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Legal Environment Ch 8

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Negligence
Failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Contains 3 elements: Breach of duty of care, Proximate Cause, and Injury
Reasonable Person Standard
Duty of care required to avoid being negligent; refers to one who is careful, diligent, and prudent
Children
must conform to conduct of a reasonable person of like age, intelligence, and experience
Physical disability
A disabled person's conduct must conform to that of a reasonable person under like disability
Mental deficiency
A mentally deficient person is held to the reasonable person standard of a reasonable person who is not mentally deficient.
Superior skill or knowledge
Professionals must exercise the same skill normally possessed by members of their profession
Emergencies
The reasonable person standard applies, but the emergency is considered part of the circumstances
Emergency
Sudden, unexpected event calling for immediate attention
Violation of statute
If the statute applies, the violation is negligence per se
Negligence per se
conclusive on the issue of negligence (duty of care and breach)
Duty to Act
Except in special circumstances, no one is required to aid another in peril
Duty to Trespassers
Not to injure intentionally
Trespasser
Person who enters or remains on the land of another without permission to do so
Duty to licensees
To warn of known dangerous conditions licensees are unlikely to discover for themselves.
Licensee
Person privileged to enter or remain on land by virtue of the consent of the lawful possessor
Duty to invitees
To exercise reasonable care to protect invitees against dangerous conditions possessor should know but invitees are unlikely to discover
Invitee
Person invited upon land as a member of the public or for a business purpose
Res Ipsa Loquitur
"the thing speaks for itself"; permits the jury to infer both negligent conduct and causation
Causation in fact
The defendant's conduct was the actual cause of, or a substantial factor in causing, the injury
But for rule
Conduct is a cause of an event if the event would not have occurred in the absence of the person's negligent conduct
Unforseeable Consequences
No liability if defendant could not reasonably have anticipated injuring the plaintiff or a class of persons to which the plaintiff belongs
Superseding Cause
Intervening event that occurs after the defendant's negligent conduct and relieves her of liability
Harm to legally protected interest
Courts determine which interests are protected from negligent interference
Contributory negligence
Failure of a plaintiff to exercise reasonable care such as the failure is a legal cause of the plaintiff's harm
Last Clear Chance
Final opportunity to avoid an injury
Comparative negligence
Doctrine dividing damages between the plaintiff and defendant where the negligence of each has caused the harm
Express assumption of the risk
Plaintiff's express consent to encounter a known danger
Strict Liability
Liability for nonintentional and nonnegligent conduct
Abnormally dangerous activities
Involve a high degree of risk of serious harm and are not matters of common usage
Keeping of animals
Strict liability is imposed for wild animals and usually for trespassing domestic animals
Products liability
Imposed upon manufacturers and merchants who sell goods in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer
Contributory negligence
Not a defense to strict liability
Comparative negligence
most states apply this doctrine to products liability cases
Assumption of a risk
a defense to an action based upon strict liability