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Flashcards in Proximate Cause Deck (6)
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How is Proximate Cause measured/determined?

1. Scope of liability:

“How far does the defendant’s liability extend for consequences caused by his negligent acts?”

2. Foreseeability

3. Array of risks



Defendant liable IF the following were foreseeable:

1. Type of harm

2. Injured plaintiff was in group of people within risk of harm by D's actions



Defendant liable EVEN IF the following were unforeseeable:

1. Mechanism of the harm

2. Extent of the harm
- "eggshell skull" rule (D takes P as they are)

3. Subsequent medical injuries - UNLESS gross negligence by medical personnel

4. Suicide - but ONLY IF resulting from insanity, delirium, unconsciousness from injuries inflicted by D.

5. Rescuers who get hurt



Defendant is NOT liable IF:

1. Type of harm unforeseeable

2. Plaintiff harmed was unforeseeable

3. Superseding cause

4. Suicide ONLY IF person was lucid


Superseding cause

What is it? What is required to make a cause "superseding?"

Intervening, independent, unforeseeable causal force that causes injury and insulates defendant from liability.

MUST be of a different risk than that created by D's tortious behavior. (must be unforeseeable)


Superseding cause

What about conduct of a third party that is unforeseeable? Like a mental patient who commits suicide while negligently unwatched? Or a lion that escapes from the zoo and kills people? The suicide was a voluntary act and the lion killed people, not the zoo. Superseding causes?

Liable ONLY IF duty to protect against unforeseeable conduct.
- Applies only in special circumstances.

Not liable for criminal conduct of third party.