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Bethel v. New York City Transit Authority

Court of Appeals of New York
703 N.E.2d 1214 (1998)


Facts

Bethel (plaintiff) was injured on a bus run by the New York City Transit Authority (defendant), when his seat collapsed under him. At trial, Bethel argued that the Transit Authority had constructive notice of the seat defect, and that an inspection would have revealed the defect and led to its repair. The trial court instructed the jury that the Transit Authority had a duty to exercise the highest standard of care to ensure passenger safety. The trial court instructed the jury to apply this heightened standard of care in deciding whether the Transit Authority had constructive notice of the seat defect that would have led to inspection and repair of the seat. The jury found for Bethel and the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division affirmed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Levine, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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