Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff was hit and killed by Long Island R.R.’s (Defendant’s) train in an attempt to rescue a child who was on the train tracks. Defendant moved for a nonsuit upon the ground that Plaintiff’s negligence contributed to the injury.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Negligence implies some act of commission or omission wrongful in itself. Plaintiff will not be held to be negligent in rescuing a child.
Issue. Is Plaintiff negligent and thus barred from recovery when he puts himself at peril to save the life of a child?
Held. No. Judgment for Plaintiff affirmed.
* If Plaintiff, for his own purposes, attempted to cross the track, then his conduct would have been grossly negligent and no recovery would have been allowed. But in this case, the evidence showed there was a small child upon the track, who, if not rescued, would have been crushed by the approaching train. Negligence implies some act of commission or omission wrongful in itself. In this case, Plaintiff’s act cannot be viewed as wrongful. The law has so high a regard for human life that it will not impute negligence in an effort to preserve it.
The law has so high a regard for human life that it will not impute negligence to an effort to preserve it, unless made under such circumstances as to constitute rashness in the judgment of prudent persons.View Full Point of Law