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Marshall Durbin, Inc. v. Tew

362 So. 2d 601 (1978)

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Marshall Durbin, Inc. v. Tew

Mississippi Supreme Court

362 So. 2d 601 (1978)

Facts

Early one morning, a truck owned by Marshall Durbin, Inc. (defendant) that was carrying chicken parts collided with a freight train. The collision occurred because the truck’s brake was not working properly, and the driver did not pay attention to road signs that warned to check brakes when going down hills. As a result of the collision, the chicken parts fell out of the truck and spread out across the street. The chicken parts created an unpleasant odor that permeated the area. Archie Tew (plaintiff) was the town marshal and was required to help clean the spill due to an understaffed police department. As a result of helping clean up the chicken parts, Tew became ill with sinus and respiratory issues. Tew brought suit against the truck company for negligence. During the trial, Marshall Durbin argued the negligent driving was not the proximate cause of Tew’s accident, because it was not foreseeable that the town would have an understaffed police department and that the town marshal then would be required to help clean the scene. Despite this argument, the jury awarded damages to Tew. Marshall Durbin appealed, arguing Tew’s injuries were unforeseeable.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cofer, J.)

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