On August 24, 1924, the plaintiff, Helen Palsgraf, was waiting for the train on the defendant’s Long Island Railroad platform when two men with a package ran forward to catch the already moving train. The railroad workers wanted to help one of these men who was falling. The man had a box covered with a newspaper. They were able to save the man, but the package that appeared to contain fireworks fell and exploded, causing a large scale to injure the plaintiff, for which she sues.
The woman, who was injured, Helen Palsgraf, sue the Railroad Company for injuries that she received due to the accident. The second department’s judgment favored the plaintiff for USD 6,000 on May 31, 1927. However, Long Island Railroad Company appealed this decision two weeks after the court’s decision. The appeal was affirmed, and the Supreme Court of New York reversed the judgment on May 29, 1928.
In this case, the defendant’s act of negligence resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries because according to the case, the court agreed that “the plaintiff’s injuries were not the proximate result of the negligence” and “when injuries do result from the unlawful act, we are liable for the consequences.” However, “the damages must be so connected with the negligence.” The Supreme Court considered “the original negligence not the proximate cause of the injury.”
Initially, the court confirmed that the plaintiff’s injuries were the proximate result of the Railroad worker’s negligence. However, the reasoning behind the Supreme Court’s final decision was that the Railroad workers did not know the contents of the package; therefore, they could not predict the explosion and the subsequent injury to the plaintiff.
Thus, the New York Supreme Court’s final decision was in favor of Long Island Railroad Company. The Supreme Court agreed that injuries were the result of negligence; however, it established that the act did not directly cause injuries.
Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R. Co., 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E. 99 (N.Y. 1928). Web.