Reynolds

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					Reynolds v Texas & Pac. Ry. Co.

Natural and ordinary course of events Relevant Facts: PL Mrs. Reynold emerged from a sitting room where she was awaiting an incoming train which was late. As she left the room and headed down the steps she misstepped and fell down the stair. She came to rest on the bottom and was seriously injured. Legal Issue(s): Whether the failure to have adequate lighting was the cause in fact of the harm? Court’s Holding: Yes Procedure: Trail Ct. awarded Pl $2000 without jury. Df appealed Affirmed. Law or Rule(s): 1) Duty, 2) Breach of Duty 3) causation, and 4) damages. The causation element requires proof of both cause in fact and proximate cause. Court Rationale: Negligence of Df greatly multiplies the chances of accident to the Pl and is of a character naturally leading to it occurrence, the mere possibility that it might have happened without the negligence is not sufficient to break the chain of cause and effect between the negligence and the injury. The evidence connects the accident with the negligence. Plaintiff’s Argument: The failure to adequately light the stairs or provide a handrail caused the injury. Defendant’s Argument: The accident to the PL would have occurred during the daylight and was only an intervening factor. Propter hoc - for this Post hoc - after this

Herskovitz v Group Health Cooperative Relevant Facts: Df doctor and HMO failed to diagnose Pl’s cancer on his first visit to the hospital. This caused a 14 % reduction in his chances of survival. At that time Pl only had a 50% chance of survival. Pl died later as a result of the cancer.

Legal Issue(s): Whether the doctor’s failure to diagnose the Pl’s cancer can be a causal factor and thereby negligence? Court’s Holding: Yes Procedure: Trial ct. summary judgment for Df. Reverse and reinstate. Law or Rule(s): 1) Duty, 2) Breach of Duty 3) causation, and 4) damages. The causation element requires proof of both cause in fact and proximate cause. Court Rationale: Df’s act or omission failed in a duty to protect against the harm from another source (cancer). If the df’s acts or omission increased the risk of harm to the Pl, then that furnishes the jury with the ability to determine whether that risk was substantial factor in bringing about the resultant harm. Where percentage probabilities and decreased probabilities are submitted into evidence, there is no danger of speculation on the part of the jury. Stipulation determined that PL had only a 50% chance of survival and the doctor’s failure to diagnose reduced that by 14% is a prima facie case for negligence. Plaintiff’s Argument: The failure to diagnose the cancer increased the chances of death and injury and decreased the chances of recovery. Defendant’s Argument: Pl’s must show that Pl had a 51% probability of survival if the hospital had not been negligent.


				
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