Case Study Analysis of Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Company
Michael J. Roberts
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, ...view middle of the document...
If the guards would have stopped the passenger from boarding the train since it was already moving then the package would not have gotten knocked out of his hands trying to push him onto the train which resulted in the explosion and injury to Ms. Palsgraf. So the dilemma comes into play as whether or not the Long Island Railroad Company is liable to the injury sustained to Ms. Palsgraf. Should the guards be sued for choosing to let a man board a train that just took off and pushing him on to it to avoid him falling off of the train and possibly getting hurt himself.
Now if the railroad guards knew what was in the package the passenger was carrying, and/or it was labeled, explosive, so they can see what was in it and they still let him jump on and pushed him on knocking the package lose I would say yes, the Railroad company is liable. But since they had no clue what was in the package nor did they know that the results of knocking it out of the passenger’s hand trying to push him onto the train, they cannot be held liable for the ensuing explosion of the package and falling of the scales onto Ms. Palsgraf. Only the passenger who knew what was in the package could be held liable for the damages to the station and to Ms. Palsgraf.
There are five fundamental elements that must be proved in order to recover in a lawsuit against a defendant for negligence. They are Duty, Breach of duty, Cause...