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Ford v. Trident Fisheries Co.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Plaintiff died at sea. Plaintiff’s administratrix sued on his behalf in negligence. Defendant moved to dismiss. The trial court ruled in favor of Defendant. Plaintiff appealed.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    There is no negligence if a plaintiff cannot show that defendant’s actions caused his injuries.

    Facts.

    Ford (Plaintiff) was employed as a mate on a boat owned by Trident Fisheries Co. (Defendant). Plaintiff was thrown overboard one night. A boat was lowered to pick him up. This boat was suspended from davits and had only one oar. Plaintiff was never recovered and was presumed dead. The administratrix of Plaintiff’s estate sued on his behalf in negligence. Defendant moved to dismiss the suit. The trial court entered judgment for Defendant, and Plaintiff appealed.

    Issue.

    Whether a plaintiff can establish negligence when he cannot show that the actions of the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

    Held.

    No. Plaintiff’s exceptions are overruled. There is no negligence if a plaintiff cannot show that defendant’s actions caused his injuries.

    Discussion.

    In the current matter, the administratrix has not provided any evidence to show that Defendant’s actions caused Plaintiff’s death. She suggests that because the boat was suspended from davits and had only one oar that Defendant was negligent. Even if these facts established that Defendant was negligent, there is no evidence to show that either of these facts caused Plaintiff to die.


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