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Smith v. Rapid Transit, Inc

    Brief Fact Summary. The plaintiff was run off the road by a bus around 1:00 on February 6, 1941. She ran into a parked car and sued the bus company who she believed was responsible.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. Preponderance of the evidence requires the proposition to appear more likely or probable such that in the minds of the trier of fact, they believe its truth.

    Facts. On February 6, 1941, the plaintiff claimed she was forced of the road by the defendant’s bus, causing her to run into a parked car. Evidence was introduced that showed it was possible for the bus to have belonged to the defendant.

    Issue. Whether there was evidence for the jury to determine that the plaintiff was injured by the defendant’s bus operated by one of its employees in the course of employment.

    Held. Justice Spalding issued the opinion for the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and affirmed the directed verdict for the defendant, holding that there was no evidence showing the bus in question was owned by the Defendant.

    Discussion. The bus in question could have been a bus owned by someone other than the defendant. The Court noted that while the chances that the bus in question did belong to defendant, this was not enough to meet the required preponderance of the evidence standard.


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