RIL (end) and Contributory Negligence

js5389's version from 2016-03-04 13:12


Question Answer
Morejon v. Raisaffirms the conventional view that the res ipsa loquitur is nothing more than a brand of circumstantial evidence
Farber v. Olkonmentally incompetent π breaks bones during electroshock. Distinguished from Ybarra because of nature of treatment.
Salgo v. Stanford Boardparalysis from a translumbar aortagram – challenges role of jury’s common knowledge (bad for medical research).
Bardessono v. Michelπ receives injections for tendonitis, gets paralysis – if procedure simple, jury can rely upon common knowledge
Greenberg v. Michael Reese Hospitalπ’s tonsils were irradiated, but that was ok.
Quinby v. Plumsteadville Family Practicequadriplegic π falls off operating table, dies. C1 refuses RIL instruction, but C2 directs as matter of law.
Allendorf v. Kaiserman Enterprisesconditional RIL instruction. Jury weighs causes and then decides if RIL fits.
Khan v. Singhradio-frequency needle maybe burns π’s spinal nerve. Facts disputed. Judge rejects RIL.
Anderson v. Sombergtip of forceps left in π. Π sues physician, hospital, distributor, and manufacturer. C1 says no liability. C2 says you gotta find liability for someone. C3 applies RIL.
Chin v. Barnabas Med. Centerπ dies of air embolism during diagnostic hysteroscopy. One of two nurses screwed up, but which one? C says you gotta find someone liable. Jury divides the baby.
Darrah v. Bryan Memorial Hospitalπ gets ulnar nerve, but C rejects RIL because no exclusive control.
Butterfield v. Forrester factsPlaintiff was riding in town and there was just enough light left to discern the obstruction within 100 yards. A witness testified that if Plaintiff had not been riding very hard he might have observed and avoided the pole. Plaintiff sued Defendant for negligence. The trial court directed the jury that if Plaintiff was riding along the street extremely hard, and without ordinary care, they should find a verdict for Defendant. The jury returned a verdict for Defendant and Plaintiff appealed.
Butterfield v. Forrester HoldingVerdict affirmed.
* (Justice Bayley) If Plaintiff had used ordinary care, then he would have seen the obstruction. The accident was entirely Plaintiff’s fault.
Concurrence. (Chief Justice Lord Ellenborough) Plaintiff cannot recover for hitting an obstruction caused by the fault of Defendant, if Plaintiff did use common and ordinary care to avoid the obstruction. One person’s fault will not dispense with Plaintiff’s duty to use ordinary care. For Plaintiff to recover two things must occur: (1) an obstruction in the road by the fault of Defendant; and (2) no want of ordinary care to avoid it on the part of Plaintiff.
Beems v. Chicago, Rock Island & Peoria R.R.Plaintiff was a brakesman working for Defendant. Plaintiff was trying to uncouple railroad cars. On his first attempt, he told the operator to check his speed. Believing that the operator would check his speed, Plaintiff immediately tried to uncouple the cars again. Plaintiff got his foot caught and was killed. Plaintiff’s estate sued for damages. The trial judge instructed the jury that if Plaintiff’s foot was caught and Defendant ran him over without any negligence, then they could not find for Plaintiff. The jury returned a verdict for Plaintiff. Defendant appealed.
Beems v. Chicago Holding* If Plaintiff was run over by reason of Defendant’s negligence, than it does not make sense to hold that Defendant is not liable because Plaintiff’s foot was caught.
* Whatever the Plaintiff’s condition was at the time of the accident, whether free to move or fastened in place, Defendant is liable if its cars were negligently driven over Plaintiff.
Gyerman v. United State Lines FactsPlaintiff was injured while unloading fishmeal sacks for Defendant. Fishmeal is very difficult cargo to handle. Plaintiff had been assigned to break down the fishmeal sacks. Before he started, he noted that the sacks were not properly arranged. Plaintiff complained to Noel, Defendant’s chief marine clerk, that is was dangerous to proceed with the work in question. Plaintiff was told that there was nothing that could be done about it. Plaintiff did not speak to his own supervisor, even though the union contract with his employer provided that “[l]ongshoremen shall not be required to work when in good faith they believe that to do so is to immediately endanger health and safety” and established a grievance procedure “to determine whether a condition is safe or unsafe.” During the first three days, a large number of fishsacks fell, but no harm resulted. On the fourth day, twelve sacks fell simultaneously and one of them came towards Plaintiff. Plaintiff sustained injuries to his back and legs as a result of the incident. The trial judge found that Defendant was negligent in its failure to stack the fishmeal in a safe manner, and that his negligence was the proximate cause of Plaintiff’s harm. However, the court held that Plaintiff’s negligence in failing to stop work in the face of a known danger barred his cause of action. Plaintiff appealed.
