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Charles v. Barrett
New York Court of Appeals
135 N.E. 199 (1922)
Adams Express Company (Adams) (defendant) was responsible for loading and unloading cargo at a railroad terminal. Adams solicited Steinhauser’s trucking business to provide a motor van and a chauffeur to drive the van. Adams had no control or supervision of the van when the chauffeur was driving it to and from departure and destination spots. On one such occasion, the chauffeur was driving negligently and struck and killed a boy. The boy’s father, Charles (plaintiff) sued Adams for his son’s death. The trial court was called upon to consider whether Adams was liable to Charles for the chauffeur’s negligence. The trial court held that Adams was liable. The matter was appealed to the appellate division. The appellate division reversed the trial court after concluding that Adams should not be held liable for the chauffeur’s negligence. The matter was appealed to the New York Court of Appeals.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cardozo, J.)
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