X.B. The Objective of the Statute | Samantha Bates | September 12, 2015

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X.B. The Objective of the Statute

Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Samantha Bates Show/Hide
  1. 1 Show/Hide More Platz v. City of Cohoes--"The Sunday Carriage Accident"
    Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Samantha Bates
    Should courts consider the objective of the statute when negligence per se is invoked?
    Notes:
    Plaintiff was riding with her husband in a carriage on Sunday. City workers left a pile of dirt on the street, directly in the way of traffic. The plaintiff’s carriage was overturned when it encountered the pile. Plaintiff sued for her injuries on a theory of negligence. The city asserted that the plaintiff’s violation of a a “Sunday law”—which prohibited riding on the streets in observance of Sunday—barred her from recovery.
  2. 2 Show/Hide More Brown v. Shyne--“The Unlicensed, Paralyzing Chiropractor”
    Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Samantha Bates
    If an unlicensed actor causes harm, should the fact that the actor lacked a license be evidence enough for negligence per se?
  3. 3 Show/Hide More Rushink v. Gerstheimer--"The Key in the Ignition Case"
    Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Samantha Bates
    How should the court determine the class of individuals that the legislature aimed to protect through statute?
    Notes:
    While running an errand, the defendant left her car unattended with the keys in the ignition. The plaintiff’s decedent—a resident patient in a nearby psychiatric facility—drove away in the vehicle and hit a nearby tree soon after. The collision with the tree resulted in his death.
  4. 4 Show/Hide More Robinson v. District of Columbia--"The Jaywalking Custom Case"
    Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Samantha Bates
    If a particular statute is flouted by the custom of the public, should courts still rely upon the statute for the purposes of NPS?
    Notes:
    Plaintiff was struck by a police van while jaywalking. Traffic regulations required all pedestrians to use crosswalks when crossing the road. However, plaintiff argued that it was customary for local pedestrians to cross the street at the unmarked location where the accident occurred.
  5. 5 Show/Hide More Tedla v. Ellman--"Walking on the Other Side of the Highway"
    Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Samantha Bates
    Should the doctrine of NPS apply when obeying the statute would go against the intention of the statute?
    Notes:
    Plaintiff and her brother were walking eastward on a highway, on the right side of the center line. The defendant’s automobile struck both plaintiff and her brother as it passed by. The plaintiff was injured and her brother was killed. A statute provided that ‘pedestrians shall keep to the left of the center line’. However, at the time there was very heavy traffic heading westward, and only a few cars going east.
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September 12, 2015

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Samantha Bates

Research Associate

Harvard Law School, Berkman Center

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