leb.pp.8 Negligence

leb.pp.8 Negligence - Chapter 8 Chapter Torts Definition...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 8 Chapter Torts Definition Definition Tort: Breach of duty imposed by law Breach law Breach of Contract: Breach of duty Breach imposed by agreement agreement Key Concepts Key 1. P’s Interests Personal safety, economic well-being Personal 2. D’s Duty Not to injure others Not First Element of Negligence First D’s Duty of Due Care D’s Duty Do what a reasonably careful person Do reasonably would do under similar circumstances (avoid reasonably foreseeable risk of injury) injury) Duty owed to reasonably foreseeable Ps (every person D can reasonably Ps foresee might be injured) foresee Public Policy Factors Public Foreseeability of harm Certainty of injury Connection between conduct and injury Moral blame Prevention of future harm Burden on D Consequences to community Cases Cases Sept. 11 Litigation No, lawsuit not dismissed on this ground No, not When a plane is hijacked, it is reasonably When foreseeable that the plane may crash, making passengers and others at the crash site reasonably foreseeable victims crash Cases Otis Engineering Co. v. Clark Otis Assigned to the following students to brief and present in class on Thursday, 2/17: and (1) Laura George (2) Omar Hariri (2) (3) Karimay Moolji (3) (4) Patrick Snook Cases Cases Smith v. Merritt Social host does not exercise control over Social not adult guests (unless guest is obviously incapacitated) incapacitated) No duty and no liability to third party for no negligence negligence Texas Statute Texas Note: 2005 Texas Statute Adult (21 or older) is liable for damages caused by intoxication of minor (under 18) minor if adult is not the parent or guardian and knowingly serves or provides alcohol to knowingly minor contributing to minor’s intoxication or allows minor to be served on premises that the adult owns or leases Cases Cases State of Texas v. Tidwell The wardens and the state (Ds) owed a The duty to P. Ds liable for damages. duty liable Cases Cases Thapar v. Zezulka Dr. wins; no duty owed to third party (Z) no TX Doctor-Patient Confidentiality Statute: TX Disclosure of confidential information generally prohibited generally Disclosure to police permitted when threats = permitted probability of imminent physical injury Landowners Landowners Invitee Landowner’s duty to take reasonable steps to protect invitee from hidden steps danger known to landowner danger Licensee Landowner’s duty to warn licensee of Landowner’s warn hidden danger known to landowner hidden Landowners Landowners Trespasser Landowner’s duty to refrain from Landowner’s intentional wrongs against trespasser intentional Exceptions: Castle Doctrine (deadly force Castle to protect one’s castle) protect invitee) invitee) Child Trespasser (see Cases Cases Wal-Mart v. Lerma Duty owed to Amanda, an invitee Duty invitee Wal-Mart liable for known, hidden dangers Wal-Mart liable Cases Cases Mellon Mortgage Co. v. Holder D llandowner liable only if both this general type of injury andowner liable and the injury to P were reasonably foreseeable and reasonably Key: Prior crimes on/near premises? Prior Even if D owed duty to its employees who used garage, Even duty would not extend to P not Good Samaritans Good General Rule: – No duty to rescue or help – Vedas v. Anonymous Parents would have lost Parents Chatters owe no duty to rescue or help no Good Samaritans Good Exceptions to General Rule: Duty to rescue or help arises (1) Special Relationship Lindsey v. Miami Development Corp. Lindsey P won (Castile liable) Social host-guest qualifies as a special relationship = duty to help duty Second Element of Negligence Second D Breached Duty Breached D failed to do what a reasonably failed careful person would do, exposing others to unreasonable risk of injury risk OR OR D violated statute (“negligence per violated se”) Cases Cases Cordas v. Peerless Transport Co. D (cab company) not liable: emergency (cab not emergency situation (actions involuntary, taken involuntary taken against D’s will) against Cases Cases Ling v. BDA&K Business Yes, question of fact whether D Yes, question (accountant) did what a reasonably careful accountant would have done under similar accountant circumstances Cases Cases El Chico v. Poole Yes, question of fact for jury to decide Yes, question (whether restaurant breached its duty to general public by serving alcohol to