Wright v. Norfolk and Western Railway Co.
Virginia Supreme Court
427 S.E.2d 724 (1993)
Mattie Wright (plaintiff) filed suit against Norfolk and Western Railway Company (Norfolk) (defendant) after her husband, Riley, was severely injured when his tandem dump truck collided with an oncoming train. On the day of the incident, Riley, an experienced truck driver, had previously driven his dump truck filled with gravel across the particular railroad crossing four times. The crossing was marked by signal boards and an advance railroad warning sign. There were no other signals, warning devices, or traffic controls in place. During the fifth trip, Riley followed another dump truck to the crossing. After the first truck moved over the crossing and cleared the track, Wright began to drive across the track, when the train, which was less than 10 feet away, slammed into the passenger side of the dump truck. At trial, the evidence showed that the weather was clear, hot, and humid at the time of the collision. Further, there was testimony that the train’s operator consistently blared the horn and whistle for several miles prior to reaching the intersection. Riley, who had lived less than a mile from the railroad crossing for 10 years, had his windows up, the air conditioning going, and his radio and CB radio on when the impact occurred. The trial court granted Norfolk’s request that the jury be instructed on Wright’s contributory negligence. The jury held for Wright and awarded him $4 million in damages. After the trial’s conclusion, the trial court granted Norfolk’s motion to set aside the verdict. Wright appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Compton, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.