fair (series of causative events set in motion by D’s conduct within the realm of risk that D created). Exception: Independent Intervening Cause a. Case: Widlowski v. Durkee Foods (Ill. 1990) Patient became delirious from work and bit off nurses finger. Employer’s lax procedures were the proximate cause of the injury, not the work gas negligence. Durkee 3
Foods not liable for “bizarre and fantastic”. An injury must naturally flow from D’s carelessness as a reasonably probable and foreseeable consequence. Durkee Foods could not control the nurse or hospital workers once patient was in their custody/control (just too weird). b. Case: Brown v. Philadelphia Medicine (Pa. 2000) Misdiagnosis for baby with STD and turned out father had it anyways. Hospital was not proximate cause of violence at home, loss of employment, and break of up marriage because all of their story was beyond reasonable foreseeability. c. Case: Riojas v. Lone Star Gas (Tex.App. 1982) Using charcoal to stay warm when gas is cut off by mistake. Fam got carbon monoxide poison. Stupidity is an intervening cause to break the chain of events. Company non liable. d. Case: Guarino v. Mine Safety (mask manuf.) (NY 1969) “danger invites rescue” the mask company’s liability extends to rescuers and victim. Generally P cannot assume the risk on injury. e. Case: Colaitis v. Benihana (NY 2006) Chef’s carelessness was not the proximate cause of customers death b/c it was not reasonably foreseeable on the 5 month timeline with the blood-borne infection from surgery. ii. Defenses to Negligence 1. Comparative Fault – P failed to take reasonable precautions for his/her own safety Affect extent to which P can recover. a. Texas statute – proportionate responsibility law percent of harm attributes to P’s negligence + D’s (pg 45) i. One defendant: P can recover from D the percentage of damages D caused, unless P’s fault exceeds 50% (pg. 45) ii. Multiple defendants: each D is responsible for his/her share, unless a D is more than 50% at fault (joint and several liability = if D is more than 50% and other D is broke, first D must pay D1+D2) 2. Statute of limitations – time frame (depending on type of civil wrongdoing) in which you have to file a lawsuit) is generally 2 years on negligence. Time of injury (when P knew or should have known) is when the clock starts running. 3. Workers Compensation – Injured on the job a. Employee get workers comp if he/she has insurance but cannot sue boss or co-workers for ordinary negligence 4
b. Exception: the wrongdoing was intentional or gross negligence (failure to use even the smallest amount of care). Meaning P cannot double-dip unless this is met. III. INTENTIONAL TORTS – P must prove D state of mind (deliberate wrongdoing). D wanted to bring about the consequences of his/her act. OR D knew with substantial certainty that would follow the acts.
- Spring '08