a. If the actor has more than the minimum of these qualities, he is required to exercise the superior qualities in a manner reasonable under the circumstances i. Hill v Sparks (experienced machine operator accidentally killed sister) ii. LePage v Horne (death at daycare from SIDS) iii. Jackson v Axelrad (Dr. sued Dr. for malpractice) 4. Standard of Care in Emergency Situations a. No different standard of care in emergencies- the standard is still held to what a reasonable person would do given the circumstances
7 b. Emergency cannot have been created by the Defendant, or else he is still liable c. CASE EXAMPLE: Bjorndal v Weitman (D hit P’s van while trying to drive around her) 5. Liability of the Insane or Mentally Deficient -Does not relieve the actor from liability, his conduct must conform to the general standard of care of a reasonable person under similar external circumstance a. CASE EXAMPLE: Creasy v Rusk (Alzheimer’s patient injured nurse in a home, still liable for injuries) 6. Contributory Negligence – If the plaintiff’s conduct can at all be a contributing factor in case, claim not valid 7. Old Age - not taken into account in setting the standard of care. 8. Intoxication - an intoxicated person owes the same care as a sober person, and that if his over conduct would be negligence in a sober person, it is also negligence in a drunken one 9. Sudden Incapacitation – a sudden physical incapacitation that is not foreseeable usually holds no liability a. CASE EXAMPLE: Roman v Estate of Gobbo (Driver had heart attack and caused accident) 10. A Child’s Standard of Care – A child accused of negligence is held to the standard of care of a reasonably careful child of the same age, intelligence and experience a. Children Engaged in Adult Activities – When the activity a child engages in is inherently dangerous, as is the operation of powerful mechanized vehicles, the child should be held to an adult standard of care. i. The level of skill and judgment required to perform an activity safely increases in proportion to the danger posed by the activity ii. Social Policy, actions are inherently dangerous and requires a reasonable adult to have a heightened level of care, same should be held of children engaging in the same kind of activity iii. Robinson v Lindsay (Child operating a snow mobile) b. Minimum Age for Capacity to be Negligent – Basically up for debate, but unlikely that a court would view a child under four to have the capacity to be negligent i. Rule of Sevens- minors over 14 are presumed capable of negligence, those between seven and 14 presumed incapable of it, and those below seven are incapable of negligence as a matter of law 11. Professional’s Standard of Care – A special standard of care; a professional must provide that degree of care as is given by the reasonable member of the same profession providing the same service a. Healthcare Providers, Lawyers, Architects, Accountants 12. Negligence as a Matter of Law - The court concludes, on the facts, that reasonable persons could not find otherwise and accordingly directs a verdict for the opposing party on this issue.
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- Spring '08
- Tort Law