However, the Court said, 'But it is not the law, that men are responsible for their negligence only to the extent of the injuries which they knew would result from it.'
It has been held: 'If the city was negligent, it was liable for the consequences of its neglect, though those consequences were not, and could not by any ordinary prudence have been, anticipated.' Corbin v. City of Philadelphia, 1900, 195 Pa. 461, 45 A. 1070, 1071, 49 L.R.A. 715; Restatement, Torts, § 435.
Accordingly, under Pennsylvania law a defendant who has failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances cannot escape liability for damage upon the ground that he could not have foreseen the particular results of his negligent act. Therefore, in the instant case, it is no defense for the City to say that the driver, who carelessly drove over a piece of paper which for reasons of safety he intended to avoid, did not foresee that a child was under the paper. To allow such a defense would exculpate negligent persons from liability for all but deliberate or wantonly malicious acts.
However, assuming the law requires the driver to have foreseen the possibility of injury, the jury, from the facts in evidence, together with all reasonable inferences in favor of plaintiff, might well have found that the driver should have foreseen the possibility that a child was underneath this object.
Moreover, the driver saw this piece of paper and noticed that it was high enough for a little child to be underneath. He then ran over the very piece of paper which he had concluded was unsafe to crush.
The jury resolved as a fact that two little children were underneath the paper, also, that one of the children had been sitting up underneath the paper in the street. The jury also could have resolved that the two children had not been lying motionless under the paper, but were playing there. As a matter of fact, the surviving child testified that he had been sitting under the paper with decedent 'opening envelopes.' The jury may then have concluded that the motion caused by children playing underneath the paper was easily observable by a prudent driver.
The evidence in the case amply supports the jury's verdict that the driver of the truck under these particular circumstances was careless and that his careless act resulted in the decedent's death.
This Court is of the opinion that there was negligence when the driver attempted to avoid the paper and failed to do so, and, as a matter of law, the verdicts of the jury should not be disturbed.
Accordingly, defendant's motion to set aside the verdicts and for judgment n.o.v. is dismissed.
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