Skip to comments.Death of man struck by train leads to 'bizarre' civil case (Injury by flying body parts!)
Posted on 12/29/2011 11:28:30 AM PST by CedarDave
Ruling in what it called a "tragically bizarre" case, an appeals court found that the estate of a man killed by a train while crossing the Edgebrook [Illinois] Metra station tracks can be held liable after a part of his body sent airborne by the collision struck and injured a bystander.
In 2008, Hiroyuki Joho, 18, was hurrying in pouring rain with an umbrella over his head, trying to catch an inbound Metra train due to arrive in about five minutes when he was struck by a southbound Amtrak train traveling more than 70 mph.
A large portion of his body was thrown about 100 feet on to the southbound platform, where it struck Gayane Zokhrabov, then 58, who was waiting to catch the 8:17 a.m. train to work. She was knocked to the ground, her leg and wrist broken and her shoulder injured.
A Cook County judge dismissed Zokhrabov's lawsuit against Joho's estate, finding that Joho could not have anticipated Zokhrabov's injuries.
A state appeals court, after noting that the case law involving "flying bodies" is sparse, has disagreed, ruling that "it was reasonably foreseeable" that the high-speed train would kill Joho and fling his body down the tracks toward a platform where people were waiting.
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
Have we heard from any of the candidates their position on tort reform?
I understand she is suing for an arm and a leg.
Hey Now!....tip your waitresses people...I’ll be here all week.
Why would his family be liable? This makes no sense.
Cases like this should be thrown out of court. You see the train coming, you see lights flashing. The fact that he had an umbrella is a distraction. He tried to beat the train and lost.
Apparently young Mr. Joho should have been able to anticipate that if he were to accidently be hit by an oncoming train as a result of poor judgement on his part, that flying body-parts (his) would be dangerous and might hit and injure innocent bystanders.
I think that’s it.
intentional grounding, loss of down and 15 yard penalty.
I imagine its the same as driving too fast for conditions on an icy road, lose control and crash into another car. You are responsible for the injuries you cause, even though you may have been killed in the crash, and your estate can be sued for damages.
His family isn’t liable, his estate is. He was grossly negligent and an innocent person was injured as a result of his negligence. That person has a claim against his estate.
It’s Illinois, so now he can vote democrat in 3 different places at once.
It’s his estate, not his family that is responsible; a subtle difference in the case of an 18 year-old perhaps. Sad all around though
“Why would his family be liable? This makes no sense.”
Sorry, but if you do something stupid, killing yourself and a family member of mine, I’m going after your estate.
What would Mrs. Paslgraff say??
If he hadn’t already lost his ass to the train, he sure as hell lost it in court. /:8^)
I’ve got a million of them. BAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Anything to get ahead...
So now standing by the wayside minding your own business is “doing something stupid?”
In ten years I expect my share of his damaged umbrella.
His family would not be liable, his estate would be. It was his negligence just before he was gathered to his people that was the cause of the lady’s injuries.
“So now standing by the wayside minding your own business is doing something stupid?”
No, but running in front of a speeding train is stupid.
One of the most famous tort/negligence/proximate cause cases of all time - that any lawyer or law student knows by name - is Palsgraf. I had to cheat and look up the cite: Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co. , 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E. 99 (N.Y. 1928.
Without going into specifics (and if I remember correctly), a man carrying a package was running to catch a train, and the worker from the train reached out to give him a hand. The man dropped the package. It contained fireworks. Sparks from the train wheels ignited a firework. It struck a scale on the platform, knocking it over, and a bystander was seriously injured or killed by the falling scale.
Was the railroad liable?
Yeah. That Palsgraf Benjamin Cardozo wrote the opinion. Yeah. *That* Benjamin Cardozo. Should your employee have known that trying to help the man may cause him to drop the package that might contain fireworks that may ignite, which might knock over a scale, which could injure someone?
And now we have this?
The law comes full circle.
And you can even buy a Palsgraf t-shirt for your favorite attorney or law student, in several choices of color, with this design:
It's been a while, but this is one of the key cases you'll have in law school regarding negligence.
