Defenses to Negligence

Defenses to Negligence - I. Defenses to Negligence a. Two...

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I. Defenses to Negligence a. Two Complete Defenses at Common Law i. Contributory Negligence (Common Law) 1. Established when π has not taken reasonable care, and in consequence of her default has suffered injury. 2. It is conduct on the part of the π which falls below the standard to which he should conform for his own protection, and which is a legally contributing cause co- operating with the negligence of the ∆ in bringing about the π’s harm. 3. It is irresponsible behavior towards yourself, not towards other people. But you must show that the fault was causal as well (meaning that if he acted differently, the harmful outcome would not have occurred) 4. Only four jurisdictions today follow the common law rules of contributory negligence. 5. We use the same tools for contributory and comparative negligence, but the jury may apply the standards differently. 6. Butterfield v. Forrester: π riding his horse ran into obstruction in the road left out by ∆. But a person riding their horse with reasonable care would have seen the obstruction as it could be viewed from 100 yards away. He was riding way too fast, therefore, he was contributorily negligent. He was riding too fast for his own safety. 7. Should it be a defense to negligence per se? a. Osborne v. Salvation Army: π lived in ∆’s home for unemployed and destitute men, ∆ had π go outside to was the windows, but did not provide him with proper safety equipment in accordance with State laws. Π was required by law to observe the same safety precautions, but did not, and in the process injured himself. Court initially found that he was an employee and did not allow for the contributory negligence defense to be used. But they later reversed and said that if they did this, they would have cut the heart out of the statute. b. When should it be applicable? i. Judge must make an ad hoc analysis to see if allowing it would undermine the statute. ii. Contributory negligence per se is often forbidden from being a defense if it undermines a statute. iii. This is a court determination. 8. Gyerman v. U.S. Lines Co.: worker paid to move mishmeal
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sees that the manner in which it is being moved is dangerous. He informs the clerk at the warehouse of this, who says there is nothing that can be done. Worker continued to work and sustained injury from a fallen fishmeal sack. ∆ attempts to shift blame to π for not informing his own supervisor. a. How are causation and blame related? i. Blaming you for failing to report it to your supervisor would only have mattered if reporting it to your supervisor would have changed the outcome. ii. Blaming you fro continuing to work when you should’ve stopped shows that there would’ve been a different outcome. 9.
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This note was uploaded on 09/21/2009 for the course LAW All taught by Professor All during the Fall '09 term at University of the West.

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Defenses to Negligence - I. Defenses to Negligence a. Two...

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