Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tedla v. Ellman case brief

Tedla v. Ellman case brief summary
19 N.E.2d 987 (1939)

Appellant sought review of an order from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the second judicial department (New York), affirming judgment entered upon a verdict in favor of respondents in their action for negligence.

While walking along a highway, respondents were struck by a passing automobile operated by appellant. One respondent was injured and the other was killed. At the time of the accident, respondents were walking to the right of the centerline of the road, in violation of N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 85(6), because there was significantly less traffic to the right of the centerline. Appellant maintained that respondents were guilty of contributory negligence as a matter of law because of their violation of the statutory rule.


  • The court affirmed judgment for respondents, holding that the failure to observe a "rule of the road," even though embodied in a statute, did not constitute negligence as a matter of law where observance would subject a person to danger which could be avoided by disregard of the general rule.

Court affirmed judgment, where respondents' failure to observe a statutory rule of the road did not constitute contributory negligence as a matter of law.

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