Smith v. Rapid Transit, Inc.
317 Mas. 469, 58 N.E.2d 754 (1945)

  • Smith was driving along when she was cut off by a bus.  She swerved into a parked car and was injured.
    • Smith was unable to identify the specific bus, she only knew it was a bus.
      • The bus didn’t stop.
  • Smith sued Rapid Transit.
    • Rapid Transit was the only bus company that ran a route on that particular street, implying that it must have been one of their buses.
      • There was another bus company in town, but they didn’t have a route on that street.
  • The Trial Court found for Rapid Transit in a directed verdict, Smith appealed.
  • The Massachusetts Supreme Court affirmed.
    • The Massachusetts Supreme Court agreed with the Trial Court that the ownership of the bus was a matter of conjecture.
    • The Court found that the evidence that Rapid was the bus company that normally drove on that street was relevant, but it was not sufficient.
      • The evidence helps to show that the bus was driven by Rapid, but it was not enough, by itself, to conclusively prove the element.