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No responsibility for a wrong attaches whenever an independent act of a third person intervenes between the negligence complained of and the injury. But this proposition does not apply where the very negligence alleged consists of exposing the injured party to the act causing the injury. It is perfectly well settled and will not be seriously denied that wherever a carrier has reason to anticipate the danger of an assault upon one of its passengers, it rests under the duty of protecting such passenger against the same.
The passenger was a young woman who sought to hold the Director liable in damages for two acts of rape upon her person, which were committed by two men shortly after she had been, as she alleged, negligently required to leave the Director's train in a dangerous and unprotected place. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the passenger, and the Director appealed.
Was the judgment in favor of the passenger proper?
The court reversed the judgment and remanded the cause solely for the determination of whether the passenger had voluntarily terminated her relationship as a passenger by accepting the alternative that the conductor offered her and leaving the train. The evidence was such as that reasonable men could have differed as to whether the passenger could be said to have voluntarily left the train at the point in question, and the passenger's instructions did not adequately submit that question to the jury. The court held that the passenger should recover the amount of the damages fixed by the verdict of the jury, unless on remand, the jury found for the Director upon the question as to whether the passenger exercised a free and voluntary choice in leaving the train.