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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Pokora v. Wabash RY. Co.

Headnote

Should judges impose strict rules defining reasonable conduct in dangerous or unusual situations or should they defer to the jury? Plaintiff's car was struck by a train while driving through a railway grade crossing with poor visibility. The plaintiff did not leave his car to inspect the crossing before proceeding; there was a prior Supreme Court case which required individuals to make such inspections. The district court directed a verdict for the defendant based on the plaintiff's failure to follow the rule.