Gyerman v. United State Lines HoldingYes. Judgment reversed. Case remanded with directions for a new trial on the limited issue of Plaintiff’s contributory negligence.
* Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of Plaintiff, which falls below the standard to which he should conform for his own protection, and which is a legally contributing cause co-operating with the negligence of Defendant.
* Plaintiff must exercise the amount of care that would be exercised by a person of ordinary prudence in the same circumstances. In some instances, Plaintiff may find himself powerless to abandon the task assigned to him.
* Custom alone does not create the standard of proper diligence. However, evidence of custom is ordinarily admissible for its bearing upon contributory negligence.
* In this case, the trial court determined that Plaintiff’s failure to report the condition was a proximate cause of his injuries, because if he had reported the condition it could have been corrected. The burden of proving all aspects of the affirmative defense of contributory negligence, including causation, rests on Defendant, unless the elements of the defense may be inferred from Plaintiff’s evidence. The burden requires more than conjecture or speculation.
* Plaintiff did not create or maintain the dangerous conditions of storage. Defendant negligently maintained and operated its warehouse. Defendant had control of its cargo and directed its disposition. Defendant alone created the risk.
* Plaintiff was not negligent in his operation of the forklift or in his breaking down the particular stack of fishmeal. According to the district court, Plaintiff’s negligence consisted solely in his failure to report the dangerous condition to his own supervisor. Thus, there must be something in the record showing that Plaintiff’s failure to report was a substantial factor in bringing about his harm. The testimony does not show that the stacks would have been made safer. The record provides no clue as to what, if anything, could have been done to break down the stacks of fishmeal more safely. Other than the fact that there were “men there to take care of the situation,” no evidence at all was offered.
* The record does not establish that Plaintiff’s failure to report the dangerous condition was a substantial factor in bringing about the fall of the sacks. Defendant did not meet its burden of proving that Plaintiff’s contributory negligence was the proximate cause of his injuries.
Koenig v Patrick Const. Corp.C refuses to allow CN or AoR when π was a member of class of persons who a statute was meant to protect.
Blake v. Neighborhood Housingrebuts Koenig. ∆ is not π’s insurer.
Robinson v. East Medicalπ falls off ladder, but no strict liability even though there was statute. Exemplifies Blake.
O’Neill v. Windshire-Coplandπ falls over too short railings, but building code doesn’t eliminate CN.
Dunphy v. Kaiser Foundationπ’s foot amputated after failed diagnosis. Π had refused to wear a cast. C2 rules against CN because of knowledge differential.
Leroy Fibre v. Chicago RR factsPlaintiff stored about 700 tons of straw in 230 stacks on his land. The stacks were lined up in two rows. Defendant’s train was 70 from the first row and 85 feet from the second row. One day a high wind carried sparks from Defendant’s train to the stack located 85 feet away. A fire resulted and consumed all the stacks. Plaintiff sued Defendant for negligence. The jury found that Defendant negligently operated its train by allowing it to emit large quantities of sparks and live cinders. They also found that Defendant’s negligence was the cause of Plaintiff’s harm. However, the jury found Plaintiff guilty of contributory negligence by placing the exposed stacks within 100 feet of a railroad track. Plaintiff appealed. Plaintiff argued that there was no issue of contributory negligence to give to the jury at all.
Leroy Fibre v. Chicago RR holdingNo. Judgment reversed.
* Plaintiff’s use of the land was a proper use. It did not interfere with nor embarrass the rightful operation of the railroad.
* Plaintiff is not restricted to make a lawful use of his property. Plaintiff’s conduct does not amount to contributory negligence because it would subject Plaintiff to the servitude of the wrongful use of property by another. The district court’s ruling casts upon Plaintiff the duty to use his own property so that it may not be injured by the wrongs of another.
* In essence, Defendant is granted immunity from their wrongful acts. The court does not think that to be logical when Plaintiff was using his land lawfully. The rights of one man in the use of his property cannot be limited by the wrongs of another.
Concurrence. (Justice Holmes) A very important element in determining the right to recover is whether Plaintiff’s flax was so near to the track as to be in danger from even a prudently managed engine. No one would deem it prudent to stack flax within five feet of the engines or imprudent to it at a distance of half a mile. Courts should let the jury decide whether seventy feet is too near. This view depends on differences of degree.
Coasereciprocal duties