An individual has a duty to exercise ordinary care both to avoid danger that the plaintiff knows about and might become exposed to, and also that the defendant should have known about. An individual is required to act upon what he should have known as well as upon what he did know.
Plaintiff's husband was in good health, but was deaf. While walking to his home, he was struck and killed by a trolley that was owned by the defendant. The plaintiff brought a wrongful death action against the defendant, and the trial court rendered a judgment in favor of the trolley company. The plaintiff sought review.
Did the decedent act in a way that a reasonable person in his position would have acted?
In affirming the trial court's ruling, the court held that the decedent was contributorily negligent by failing to exercise the same reasonable care that a person with similarly poor hearing should have exercised under the same circumstances. The court also held that the trial court correctly ruled that the trolley operator had no opportunity by the exercise of reasonable care to save the decedent from injury and did not fail to exercise reasonable care to avoid the injury to the decedent.