Chapter 5 Study Guide

Chapter 5 Study Guide - Chapter 5 Principles of Negligence...

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Chapter 5 – Principles of Negligence The hotel or restaurant is not an insurer of guest’s safety. This means the hotel is not liable for all injuries that occur while guests are on the premises. With few exceptions, the hotel or restaurant will only be liable when it does something wrong—that is, when the hotel or restaurant commits a tort. The term tort refers to many types of noncriminal wrongs done by one person Negligence A breach of legal duty to act reasonably that is the direct (or proximate) cause of injury to another. Elements of a negligence case o A plaintiff suing in negligence must prove four elements. Failure to prove any one of them is fatal to the plaintiff’s case. The four elements are: 1. The existence of a legal duty to act reasonably owed by the defendant to the plaintiff; 2. A breach of that duty; 3. Injury to the plaintiff; and 4. Proximate cause o The last element means the breach of duty must be the direct cause of the injury; there can be no intervening cause. o Existence of a duty to act reasonably : we owe the duty only to those people who would foreseeably be injured by our actions. If a restaurant or hotel cannot foresee a particular type of injury, it does not owe a duty to protect patrons against that injury, even though someone is in fact injured. o Breach of duty : for defendant to be liable of negligence, the defendant must not only owe a duty to the plaintiff to act reasonably, but must also breach that duty (i.e. restaurant serves spoiled food) Reasonable person standard o “Reasonable person of ordinary prudence,” this reasonable person does not have bad days; he is always up to standard, a personification of a community ideal of reasonable behavior. o Proximate cause of an injury refers to its direct and immediate cause. The requirement of proximate cause to prove negligence means that the injury must have been caused by the breach of duty, in other words, there must be a cause-and-effect relationship between the unreasonable conduct and the injury. Connection must also be direct or immediate; a reasonable person could foresee the potential danger of the careless act. o If injuries constitute a preexisting condition , that is, physical impairment suffered prior to the fall, defendant’s negligence would not be the proximate cause of the injury. o Injury : to win lawsuit plaintiff must have been injured as a result of defendant’s breach of duty. (i.e. bodily harm [person injury]; property damage) Legal status of plaintiff o Duty of care owed depends if patron is an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. Duty owed to invitees o Someone who comes to an establishment for the purpose for which the business is open to the public or for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with that business. o
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Chapter 5 Study Guide - Chapter 5 Principles of Negligence...

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