patron who it knew or should have known was intoxicated) intoxicated) Third Element of Negligence Third P Suffered Injury Suffered Injury General Rule re: Emotional Distress General No duty to refrain from negligently inflicting emotional distress emotional Negligent infliction of emotional distress Negligent not an independent tort not * Boyles v. Kerr Boyles P loses Emotional Distress Emotional Exceptions (emotional damages recoverable): Bystander cases --* P located near scene located * Distress from contemporaneous perception, contemporaneous * P is close relative of victim close Bedgood v. Madalin Bedgood Father recovered for mental anguish Emotional Distress Emotional Exceptions (emotional damages recoverable): Wrongful Death cases --Sanchez v. Schindler Mother recovered for mental anguish Fourth Element of Negligence Fourth D’s Breach was Proximate Cause of P’s Injury = D’s Proximate “But for” cause + “Foreseeability” test “But for” cause * Were it not for (but for) D’s negligence, P’s injury would not have occurred when and as it did not Multiple Ds: “substantial factor” test Multiple test * Each D is a substantial factor in causing injury Fourth Element of Negligence Fourth “Foreseeability” test Injury reasonably foreseeable reasonably – D’s conduct and P’s injury not too remote in D’s not time and place time – No independent intervening cause No – Fair result to impose liability on D ** D’s conduct set in motion a series of continuous, causative events ** continuous, Cases Cases Widlowski v. Durkee Foods D not liable for “bizarre and fantastic” not Cases Cases Brown v. Philadelphia College Assigned to the following students to brief Assigned and present in class on Thursday, 3/2: and (1) Ian Beckcom (2) Julie Kim (3) Trey Mouch (4) Camille Remington Intervening Cause Intervening Key: Intervening Cause --– Not Reasonably Foreseeable, and – Out of D’s Control Cases Cases Riojas v. Lone Star Gas Ps cannot establish proximate cause Ps’ stupidity is intervening cause intervening Cases Cases Guarino v. Mine Safety Appliance Co. Failure of oxygen mask was reasonably Failure foreseeable foreseeable D is liable: “Danger Invites Rescue” Doctrine is When D’s negligence endangers another and third party is injured in rescue attempt … then D’s liability for negligence extends to imperiled victim and rescuer and Cases Cases Colaitis v. Benihana Jury question: Did D set in motion a series Did of continuous, causative events? of Jury: No, D not liable (not proximate cause Jury: No not of death) of Ethical Dilemma Ethical Sniper Shootings in Washington, D.C. Area Gun manufacturer morally responsible for deaths? Gun - What role should manufacturers play in the sale of guns? Defenses to Negligence Defenses 1. Comparative Fault 1. – Focus on P’s negligence (P’s failure to take Focus P’s reasonable precautions for his/her own safety) safety) – Affects extent to which P can recover from D Affects extent Defenses to Negligence Defenses a. Texas Statute Compare: Compare Percentage of harm attributable to Percentage P’s negligence P’s Percentage of harm attributable to Percentage D’s negligence D’s Defenses to Negligence Defenses – Example: – Example: P’s damages = $1,000,000 P’s fault = 49% P’s D’s fault = 51% D’s P’s recovery = $510,000 P’s P’s damages = $1,000,000 P’s fault = 51% P’s D’s fault = 49% D’s P’s recovery = 0 Defenses to Negligence Defenses Multiple Ds Multiple Example: P’s damages = $100,000 P’s fault = 10% P’s D1’s fault = 30% D1’s D2’s fault = 60% D2’s D1’s maximum liability =$30,000 D1’s liability D2’s maximum liability = $90,000 Defenses to Negligence Defenses 2. Statute of Limitations Time period within which P must file lawsuit Generally 2 years in negligence cases years (clock starts to run when the cause of action accrues) action Defenses to Negligence Defenses 3. Workers’ Compensation 3. Workers’ a. If injured on the job, employee: injured i. gets workers’ comp. benefits (assuming workers’ employer has insurance) BUT ii. cannot sue boss or co-workers for ii. ordinary negligence b. Exception: Intentional tort or gross Exception Intentional gross negligence (failure to use even the smallest amount of care) smallest ...
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This note was uploaded on 08/24/2011 for the course LEB 323 taught by Professor Baker during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas.

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