VI.C. Judge or Jury: Who Should Decide? | Jonathan Zittrain | December 21, 2012

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VI.C. Judge or Jury: Who Should Decide?

by Jonathan Zittrain Show/Hide
  1. 1 Show/Hide More Pokora v. Wabash Railway Co.--"The Driver Who Failed to Step Out and Look Around"
    Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain
    Should judges impose strict rules defining reasonable conduct in dangerous or unusual situations or should they defer to the jury?
    Notes:
    Plaintiff's car was struck by a train while driving through a railway grade crossing with poor visibility. The plaintiff did not leave his car to inspect the crossing before proceeding; there was a prior Supreme Court case which required individuals to make such inspections. The district court directed a verdict for the defendant based on the plaintiff's failure to follow the rule.
  2. 2 Show/Hide More Andrews v. United Airlines, Inc.--"The Baggage May Have Shifted During Flight Case"
    Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain
    When should judges determine reasonable care at summary judgment and when should they defer to juries?
    Notes:
    Plaintiff was injured by falling baggage while exiting an airplane. The airlines provided warnings that baggage may shift during flight, and that passengers should use caution when opening the overhead bins. The trial court dismissed the case on summary judgment.
  3. 3 Show/Hide More Akins v. Glen Falls--"The Blinding Foul Ball"
    Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain
    What level of guidance may a judge give the jury with respect to reasonable care?
    Notes:
    Defendant owned a baseball field and provided protective screening behind the home plate. Plaintiff elected to watch a baseball game from an unscreened section of the field. She was then struck in the eye by a foul ball, causing serious and permanent injury.
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February 15, 2014

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