Torts Outlline

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<p>Torts OutlineFall 2010 Farahany Jasmin Felton</p> <p>Table of ContentsI. Negligence ........................................................................................................................................................................... 4 B. C. Injury Element ............................................................................................................................................................ 4 Duty Element .............................................................................................................................................................. 4 c) Evolution to Tort Duty Rules ....................................................................................................................................... 5 iii. General Rule of Duty .................................................................................................................................................. 6 d) Qualified Duty ............................................................................................................................................................. 7 ii. Premises Liability ......................................................................................................................................................... 8 iii. Negligent Infliction of Economic Distress ................................................................................................................. 10 D. Breach Element ........................................................................................................................................................ 11 a) Ordinary Care Standard ............................................................................................................................................ 11 e. Judicial Determinations of Breach ........................................................................................................................ 12</p> <p>b) Reasonable Person Standard .................................................................................................................................... 13 c) Ordinary Care vs. Custom.......................................................................................................................................... 14 1. Children ..................................................................................................................................................................... 14 e. f. g. E. Industry and Professional Custom ........................................................................................................................ 15 Assessing Reasonableness (Custom continued/ CBA) .......................................................................................... 17 Res Ipsa Locquitor ................................................................................................................................................. 20 Causation Element.................................................................................................................................................... 22 a) Causation in Fact ....................................................................................................................................................... 22 b) Substantial Factors Test ............................................................................................................................................ 22 c) Redefining Injury in Light of Actual Case (Loss of Chance) ....................................................................................... 23 d. e. f. f. g. Multiple Causes ..................................................................................................................................................... 23 Tortfeasor Identification ....................................................................................................................................... 23 Proximate Cause ................................................................................................................................................... 24 Risk Rule Test ........................................................................................................................................................ 26 Intersection of Duty and Proximate Cause ........................................................................................................... 27</p> <p>II. Negligence Per Se ............................................................................................................................................................. 28 a. d. f. General Rule: Unexcused violation of a statutory standard of care, if unexplained, is negligence per se. ............. 28 Applicable Rules ........................................................................................................................................................ 28 Defenses .................................................................................................................................................................... 29</p> <p>2</p> <p>III. b. i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. IV. V.</p> <p>Strict Liability ............................................................................................................................................................ 29 Property Torts ........................................................................................................................................................... 29 Animal Bites (doesn't have to be a bite--violent activity) ..................................................................................... 29 Trespass to Land.................................................................................................................................................... 29 Nuisance ................................................................................................................................................................ 30 Ultra-hazardous Activities ..................................................................................................................................... 31 Distinguished......................................................................................................................................................... 31 Restatement of Torts 2nd Section 520 six factor test for abnormally dangerous activities ................................ 31 Products Liability ...................................................................................................................................................... 33 Defenses ....................................................................................................................................................................... 39</p> <p>3</p> <p>I. NegligenceA. Overview a) Overview of Prima Facie claim. P must prove these elements to be eligible for a remedy, and even if he does, the d may be able to avoid liability on the basis of an affirmative defense. b) Parts of Prima Facie Case (which Plaintiff has to prove by the preponderance of the evidence) 1. Injury 2. Duty 3. Breach 4. Causation a. Actual Cause b. Proximate Cause i. Example: Walter v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.