Hill v. Edmonds

26 A.D.2d 554, 270 N.Y.S.2d 1020 (App. Div. 1966)

 

RULE:

Where separate acts of negligence combine to produce directly a single injury, each tort-feasor is responsible for the entire result, even though his act alone might not have caused it.

FACTS:

At the close of the injured party's case, the trial court dismissed the complaint against the alleged tortfeasor who, on a stormy night, left a tractor truck parked without lights in the middle of a road. The car in which the injured party was a passenger collided with the truck from the rear. From the testimony of the driver of the car, the trial court concluded that the driver was guilty of negligence and was solely responsible for the collision.

ISSUE:

When multiple acts caused a single harm, but each single act cannot commit the harm, may each tortfeasor be sanctioned?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

When separate acts of negligence combined all together cause one direct harm, the liability is directed to each tortfeasor even if each act individually may not have caused the harm. Still, the driver left his truck without the lights contributing to harm. The court reversed the trial court's dismissal of the injured party's negligence claim and granted the injured party a new trial.

Click here to view the full text case and earn your Daily Research Points.