R. Co. (N.Y. 1871). No breach on contributory negligence Train was approaching at a speed of 12-20 mph and witnesses heard no whistle. Plaintiff's decedent saw child of 3 or 4 on the tracks that would have been struck. Plaintiff raced to save child, threw it clear of danger, but did not have time to get clear himself, was hit by train, and died later. "It was his duty to exercise his judgement as to whether he could probably save the child without serious injury to himself" "when the exposure [to serious injury] is for the purpose of saving life, it is not wrongful, and therefore not negligent unless such as to be regarded as either rash or reckless." If he thought he could save the child without harm to himself, it is not negligent for him to attempt to do so. Immanency didn’t allow him to deliberate.
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