The Sterling Firm is here for your 24/7

Case Brief: Palsgraf vs. Long Island Railroad Co.

Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co. is a landmark case that was decided by the New York Court of Appeals in 1928. The case involved an incident at a train station where a passenger was injured by falling scales which were knocked off the hands of another passenger when the latter was hurriedly trying to board a moving train. The injured passenger, Palsgraf, sued the Long Island Railroad Co. for damages. The court held that the railroad company wasn’t liable for Palsgraf’s injuries as there was no evidence that they had acted negligently or that there was a direct relationship between their actions and Palsgraf’s injuries. This case established the concept of proximate cause which requires a plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s actions were the actual cause of their injuries and that there was a direct relationship between the two. The decision has had far-reaching consequences and has been cited in many subsequent cases.