Reynolds v. Texas & Pac. Ry. Co.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, 1885.

37 La.Ann. 694.

Prosser, pp. 259-260


Facts: A fat lady was getting out of a train and slipped and fell down stairs that weren’t lit and didn’t have a handrail.  She sued the railroad and won.  The railroad appealed.


Issue: Was the plaintiff’s injury caused by the defendant’s negligence?


Rule: “[W]here the negligence of the defendant greatly multiplies the chances of accident to the plaintiff, and is of a character naturally leading to its occurrence, the mere possibility that it might have happened without the negligence is not sufficient to break the chain of cause and effect between the negligence and the injury.”


Analysis: The court reasons that the mere possibility that a harm would have come to the plaintiff in the absence of the defendant’s negligence does not break the chain of causation between the negligence and the harm.


Conclusion: The judgment of the lower court was affirmed.


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