Wabash Railway Company (Wabash) (defendant) operated four railroad tracks that came together at a single crossing. As John Pokora (plaintiff) approached the tracks in his truck, he could not see the main track. He stopped, tried to look and listen for a train, but heard nothing. He did not get out of his truck to try to obtain a better view. As Pokora crossed the railroad tracks, he was hit by an unseen train. Pokora brought suit against Wabash for negligence. At trial, the trial court directed a verdict for Wabash on the ground that Pokora displayed contributory negligence. The court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court considered the case.