New York Court of Appeals - 228 N.Y. 164
The case involves a claim for damages resulting from a fatal accident between a buggy and an automobile. The plaintiff alleges negligence against the defendant for not keeping to the right of the center of the highway, while the plaintiff's driver is accused of traveling without lights. The defendant denies any excessive speed or equipment defects, and the case hinges on the defendant's divergence from the center of the highway. The jury found the defendant at fault, but the Appellate Division ordered a new trial due to an erroneous and misleading jury charge. The omission of statutory signals, such as lights, is considered negligence in itself and not just some evidence of negligence. Violation of a statute intended for the protection of travelers on the highway is negligence in itself, and jurors have no discretion to treat it as anything else. The omission of lights was a negligent wrong, and no license should have been given to the triers of the facts to find it otherwise.
This legal case involves a collision between an automobile and a horse-drawn wagon resulting in the plaintiff's dislocated shoulder and her husband's death. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was solely responsible for the death due to negligence, while the defendant claimed contributory negligence on the deceased's part. The Appellate Division granted a new trial on questions of law only, reversing a judgment in favor of the plaintiff. The dissenting judge referred to the facts found in favor of the plaintiff by the jury and approved by the Appellate Division. The crucial issue in this case is whether the defendant deviated from the center of the highway and caused the collision with the plaintiff's wagon. The plaintiff must prove that the accident happened in the way and manner alleged in her complaint to recover damages. The defendant made several requests to charge at the end of the trial, which were all charged by the trial justice. The requests emphasized that if the jury found any negligence on the part of the plaintiff or did not find that the accident happened as claimed by the plaintiff and her witnesses, the verdict must be for the defendant. However, the dissenting judge found no error in the facts presented and approved the order denying the motion to set aside the verdict and grant a new trial.
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