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Marshall v. Nugent

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
222 F.2d 604 (1st Cir. 1955)



Walter Harriman and his passenger, Frank Marshall (plaintiff), were driving on a highway to Marshall's business appointment. A truck owned by Socony-Vacuum Oil Co., Inc. (defendant) cut a corner on the highway and forced Harriman's car off the road. Harriman and Marshall both exited the car and stood on the highway. The Socony truck driver offered to help Harriman pull his car back onto the highway. The driver suggested that Harriman and Marshall step around the truck to warn oncoming cars of the obstacle. Marshall attempted to go and warn the oncoming cars as the driver had suggested. As Marshall did so, a car driven by Robert Nugent (defendant) was coming over the hill toward the oil truck. Nugent saw the oil truck blocking his path, and he swerved to avoid it. Nugent crashed into a guard rail and then hit Marshall, severely injuring him. Marshall brought suit against both Nugent and Socony. After a trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Marshall against Socony for $25,000, as well as a verdict in favor of Nugent. Socony appealed on the ground that the wrongful conduct of its truck driver was not the proximate cause of Marshall’s injuries.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Magruder, C.J.)

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