Ney v. Yellow Cab Co. Case Brief

Summary of Ney v. Yellow Cab Co., Illinois Supreme Court, 1954

Procedure– Appellate Court affirmed trial court’s judgment fixing liability for defendant.

Facts– Defendant’s agent, taxi cab driver, left his car running. A thief stole the taxicab, and while driving away hit the plaintiff’s car.

Issues– 1. What was the legislative intention?2. Is the violation of the statute the proximate cause of injury? 3. Is the act of the thief an intervening, independent, efficient force which breaks the causal connection between the original wrong and injury?

Rule– A causal connection may exist between negligent party and an intervening third party’s criminal act when the criminal act is reasonably foreseen.

Holding– Judgment affirmed.

1. Legislative intention was for public safety and welfare.2. Yes violation of statute is proximate cause of injury.3.The causal connection between plaintiff’s negligence and injury was not broken.

1. Statute says that brakes be set or wheels be turned to the curb. It also mentions that 15 yr olds cannot drive which indicates a danger to the public. A car with key in ignition does no harm in an of itself. Therefore, the legislative intent was probably to prevent intervention of outside agencies from controlling the vehicle. Violations of the statute is prima facie evidence of negligence.

3. A party is usually not liable for negligence caused by criminal acts of third party, however, if it is reasonable to forsee the criminal act may occur, from the party’s’ negligence, a causal connection may be established between negligence and opposing party’s injury.

Def says– This statute is intended to regulate traffic not stop thieves therefore the statute does not promote liability on him to stop the actions of a thief. Pl says- the statute is a safety measure for benefit of the public, and violating the statute is prima facie evidence of negligence, and reasonable person could see that violating it may cause similar action to the instant circumstances.




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