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Flashcards in Negligence Rule Statements Deck (11)
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1

Rule statement for negligence

An action for negligence requires the plaintiff to prove to a jury by a preponderance of evidence that the defendant had a duty, he breached that duty, and that the breach both actually and proximately caused the plaintiff’s actual damages

2

Rule statement for causation

To prove causation, Pmust show that D's breaches of duty were both actually and proximately the cause of his/her injuries.

3

Rule statement for actual cause

When analyzing actual cause, courts (depending on the jurisdiction) may use either a “but for” or “greatly multiplies” or “double the chances” test. For the “but for” test, as used in the Perkins case, a breach is the cause in fact of damages if the breach was a substantial factor where “but for” the breach, the damages would not have occurred. Alternatively, the greatly multiplies test, as applied in the Reynolds case, finds that there has been cause in fact where the breach of the duty greatly multiplied the chance that the damages would occur. In California, as we saw in the Daubert case, courts require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s breach of his/her/its duty doubled the plaintiff’s chance of injury. For any of these tests, as we saw in the Kramer case, mere suspicion, speculation, or possibility that the breach caused an injury is not enough to show causation in fact.

4

Rule statement for Proximate cause

Proximate cause is an inquiry that determines how far from the breach liability should extend. When an injury is near in location, time, and foreseeable from the breach, it is likely the breach was the proximate cause of the injury. Conversely, if the injury was remote in time, geographically far, freakish, extraordinary, or unforeseeable from the injury, it is unlikely the breach was the proximate cause. Courts use differing tests of varying breadth to determine whether there was proximate cause. For example, a plaintiff would want to use the Polemis majority or the Palsgraf dissent’s broad test imparting liability for many--it finds that there is a proximate cause not only to the foreseeable plaintiff, but so long as the chain of causation remains unbroken ending where the injury becomes too remote in time and distance. Conversely, a defendant would want to use the Palsgraf majority’s test which found that there is proximate cause only to the foreseeable plaintiff.

5

The "but for" test as seen in...

Perkins

6

rule statement for "but for" test

For the “but for” test, as seen in Perkins, a breach is the cause in fact of damages if the breach was a substantial factor where “but for” the breach, the damages would not have occurred

7

rule statement for "greatly multiplies" test

the greatly multiplies test, as applied in the Reynolds case, finds that there has been cause in fact where the breach of the duty greatly multiplied the chance that the damages would occur

8

rule statement for "double the chances" test

In California, as we saw in the Daubert case, courts require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s breach of his/her/its duty doubled the plaintiff’s chance of injury

9

Complete actual cause rule statement

When analyzing actual cause, courts (depending on the jurisdiction) may use either a “but for” or “greatly multiplies” or “double the chances” test. For the “but for” test, as used in the Perkins case, a breach is the cause in fact of damages if the breach was a substantial factor where “but for” the breach, the damages would not have occurred. Alternatively, the greatly multiplies test, as applied in the Reynolds case, finds that there has been cause in fact where the breach of the duty greatly multiplied the chance that the damages would occur. In California, as we saw in the Daubert case, courts require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s breach of his/her/its duty doubled the plaintiff’s chance of injury. For any of these tests, as we saw in the Kramer case, mere suspicion, speculation, or possibility that the breach caused an injury is not enough to show causation in fact.

10

Actual cause and Kramer

mere suspicion, speculation, or possibility that the breach caused an injury is not enough to show causation in fact.

11

Rule statement for proximate cause

Proximate cause is an inquiry that determines how far from the breach liability should extend. When an injury is near in location, time, and foreseeable from the breach, it is likely the breach was the proximate cause of the injury. Conversely, if the injury was remote in time, geographically far, freakish, extraordinary, or unforeseeable from the injury, it is unlikely the breach was the proximate cause