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Palsgraf v. Long Island R. Co

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E. 99 (1928)

Brief Fact Summary. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Second Judicial Department (New York) affirmed the trial court’s holding that the Long Island R. Co. (Defendant) was responsible for injuries to Plaintiff resulting from an explosion. The Defendant appealed.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. To recover for negligence, the plaintiff must establish each of the following elements: duty, standard of care, breach of duty, cause-in-fact, proximate cause (scope of liability) and damages.

Facts. The Plaintiff was standing on a railroad platform purchasing a ticket, when a train stopped and two men ran forward to catch it. One of the men nearly fell, and two railroad employees attempted to help him. In the process, a package containing fireworks fell and the contents exploded. As a result of the explosion some scales at the other end of the platform fell and struck the Plaintiff. Plaintiff sued and a jury found in her favor. The Appellate Division affirmed this decision, but the Court of Appeals of New York reversed.

Issue. What constitutes negligence?

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