CAUSE: PROXIMATE CAUSE The Principle: Scope of Risk
• Cause in Fact vs. Proximate Cause • Mechanics vs. Fairness
Dr. Dayden: • p. 203 • 1. doctor negligently performs vasectomy • 2. patient fathers a child • 3. when child is 6-years-old, he sets fire to the plaintiff’s garage • Is the doctor liable for the fire?
• Thompson v. Kaczinski , p. 204 • “An actor’s liability is limited to those physical harms that result from the risks that made the actor’s conduct tortious.” • “We conclude the question of whether a serious injury to a motorist was within the range of harms risked by disassembling the trampoline and leaving it untethered for a few weeks on the yard less than forty feet from the road is not so clear in this case as to justify the district court’s resolution of the issue as a matter of law at the summary judgment stage.”
• “The scope-of-liability issue is fact-intensive as it requires consideration of the risks that made the actor’s conduct tortious and a determination of whether the harm at issue is a result of any of those risks.” -Thompson , p. 205 • 1. What is the range of harms risked by the defendant’s conduct that a jury could find as the basis for determining the defendant’s conduct was tortious?
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