Cordas v. Peerless Transportation Co.
NYC City Court - 1941
- Some hoodlum robbed someone and ran away. He jumped in the back of D's cab, put a gun to his head, and told him to drive.
- D slammed on his brakes suddenly and jumped out of the car.
- D did not put the emergency brake on, so the cab continued to roll. It hopped the sidewalk and hit P and her two children. Their injuries were minor.
- P sued D in negligence.
- Trial court dismissed the complaint.
- NYC City Court reversed, reinstated P's complaint.
- How should the standard of care be measured when an individual is placed in an emergency situation?
- The conduct of an individual in an emergency situation cannot be measured by the same standard of care as a reasonable person in a non-emergency situation.
- Negligence is measured according to the circumstances surrounding the event..
- An action that may be negligent under normal circumstances may not be negligent under an emergency situation not of the D's making.
- D cannot be liable under the facts submitted.
- It's different if the D created the dangerous situation.
- Also, this might have been different if there were more serious injuries.