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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Martin v. Herzog

To what extent, if any, should courts allow the violation of a statute to inform their analysis of negligence? Plaintiff and her husband were driving a buggy on a highway in the darkness. During the drive, their buggy collided with the defendant’s automobile, killing the plaintiff’s husband. Plaintiff claimed the defendant was negligent for crossing the center line of the highway. The defendant claimed that he should not be at fault because plaintiff’s husband was driving without lights. There was a statute which required lights on cars when traveling in the dark.