Chapter 6 - Negligence and Strict Liability Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 6 - Negligence and Strict Liability Deck (29):

Define Negligence

Unintentional tort that is from harm that arises by accident.


What is the landmark case regarding Negligence?

Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad


What are the five elements that must be proven to win a negligence case?

Duty of Due Care, Breach, Factual Cause, Proximate Cause, Damages


Define Duty of Due Care

The defendant had a legal responsibility to the plaintiff.
Each of us has a duty to behave as a reasonable person would under the circumstances.


Define Breach (of Duty)

The defendant has breached her duty of care or failed to meet her legal obligations

A defendant breaches his duty of care by failing to behave the way a reasonable person would under similar circumstances


Define Factual Cause

The defendant's conduct actually caused the injury


Define Proximate Cause

It was foreseeable that conduct like the defendant's might cause this type of harm

Refers to a party who contributes to a loss in a way that a reasonable person could anticipate.


Define Damages

The plaintiff has been hurt or has actually suffered a measurable loss.


Define Trespasser

A person on someone else's property without consent


Define Licensee

A person on property for her own purposes, but with the owner's permission


Define Invitee

A person who has a right to be on the property because it is a public place or a business open to the public


Under Special Duty: Landowner's Liability, who is a landowner liable to, in the order of liability to the lowest liability to highest

Trespassing Adults
Trespassing Children
A Licensee
An Invitee


Explain a landowner's liability to a trespassing adult

A landowner is liable to a trespasser only for intentionally injuring him or for some other gross misconduct. The landowner has no liability to a trespasser for mere negligence. (You can't put traps on your property to protect your property)


Explain a landowner's liability to trespassing child

If there is some manmade thing on the land that may be reasonably expected to attract children, the landowner is probably liable for any harm.


Explain a landowner's liability to a licensee

A social guest is a typical licensee. A licensee is entitled to a warning of hidden dangers that the owner knows about. They are only liable for hidden dangers. (Not the owners fault if they touch a hot toaster). You must have actual knowledge of a specific hidden danger to be liable.


Explain a landowner's liability to an invitee

The owner has a duty of reasonable care to an invitee. Perry is an invitee when he goes to the town beach. If riptides have existed for years and the town fails to post a warning, it is liable if Perry drowns. They are liable even if you had no idea that something on your property posed a hidden danger. Therefore you must conduct regular inspections to be sure nothing is becoming dangerous.


Explain Special Duty for Professionals

A person on the job must act as a reasonable person in her profession.


Explain Special Duty for Hiring and Retention

Companies must be on guard because they can be liable for hiring or retaining violent employees.


Define a Superseding Cause

When one of the 'dominoes' in the row is entirely unforeseeable, courts will call that event a superseding cause, letting the defendant off the hook.


Define Res Ipsa Ioquitur

Means "The thing speaks of itself" and refers to cases where the facts only imply that the defendant's negligence caused the harm.

This dramatically shifts the burden of proof from the plaintiff to the defendant.


When does Res Ipsa Ioquitur apply?

Only when
1. The defendant had exclusive control of the thing that caused the harm
2. the harm normally would not have occurred without negligence, and
3. The plaintiff had no role in causing the harm.


When injury is unclear, what must the plaintiff do?

The plaintiff must persuade the court that he has suffered harm that is genuine, not speculative.


Define Assumption of Risk

A person who voluntarily enters a situation of obvious danger cannot complain if she is injured


Define Contributory Negligence

A plaintiff who is even slightly negligent recovers nothing


Define Comparative Negligence

A plaintiff may generally recover even if she is partially responsible A jury will be asked to compare the relative negligence of the two parties.


Define Strict Liability

A high level of liability assumed be people or corporations who engage in activities that are very dangerous


Define Defective Products

Generally lead to strict liability


Define Ultrahazardous Activities

A defendant engaging in such acts is virtually always liable for resulting harm

Plaintiffs do not have to prove duty, breach, or foreseeable harm.


Define Negligence Per Se

Violation of a standard of care set by statute.