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Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R.

Court of Appeals of New York
162 N.E. 99 (N.Y. 1928)

Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R.

Facts

Palsgraf (plaintiff) was standing on a platform owned by the Long Island R.R. (railroad) (defendant). While she was waiting to catch a train, one train came by bound for another destination. It did not stop, but slowed down. At that moment, two men ran to catch the train as it was moving. One was carrying a package which, unbeknownst to anyone on the platform, contained fireworks. The first man jumped onboard the train safely, but the man with the package had difficulty. Two train employees helped pull and push him on. However, in doing so, the man dropped his package. It fell to the rails and exploded, causing several scales at the other end of the platform to dislodge and injure Palsgraf. She brought suit against the railroad for negligence. The trial court granted judgment for the plaintiff, and the appellate division affirmed. The railroad appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Cardozo, C.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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Dissent (Andrews, J.)

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