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Davis v. Public Service Coordinated Transport

Decided: September 27, 1934.

ANNA DAVIS AND AUGUSTUS DAVIS, HER HUSBAND, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
PUBLIC SERVICE COORDINATED TRANSPORT, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



On appeal from the Essex County Circuit Court.

For the appellant, Edmond J. Dwyer (Louis Auerbacher, Jr., of counsel).

For the respondent, Henry H. Fryling (James O. Boyd, of counsel).

Trenchard

The opinion of the court was delivered by

TRENCHARD, J. The plaintiff Anna Davis, while a passenger in one of the defendant's motor buses, was injured when the bus collided with a pole. She brought suit against the defendant to recover for such injury and her husband joined therein to recover for his consequential expenditures, &c.

At the close of the plaintiffs' case the defendant moved for a nonsuit, which was denied. At the close of the whole case the defendant moved for a direction of the verdict in its favor, which was granted on the ground that there was no evidence of negligence upon the part of the defendant, and the plaintiff appealed from the consequent judgment.

The sole contention of the plaintiff is that the direction of the verdict was not justified by the proofs.

We think that is so.

The defendant was a common carrier of passengers and was obliged to exercise a high degree of care to protect its passengers from danger that foresight could anticipate. Rivers v. Pennsylvania Railroad Co., 83 N.J.L. 513.

By foresight is meant not foreknowledge absolute, nor that exactly such an accident as has happened was expected or

apprehended; but rather that the characteristics of the accident are such that it can be classified among events that, without due care, are likely to occur, and that due care would prevent. Rivers v. Pennsylvania Railroad Co., supra.

The learned trial judge thought that the evidence showed that the driver of the defendant's bus "did what a reasonably prudent man, owing a duty of using a high degree of care to his passengers, would have done under the circumstances." It may be that the jury ...


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