Derdiarian v. Felix Contracting Corp.
of Appeals of
51 N.Y.2d 308, 414 N.E.2d 666, 434 N.Y.S.2d 166.
Prosser, pp. 320-322
Facts: Dickens lost consciousness while driving and hit the plaintiff, a subcontractor at a construction site. The plaintiff sued Dickens and the construction company, the latter on the theory that they negligently failed to maintain a safe work site. The plaintiff prevailed at trial. The defendant appealed, claiming that the accident was unforeseeable and thus that they should bear no liability.
Issue: Was the conduct of the construction company the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm?
Rule: The defendant will not be held liable if the intervening act of the third party is not a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s negligence.
Analysis: The court finds that it is not unforeseeable that negligently failing to secure a work site near a road might result in a driver entering the site and hurting someone. The court says that the question was properly left up to a jury.
Conclusion: The judgment of the lower court is affirmed.