</p> <p>B. Injury Elementa) If there is no injury, then there is no cause of action. b) Injury usually follows after the breach of some duty. P has to demonstrate that she has suffered the right kind of adverse effects to be entitled to pursue an action for redress from another. c) Three types of injury that are recoverable in torts: i. Physical injury-most common/ less disputed/ easy to find. 1. Any actual bodily harmbroken bones, illness. 2. Damage to property and Destruction of property ii. Loss of Wealth 1. Someone negligently prepares a will 2. Dont go to work because you were injured (economical loss) iii. Emotional Distresshighly unpleasant mental reaction that results from another persons conduct. It is very complicated to prove. 1. Anguish, grief, fright, humiliation, and fury.</p> <p>C. Duty Elementa) Duty requires a negligence plaintiff to establish that the defendant owed her, or a class of persons including her, an obligation to take care not to cause the type of injury that she has suffered. i. Easy duty 1. You act in a way that is careless in circumstances where it is obvious you have a relationship to others. 2. These are cases in which neither the litigants nor the court will spend much time on the issue b/c all are satisfied that the person being sued owed the complainant the duty to take reasonable care not to cause harm to others. b) Pre-negligence presumptive cases i. Weaver v. Ward 1. Holding the court presumed that the victim of an accidental shooting could sue the shooter under the writ of trespass notwithstanding the absence of any preexisting relationship between them ii. Mitchil v. Alestree</p> <p>4</p> <p>1. Holding the court held that the owner of a horse could be sued under the wit of trespass on the case for carelessly arranging to have his horse trained in a public park, during which training it ran down the plaintiff, a stranger. iii. Cotterill v. Starkey 1. Holding- the plaintiff, a pedestrian, had been run down by the defendant as he drove his horse drawn wagon. It is quite clear that a foot passenger has a right to cross a public road and that persons driving carriages along the road are liable if they do not take care so as to avoid driving against the foot passengers who are crossing the road. iv. Vaughan v. Menlove 1. Holding the court upheld a claim for liability arising out of a carelessly started fire that spread from defendants to plaintiffs property. Everyone takes upon himself the duty as not to injure the property of others. c) Evolution to Tort Duty Rules i. Privity Rule: limits liability. Allows parties of a contract to sue each other, but prevents a third party from doing so. 1. Winterbottom v. Wright a. Wright built and maintained carriages. He entered into a contract with the English Postmaster General to provide coaches fit for delivering mail. The Postmaster General in turn obtained drivers by contracting with another company, of which the plaintiff Winterbottom was an employee. Winterbottom suffered permanent harm to his leg when the wheel on the coach he was driving collapsed, causing the coach to collapse. He sued Wright, arguing that Wright had breached a duty of care owed to drivers such as him to take reasonable care to ensure the soundness of the coaches being supplied to the Postmaster General. Issuewhether Winterbottom can bring a claim against Wright, who had no contract with, for negligence. Was there a duty owed by Wright to Winterbottom when they are not in privity of contract to each other? b. Holding: the court found that Winterbottom couldnt sue for negligence. Under the privity rule, if theres no privity then theres no duty owed. c. Reasoning: If 3rd parties were allowed recovery, this leaves room for an infinity of actions. Judges probably didnt want to hurt the growth of companies. Also, The Postmaster general is the least cost avoider in this circumstance. If the defect a maintenance defect, then it is the Postmaster's fault. He has to maintain them. Claim would have to be brought against him, not Wright. If they weren't fit in the first place, then postmaster not the least cost avoider and can bring a claim. ii. Imminently dangerous products (Thomas Rule) 1. There is automatically a duty of reasonable care owed when dealing with products that by their very nature could pose a serious risk of harm or put human life in imminent danger.</p> <p>5</p> <p>2. If the death or great bodily harm of some person was the natural and almost inevitable consequence of the sale of a product by a third party, that person can still be sued despite privity. 3. Thomas v. Winchester a. Facts: Thomas was accidentally poisoned after a company had carelessly mislabeled a bottle of poison as if it were medicine. The company argued, under Winterbottom, that it owed no duty to Mrs. Thomas because it sold the mislabeled bottle to a distributor named Aspinwall, who sold it to a pharmacist, who sold it to the plaintiffs husband. The New York Court of Appeals allowed liability to be asserted after establishing the imminent danger rule as a test for duty. This chips away at Winterbottoms privity rule. b. Conclusion: distinguishes from Winterbottom and states that one automatically accepts a duty when dealing with products that by their own nature pose a serious risk of harm. 4. Thomas Rule: When the harm is imminent of ones conduct, then you have the duty to take precaution to avoid that harm. iii. General Rule of Duty 1. Reasonable foreseeability governs. Reasonable foreseeability looks at individual circumstances to determine if person was owed a duty. a. Heaven v. Pender i. Under the circumstances that it would be reasonably foreseeable if you acted in a certain manner it would be harmful to others, then a duty exists. 2. The general duty of ordinary care is that which a reasonable, prudent, or ordinary person would take under the circumstance. a. Whenever one person is by circumstances placed in such a position with regard to another that every one of ordinary sense who did think would at once recognize that if he did not use ordinary care and skill in his own conduct with regard to those circumstances he would cause danger of injury to the person or property of the other, a duty arises to use ordinary care and skill to avoid such danger. iv. The End of Privity in Negligence 1. The First Death a. If the nature of a thing is such that it is reasonably certain to place life and limb in peril when negligently made, it is then a thing of danger. It gives warning of consequences to be expected. If the element of danger there is added knowledge that the thing will be used by persons other than the purchasers and used without new tests, then, irrespective of contract, the manufacturer of this thing of danger is under a duty to make it carefully. Established rule of probable danger which extends liability and overturns Winterbottom. i. Macpherson v. Buick Motor Company 1. Facts: Defendant sold an automobile to a retail dealer. Retail dealer sold automobile to the</p> <p>6</p> <p>plaintiff. Plaintiff was in car and it suddenly collapsed because the wheel was made of defective wood. 2. Conclusion: The manufacturer of automobiles are responsible for the finished product and they should foresee that the specific products they manufacture will be used after sold to a retailer. 3. Cardozo made Thomas the rule. 4. The modern doctrine of strict liability would apply to this case now. ii. Mussivand v. David 1. Person you owe a duty to has to be a reasonably foreseeable person. a. In this case, liability ended with the spouse because the spouse is a foreseeable sexual partner. One is only liable to the third party spouse until the initially infected spouse knows o...</p>