Todd V. Negligence Case Summary

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Todd v. Alan

Negligence Action – a negligence action involves a duty, breach, cause-in-fact, proximate cause and damages.

At issue in the Todd v. Alan action is what duty is owed to Todd. Typically, friends invited to stay at one’s house are considered licensees. If Todd was a licensee, Alan was required to warn Todd of all known dangers, including the rotted railing. As Alan did not warn Todd about the railing, he would be viewed as breaching his duty to Todd.

However, the facts also indicate that Todd was a licensed electrician who was at the house to aid Alan with repairs. Typically, repairmen and individuals who come onto the land pursuant to a business purpose or duty are considered invitees. A high duty of care is owed to invitees.
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Although, Alan may argue that it was not foreseeable that Larry would fall into the water during his rescue, this argument would not be upheld by the court. Rescuers are deemed to be foreseeable and within the zone of danger (under the Cardozo view). Alan therefore owed a duty to Larry. He breached the duty by negligently maintaining the railings on his home. But for Alan’s negligent maintenance of the railing, Larry would not have needed to wade into the water to perform rescue.

Alan’s best defense against Larry’s negligence action is that typically one is not liable public/government rescue personnel such as firefighters and policemen. There is, therefore, an issue as to whether, Larry would qualify under this exception. He is a “volunteer” Emergency worker. Therefore, he may be able to defeat Alan’s defense because he is not receiving compensation for his duties and public policy would aim (to) justify Larry’s position. The Township would want to promote recruitment of volunteers and limiting Alan’s liability may discourage their recruitment process.

Alan, Todd, Larry v.

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