Evidence keyed to Waltz
Yania v. Bigan
Defendant was engaged in a coal strip-mining operation, whereby trenches were dug in order to remove coal deposits. One trench contained several feet of water, and Defendant had placed a pump in the trench to remove the water. Defendant asked Yania, the operator of another coal strip-mining operation, to assist him in starting the pump. According to Plaintiff, Defendant taunted and urged Yania to jump into the water. Yania jumped into the water and drowned. The Plaintiff initiated wrongful death and survival actions against Defendant, alleging that Defendant taunted her husband, failed to warn him of the danger, and failed to rescue him. The trial court sustained Defendant’s demurrer and dismissed Plaintiff’s actions. On appeal, the court affirmed, holding that Yania was a reasonable and prudent adult and performed an act, which he knew or should have known, was perilous. Justice Benjamin R. Jones held that it was the performance of that act and not defendant’s conduct which caused Yania’s death.
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