I suspect it didn't matter to Mrs. Palsgraf whether it was fireworks or body parts.
Yes or no? Your post is not clear.
she should sue Willie Green.
“Hey Now!....tip your waitresses people...Ill be here all week.”
Try the veal!
I wonder of there’s insurance for that liability.
A guy cant just go throwing his weight around....
Basically, Cardozo said: "Hey, at some point, people (and companies) are only responsible for the reasonably foreseeable consequences of their actions, and not for every possible thing that could happen in a parade of horribles."
It was a conservative view compared to the dissent by Andrews - and, of course, when you talk about commerce, there's the doctrine of strict products liability. And with any legal concept, there are exceptions. And exceptions to the exceptions. And exceptions to the exceptions to the exceptions. And . . .
Incidentally, Cardozo wrote for the New York Court of Appeals. That's the highest state court in New York, not the Supreme Court, which often confuses people. In New York, the Supreme Court is a trial court.
When I started law school, I thought Palsgraff was the name of a local brewery.
Eh. You take your time to craft a post and all of these other smarties are faster with the button. Sorry to over-Palsgraf everybody. There weren’t any Palsgrafian comments when I started writing. But was it foreseeable that somebody would beat me to the punch? Perhaps we should apply the reasoning in Palsgraf . . .
That would explain the lack of courtroom scenes in the Final Destination movie series.
I kind of like this modern day (more or less) re-enactment of Palsgraf (Cosmo Kramer on the tennis courts).
Respectfully, if, when Kramer had fallen, he had spilled a bag of popcorn; a pigeon had swooped onto the court; a small, leashed dog in the stands had lunged for the pigeon; the woman holding the leash was abruptly jostled, causing her to spill an iced drink in the lap of the man sitting next to her; the man had an undiagnosed medical condition which caused him to be hypersensitive to cold in the 'groinal' region; his spasmodic temperature-induce twitching caused his steel-toed size 12 Oxfords to strike the propellor-topped beanie on the head of the boy in front of him, spinning it; and the beanie helicopter-ed into the air, hitting the microphone of the broadcaster in the open-fronted third-level booth, knocking the mic into his mouth and choking him; and as his broadcasting partner performed the Heimlich maneuver, he had a Post-Traumatic Stress related flashback to a first-lieutenant's too-large-spoonful of dried-chipped-beef-on-toast in a dining fly in a small compound in Istanbul, causing the partner permanent to lose his ability to speak and his livelihood and to sue the manufacturer of the tennis ball machine? ~
~ now that's Palsgraf.
Sort of the legal version of a Rube Goldberg contraption!
That is so sick............but funny...
The flying parts were from an 18 year old kid....his estate consists of what is in his bedroom....
Oh wow, you just made my day! Here's why - one of my favorite old-time Christmas movies is Miracle on 34th Street, where Santa Claus is put on trial. And in the movie, the prosecutor mentions that the trial (actually a sanity hearing) is being held before the "New York Supreme Court," and it always bugged me to no end, because it was obviously a trial-level court. I figured Hollywood was just doing what it loves to do most - dump down the people. But still, back in 1947, people were a lot more on the ball, and I wondered how the got away with it (especially to audiences in NY).
Well, now I know - they told the truth.
And the homeowner policy.
Being an adult by law at 18 I think they can just go after his estate....not the insurance company that his parent may have, but in this day and age who knows...
You may also notice it if you watch reruns of any of the variants of the television series Law & Order. On the black and white text screens (audio: thum-THUM!), it will often note that a trial proceeding is taking place before the Supreme Court in NYC.
Heh, not bad. And this (the only Brad Pitt scene worth watching over and over) is somewhat closer to the article topic:
I know exactly how you feel. In June, I closed my practice after 21 years for the primary reason that I could no longer look myself in the mirror. I was 100% litigation, and it was no longer worth it to me. Left a lot of $$$ on the table, but left with my peace of mind and my integrity intact.
To you, and all the posters afterwards, yes, I got it almost immediately after I made the post. It was the estate they were suing. My mistake in not reading carefully.