More on Cardozo/Posner Torts Opinions

Further to my polling inquiry on Cardozo and Posner Torts opinions, the following list includes notes to evoke their context or signifiance.  (Thanks to the several comments on that post; I doubt I’ll prepare the multiple choice quiz on these cases that one kindly suggested, though the following can be used to check answers other comments offered.)


1. Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R. (remote passenger loses suit against railroad for injuries from fireworks explosion based on lack of railroad duty to her, over a dissenting Andrews defining duty more broadly and saying proximate causation is a better test for setting liability limits).

2. Martin v. Herzog (it is negligence per se to operate a vehicle on a state highway in violation of state safety statute requiring using lights).

3. MacPherson (rejecting privity defense to find car manufacturer liable for negligence to consumer who bought the car from a retailer).

4. Pokora v. Wabash Railway (functionally overruling Holmes’s “stop, look and listen” test for railway crossings in favor of submitting matter to jury for contextual reasonableness determination).

5. Murphy v. Steeplechase (noting how “the timorous may stay at home,” and denying claim by guest against amusement park for injuries sustained on ride, called The Flopper, known to pose risks of injury).

6. H. R. Moch (the law “does not spread its protection so far” as to allow recovery by a warehouse owner against water services company under contract with city to supply water).

7. Ultramares (denying liability for negligent misrepresentation by an auditor to a third-party lender over concern about liability in “an indeterminate amount for an indeterminate time to an indeterminate class”).

8. Adams v. Bullock (talking of what “a mischievous or thoughtless boy” might do, denying railway liability to electrocuted boy when insulating wiring would be cost prohibitive and probability of the accident remote).

9. Wagner (saying “danger invites rescue,” holding railroad liable to person rescuing another person to whom railroad was negligent).

10.  Glanzer v. Shepherd (weight certifier hired by seller liable to buyer for misrepresentation despite lack of formal privity).

B. POSNER (selected)

1. Indiana Harbor (applying standard of negligence instead of strict liability to shipper of hazardous materials).

2. Wassell v. Adams (upholding jury verdict apportioning fault between motel and guest attacked there, using Hand formula to assess what it would cost the guest “to school herself to greater vigilance”).

3. McCarty v. Pheasant Run (applying Hand formula to uphold jury verdict denying hotel liability to guest attacked there).

4. Davis v. Conrail (applying Hand formula to uphold jury verdict awarding damages to rail car inspector when railroad failed to warn of imminent train movement and despite inspector’s violation of federal regulation requiring him to post warnings of his presence).

5. Greycas v. Proud (lawyer liable to third-party lender for negligent misrepresentation and malpractice).

6. Orthmann v. Apple River Campground (reversing dismissal of complaint by camp guest against camp for failure to warn of dangerous river-diving conditions).

7. Stoleson v. United States (affirming damages award rejection for worker at munitions factory who had not proven causal connection between injurer’s negligence and her hypochondria symptoms).

8. Edwards v. Honeywell (denying claim by fire fighter’s widow against fire alarm company, whose negligent delay notifying fire department increased danger to fire fighter, on ground of lack of duty, drawing heavily on Cardozo’s opinions in Moch and Palsgraf).

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