Sunday, December 22, 2013

Smith v. Rapid Transit, Inc. case brief

Smith v. Rapid Transit, Inc. case brief summary
58 N.E.2d 754 (Mass. 1945)

Plaintiff appealed the order of the trial court (Massachusetts) which directed a verdict for the defendant in plaintiff's action to recover for injuries sustained after being involved in an automobile accident allegedly caused by defendant's bus.

Plaintiff was forced for the road by a bus and she collided with a parked car. She brought an action against defendant who operated the local bus line that had a route on that street. The lower court directed a verdict in the defendant's favor.


  • The Court affirmed the directed verdict. 
  • The Court noted that while defendant had the sole franchise for operating a bus line on the involved street, it did not preclude private or chartered buses from using the street. 
  • Someone could have operated the bus in question other than the defendant. 
  • The court held that the most that could have been said of the evidence presented was that perhaps the mathematical chances somewhat favor the proposition that a bus of the defendant caused the accident. 
  • The Court held that was not enough.
The court affirmed the directed verdict in defendant's favor holding that plaintiff had not proven by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant owned the bus.

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