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Bethel v. New York City Transit Authority

(1998)

New York Court of Appeals - 92 N.Y.2d 348

tl;dr:

Plaintiff is injured on Defendant's bus when his seat collapses; Court gets rid of old common carrier highest standard of care and holds that common carriers only owe a general duty of reasonable care to passengers.

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Facts & HoldingBethel v. New York City Transit Authority case brief facts & holding

Facts:Plaintiff riding Defendant transit company's bus was injured when the...

Holding:The New York Court of Appeals reversed.The Court discarded the...

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Bethel v. New York City Transit Authority | Case Brief DeepDive
Majority opinion, author: Levine, J.
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The court ruled that common carriers have a duty of reasonable care under all circumstances, except for defects likely to cause great danger. The duty of extraordinary care is inconsistent with the fundamental concept of negligence in tort doctrine. The Indiana Supreme Court reversed a judgment that imposed the duty of the highest care on a carrier, recognizing that it conflicts with the reasonable person standard of negligence. The quantum of care to be exercised under the circumstances of a particular case cannot be fixed as a matter of law and should be determined by the jury under proper instructions. The duty of extraordinary care imposed on common carriers has been challenged by contemporary negligence jurisprudence, and the single, reasonable person standard is flexible enough to consider all hazardous aspects of public transportation in determining whether due care was exercised in a particular case.

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Bethel v. New York City Transit Authority

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