ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Brief Fact Summary. Anna Tedla and her brother, John Bachek (Plaintiffs) were walking along a road to the right of the center-line in violation of a traffic statute, when they were struck by a passing automobile, operated by Ellman (Defendant). A jury found that the accident was due solely to the negligence of the Defendant. Appellant maintained that Appellees were guilty of contributory negligence as a matter of law because of their violation of the statute.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Where a statutory general rule of conduct fixes no definite standard of care to protect life, physical safety or property but merely codifies or supplements a common-law rule (always subject to limitations and exceptions); or when the statutory rule of conduct regulates conflicting rights and obligations in a manner calculated to promote public convenience and safety, then the statute, in the absence of clear language to the contrary, does negate the limitations and exceptions which judicial decisions have attached to the common-law duty. It should not be construed as an inflexible command that the general rule of conduct intended to prevent accidents must be followed even under conditions when observance might cause accidents.
Issue. Were Tedla and her brother guilty of contributory negligence?
Held. Court affirmed judgment, when Plaintiffs’ failure to observe a statutory rule of the road did not constitute contributory negligence as a matter of law.
It has been said that What is a contributing cause of an accident is usually a question for a jury, to be determined by the facts of the particular case.View Full Point of Law