Palsgraf Rule Law and Legal Definition

Palsgraf rule is a principle in law of torts. It means that a negligent conduct resulting in injury will result in a liability only if the actor could have reasonably foreseen that the conduct would injure the victim. Palsgraf rule is based on the case law Palsgraf v. Long Island R. Co.

In Palsgraf v. Long Island R. Co., 248 N.Y. 339 (N.Y. 1928), two railroad attendants negligently dislodged a package of fireworks from a person they were helping board a train. The package exploded. The shock of the explosion threw down some scales at the other end of the platform. The scales struck Palsgraf causing injuries. The court held that the attendants could not have foreseen the possibility of injury of Palsgraf and hence did not breach any duty to her.