Lyle could be found being negligent (“the failure to use such care as a reasonably prudent and careful person would use under similar circumstances.”7 ) of his duties when installing the widgets. California Civil Code section 1714(a) provides in part: “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.”7 Lyle failed in his duty of care and this failure led to the injury of another. His actions of using the incorrect widget and also not getting the correct torque on it can be deemed as both intentional and unintentional. 2
The unintentional tort aspect of this case looks at Lyle’s duty of care. He did not wish to bring harm to another person nor did he believe that it would happen. Lyle’s unfortunate actions created the risk that something bad would or could happen. Even though it was not intentional the actions of Lyle do create a risk and that risk creates negligence. 2 The responsibility of this tort falls squarely on the shoulders of Lyle.
How can we determine that this was unintentional on Lyle’s part? There are qualifying questions that can determine this. 2
1. Did the defendant owe a duty of care to the plaintiff?
2. Did the defendant breach that duty?
3. Did the plaintiff…