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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Helen Palsgraf, Respondent, v. Long Island Railroad Company, Appellant.

Headnote

Should courts only impose liability when a duty to the victim exists prior to the injury; or should courts extend liability to all victims whose injuries are closely linked to the defendant's wrongful act, even if harms suffered were not foreseeable? A Comic of Palsgraf-- http://i.imgur.com/6KnoA.jpg A man--carrying a package and running to catch a train--jumped aboard the moving car. When the man appeared as if he might fall back off, defendant's guard pushed the man from behind to help him keep his balance. During this act, the man's package fell to the rails and exploded. The explosion threw down some scales on the other end of the platform, many feet away, injuring the plaintiff. Nothing in the appearance of the package suggested that it contained explosives.