MRCs Tort Outline - Absolute Liability System Loss lies on...

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Absolute Liability System - Loss lies on actor who caused the harm. o Why this is a bad idea: Justice Wendell Holmes : You only want to punish for activity that is foreseeable. Degree of Social Utility - we don’t want to inhibit actions, which are good for the public welfare. We want people to make choices to act in the world. Justice Posner - Economic efficiency- there needs to be a balance, which can be articulated by cost justification. The cost of prevention must not outweigh the costs of the accident. Balance between the types of injuries we want to prevent and the costs of prevention. Hammontree v. Jenner Case Summary/Synopsis o Action for personal injuries and property damage sustained when automobile driven by defendant who claimed he had become unconscious during epileptic seizure crashed through wall of bicycle shop owned and operated by plaintiffs and struck one plaintiff. The Superior Court, Los Angeles County, held that defendant was not absolutely liable for injuries and property damage sustained. Points of Law/Headnotes o Liability of a driver for injury resulting from an accident occurring during sudden illness rests on principles of negligence and not absolute liability. Product Liability Analogy : The manufactures of products can foresee them being used in accidents, and they should be held responsible for their safety. Injury is the result of a defect caused by a failure in the manufacturing line. o Plaintiff argues that Mr. Jenner knew that he was likely to experience a seizure (the flaw), which is not the result of negligence, but should be viewed in light of strict liability. Court rejects this outlook, saying it would create chaos. There is a difference because the manufactures receive financial gain from the marketing of the product and therefore they can anticipate the injury that might result and fund the costs of that injury, either personally or by passing it off to the consumer. This does not work for Mr. Jenner because insurance companies are paying for his injuries. The manufacturer can effect change in their products. Doctrine of Respondeat Superior : No fault required- strict liability Policy Goals: o Preventing future injuries o Assuring compensation to victims o Spreading the losses caused by an enterprise equitably Benefits: o There are lots of times in a negligence scheme where proving fault is difficult to do The incentive to the employer is critical (be more selective in hiring and training).
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When you hire an independent company to do hiring, they are responsible for their workers, not the overall entity. Restatement (Third) of Agency §7.07(2) : o An employee acts within the scope of employment when performing work assigned by the employer or engaging in a course of conduct subject to the employer’s control. An employee’s act is not within the scope of employment when it occurs within an
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MRCs Tort Outline - Absolute Liability System Loss lies on...

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