Case Study Analysis of Palsgraf V. Long Island Railroad Company

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Case Study Analysis of Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Company
Michael J. Roberts
Liberty University

Palsgraf v. Long Island Rail Company is a case where the plaintiff, Ms. Palsgraf, was on one end of a train platform when a package was knocked out of the hands of another passenger who was attempting to board a moving train with the assistance of a guard, the defendant, on the other end of the train platform. The package being knocked out of the passenger’s arms and onto the ground created an explosion which knocked over some scales that were near Ms. Palsgraf and caused harm to her at the opposite end of the train platform. Mr. Palsgraf is taking the Long Island Rail Company, representing the guard on the platform, to court for damages she suffered through the injuries caused by the scale falling on her as a result of the guards assisting another passenger onto the train and knocking the package out which then exploded. Negligence is not a tort unless it results in the commission of a wrong, and the commission of a wrong imports the violation of a right, in this case, we are told, the right to be protected against interference with one’s bodily security. (Edwards, 1999, p. 131) In this case negligence is not a consideration as the guard was unaware of the contents of the passenger and he was doing his duty in protecting the passenger by pushing him onto the train before he fell off and injured himself. Proximate cause concerns arise because it may sometimes seem unfair to old a defendant liable for all the injuries actually caused by his breach, no matter how remote, bizarre, or unforeseeable they are. (Mallor, 2007, p. 217) The proximate cause must be something without which the event would not happen. The courts must ask themselves whether there was a natural and continuous sequence between cause and effect. Another angle to be considered in…...

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