Torts II -JLP - STRICT LIABILITY RULES 1) Wild animals:...

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TRICT L IABILITY R ULES 1) Wild animals: strict liability a) Domesticated farm animals: on liable reason to know of animal’s dangerous propensities otherwise negligence; negligence per se b) Pets 2) Abnormally dangerous activity T HEORIES 1) A LLOCATIVE : picking a liability regime (negligence or strict liability) that will control the particular class of accidents in question most effectively 2) D ISTRIBUTIVE : as between innocent π and Δ dealing in dangerous product, who is best able to shoulder loss if Δ is required to pay, Δ will pass on the cost to users of product (if sufficient social utility to merit the costs) Abnormally Dangerous Activities: 1) R ESTATEMENT 2d § 519: “abnormally dangerous” activities: depends on nature and location where activity took place Several factors to consider in determining whether an activity is abnormally dangerous (formerly “ultrahazardous” R 1st) a) Existence of a high degree of risk of some harm to the person, land or chattels of others; (high chance harm will happen) b) Likelihood that the harm that results from it will be great (how bad will the harm be) c) Inability to eliminate the risk by the exercise of reasonable care (if I’m careful, can I bring down (a)? ) d) Extent to which the activity is not a matter of common usage (circumstances normal, ordinary?) e) Inappropriateness of the activity to the place where it is carried on (does the activity fit the location) f) Extent to which its value to the community is outweighed by its dangerous attributes (public policy, social utility compared to danger) 2) Ask with respect to the circumstances R § 519(e) a) Rylands v. Fletcher: mining flood case: “non-natural” use of land; S-L: knowingly bring something on to land which is not naturally there, harmless to others so long as it is confines, but which is known to be mischievous if it escapes : reference to circumstances b) Miller v. Civil Const : gun case: not just about ultrahazardous activity in itself ( not enough that guns are “inherently dangerous” ; don’t focus on the guns itself; focus on target practice at firing range location appropriate for activity) 3) Negligence as a baseline (704) Indiana Harbor Belt (chemical spill on RR) a) When negligence is workable (hazards can be avoided by being careful) no need to switch to strict liability R § 519(c) b) Negligence works to balance level of due care necessary: (a) Hand formula: harm probability burden (b) Harmful activity not about making the chemical activity is transport of chemical c) Whether the harm solely caused by inherent nature product or the circumstances which could have been avoided through the exercise of due care 4) Harm must be within the scope of the risk/Foreseeability : only strictly liable for those harms which make activity ultrahazardous a) Foster v. Preston : Blasting operations are ultrahazardous; but not liable because blasting caused minks to eat young 5) If harm is act of God/Foreseeability
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This note was uploaded on 02/18/2008 for the course LAW 1020 taught by Professor Dilorenzo during the Spring '99 term at St. Johns Duplicate.

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Torts II -JLP - STRICT LIABILITY RULES 1) Wild animals:...

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