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15 Cards in this Set

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What is Proximate Cause?
The proximate cause requirement limits a defendant's liability for negligence to those risks and harms that were reasonably foreseeable. It is the conduct of the negligent party that creates the foreseeable risk. Medcalf v. Washington Heights Condominium Ass'n, Inc
What is used to determine if proximate cause exists?
Although foreseeability is the major issue, there are several factors that go into determining the issue of proximate cause, including, but not limited to
• the remoteness in space and time between the negligent act and the harm, the likelihood that the harm would result from the negligent act, and
• the absence of intervening causes. Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co.
What is the difference between proximate cause and "scope of duty"?
Proximate cause issues can also be framed in terms of the "scope of duty" owed to the plaintiff by the defendant. Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co..
a. The only difference between the scope of duty analysis and proximate cause is that, under the former, the defendant is found not negligent, and is matter of law for the judge to decide, while under proximate cause, the defendant is relieved of liability for his negligence by a trier of fact.
(1) Whether framed as a duty issue or a proximate cause issue, the rule is the same: A defendant is not liable for unforeseeable risks or harm caused to an unforeseeable plaintiff.
What is the "rescue doctrine"?
If the defendant negligently created a situation that invited rescue, the rescuer(s) can recover for injures incurred in attempting the rescue. Wagner v. International Railway. [cousin in attempt to rescue was injured on railway]
a. The rescuer, however, does have a duty to act reasonably.
Does violation of a statute establish probable cause?
Violation of Statute and "Proximate Cause"
1. Under the majority rule, violation of a statute is negligence per se, but the rule is applicable only when the statute is aimed at protecting against the kind of harm that occurred and protecting the class of persons of which the plaintiff is a member. Restatement Second of Torts _288.
a. A bicyclist would not be able to recover on the basis of a seat belt law from a person who, in an accident, is ejected out of his vehicle due to his failure to wear a seat belt because seat belt laws are enacted for the safety of the passenger, not a passerby.
Is Harm Outside the Scope of the Risk Because of the Manner in Which it Occurs?
Under the "manner of harm" rule, a defendant is held liable for those foreseeable harms that occur in an unforeseeable manner. The fact that the foreseeable harm occurs as the result an unforeseeable sequence of events does not absolve the negligent actor of liability.
a. A defendant was found liable when it left an open and unguarded manhole. Kerosene lamps that were knocked into the manhole by two boys, causing an admittedly unforeseeable explosion which burned one of the boys; the rationale being that the burns, although incurred in a freakish manner, were a foreseeable risk of leaving kerosene lamps unattended. The conduct of the defendant created a risk of burning and burning occurred. Hughes v. Lord Advocate
Is Harm Outside the Scope of the Risk Because Its Extent is Unforeseeable?
Under the "thin skull" rule, a plaintiff takes his victim as he finds him.
a. In other words, a defendant is liable for the unforeseeable reactions of the plaintiff caused by the defendant's negligence.
(1) A defendant was found liable when he ran into the plaintiff, who, while being treated for a broken thigh, died from delirium tremens, which were brought on by a preexisting alcoholic condition. McCahill v. New York Transportation.
Does a defendant does escape liability when his negligent conduct is the proximate cause of the plaintiff's harm but the harm was more extensive than anyone could have foreseen?
Generally speaking, a defendant does not escape liability when his negligent conduct is the proximate cause of the plaintiff's harm simply because the harm was more extensive than anyone could have foreseen. Restatement Second of Torts _ 435(1).
Is Harm Outside the Scope of The Risk Because It Results Most Directly from Acts of an Intervening Person or Force?
The general rule is that an intervening cause that is foreseeable does not relieve the defendant of liability.
The general rule is that an intervening cause that is foreseeable does not relieve the defendant of liability but what if the intervening person acted negligently?
This rule applies even if the intervening person has acted negligently. Derdiarian v. Felix Contracting
Will a first negligent actor be relieved when the intervening actor directly caused the injury?
Some courts have relieved a first negligent actor on the ground that his negligence merely created a condition for the occurrence of the harm that was directly caused by the intervening actor. Sheehan v. City of New York
What if there were harm caused by an intervening actor but the defendant negligently created a situation that increased risk?
Other courts have held that a defendant may be found liable for harm caused by an intervening actor if the defendant negligently created a situation that increased risk. Marshall v. Nugent.
What is the "termination of risk" doctrine?
Some courts have held that under the "termination of risk" doctrine, an intervening actor may break the causal connection if his action has rendered nonexistent the risk created by the original tortfeasor.
i. For example, a boy found dynamite caps negligently left by the defendant, but when the boy's friend lost a hand while playing with the caps, the defendant was held not liable on the ground that the boy's mother knew of the caps but did nothing. Pittsburgh Reduction Co. v. Horton.
Is an original tortfeasor liable for injuries suffered during the transportation of the victim to a medical facility for treatment of the injuries caused by the original tortfeasor?
An original tortfeasor is liable for injuries suffered during the transportation of the victim to a medical facility for treatment of the injuries caused by the original tortfeasor. Anaya v. Superior Court. [ helicopter that airlifted child from accident scene crashed, killing child ]
Advocacy plays a large role in deciding the issue of proximate causation because.........
Because proximate cause has little to do with causation, and is mostly based on policy and principle, advocacy plays a large role in deciding the issue.
B. The Future of Proximate Cause of Scope of Risk Analysis
1. Because the advent of comparative fault systems and joint and several liability have created a system that is more efficient at apportioning liability among several tortfeasors, there may be less of a need to limit liability in intervening cause/actor cases.