Shepherd v. Gardner Wholesale, Inc.

288 Ala. 43, 256 So. 2d 877 (1972)

 

RULE:

Negligence, to render a person liable, need not be the sole cause of an injury. It is sufficient that the negligence, concurring with one or more efficient causes, other than plaintiff's fault, is the proximate cause of the injury.

FACTS:

Appellant pedestrian, who had impaired vision, filed a complaint against appellee corporation for alleged serious physical injuries that she suffered in a fall on a raised concrete slab that formed the foundation of a business building of the corporation that abutted the sidewalk at a street corner. Evidence was in dispute as to whether or not the raised slab extended onto the public sidewalk. The jury entered a verdict for appellee corporation. The state Supreme Court reversed the judgment and remanded.

ISSUE:

If contributory negligence was present, is appellant precluded from claiming from appellee?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The jury instructions were inadequate and reversal of the judgment was required. The charge misstated the law as to proximate cause, the burden of proof, and as to contributory negligence. Negligence in order to defeat recovery under a plea of contributory negligence must be a concurring proximate cause of the injury and not merely a remote or antecedent cause or condition.

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