Duty to be a reasonable person Sometimes it can be higher, lower, or special Higher than usual—being a professional If you are doing a job for money instead of helping out a friend for free then you have a higher than usual duty of care Obligation to be reasonable person in profession Brain surgeon should be held to reasonable person but reasonable brain surgeon Lower than usual—being a child Reasonable child of your own age If you are very young you might not have any reasonable obligations at all If kid caused problem you have to sue kid Case: when neighbor went to sit down the kid pulled chair out from under his seat and jury awarded neighbor $0 in damages because its reasonable behavior for 6 yr old Special—visitors to your property Trespasser, social or business guest (customer at restaurant) Trespassers: not owed any special duty of care, always basic responsibility to be a reasonable person and if you set a trap on your property you might be liable for a trespassers injury Social guests: obligation is to keep them safe or warn them about hidden dangers on your property that you know about, if you have something that isn’t obvious to guests you should tell them so no one gets hurt, if someone gets hurt by something you didn’t know about you aren’t liable Business guests: if people are coming as customers you have an obligation to keep them safe from all hidden dangers whether you know about them or not Breach of duty of care Person you are suing wasn’t as careful as they were supposed to be Two basic ways to prove it Usual way: ordinary evidence, photographs, eye witness accounts Short cut: negligence per se document , if you show the defendant broke a safety law and it led directly to having physical injury
Running a stop sign Don’t have to rely on jury agreeing with you, becomes automatically part of case Causation in fact Somebody was part of events that lead up to you being hurt, losing money, damaging property, etc. “But for” causation “What if that guy never got out of bed that day?” test If it were less likely to happen or wouldn’t have happened at all then you have cause in fact Example: If you are on the porch listening to the radio and cleaning a gun and accidentally fires and hits neighbor and he sues you for negligence Me? If I had been in bed clearly the neighbor wouldn’t have been shot so yes to cause in fact Guy who sold the gun? Yes cause in fact because if he wasn’t born I wouldn’t have the gun and accident could’ve been different My grandmother? Yes to cause in fact because if she wasn’t born then I wouldn’t have
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- Spring '08
- The Land, the deal