Sparks emitted from the railway's locomotive set a northeast fire. A northwest fire was set by an unknown origin. The two fires united 940 feet from Kingston’s property and bore down upon it and destroyed it. Kingston sued the railway for negligence.
- If there are two proximate causes for damages, how do the defendants share the liability?
Judgment for the plaintiff.
The rule that both parties are liable for the total damage is maintained. In this case, as there is no knowledge of the second party, the railway is liable for the total damage unless they can prove that his own fire was not a proximate cause of the damage – it was completely caused by the other fire. The reason why both parties are held completely liable is so they cannot succeed in court by blaming each other for the outcome.
Any one of two or more joint tortfeasors, or one of two or more wrongdoers whose concurring acts of negligence result in injury, are each individually responsible for the entire damage resulting from their joint or concurrent acts of negligence.