In general, even if you are negligent but there is an intervening cause between your negligence and the damage, you are not liable. However, this is not always the case. If you create an unsafe condition, you can be held liable for damages, even though the person injured made a stupid decision to place themselves in danger. For example, in the case of South v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. (290 N.W.2d 819 (N.D. 1980)), South’s truck was hit by a train at a crossing. South argued that there was an obstruction at the train crossing that prevented him from seeing the oncoming train. The railroad argued that if South couldn’t see the train coming, it was negligent of him to drive through the intersection. Even though the Court agreed that South shouldn’t have crossed if he couldn’t see, they found the railroad negligentfor creating the unsafe condition.
- One thing that went against the railroad in this case was that people had reported a number of near-misses in the past, so the railroad had plenty of notice that there was an unsafe condition.