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res ipsa loquitur

negligence may be inferred simply because an event occurred, if it is the type of event that would not occur in the absence of negligence (the facts speak for themselves)

assumption of risk

defense against negligence that can be used when the plaintiff was aware of a danger and voluntarily assumed the risk of injury

business invitee

those people, such as clients, who are incited onto business premises by the owner of those premises for business purposes

causation in fact

an act of omission without which an event would not have occurred

comparative negligence

a theory under which the liability for injuries resulting from negligent acts is shared by all parties who were negligent (including the injured party) on the basis of each person's proportionate negligence

contributory negligence

theory under which a complaining party's own negligence contributed to or caused his injuries. Contributory is an absolute bar to recovery in a minority of jurisdictions

dram shop act

state statute that imposes liability on the owners of bars and taverns, as well as those who serve alcoholic drinks to the public, for injuries resulting from the accidents caused by intoxicated persons when the sellers or servers of alcoholic drinks contributed to intoxication

duty of care

duty of all people to exercise reasonable amount of care in their dealings with others. Failure to exercise due care, which is normally determined by the "reasonable person standard" constitutes tort of negligence

Good Samaritan Statute

people who rescue or provide emergency services to others in peril, unless they do so recklessly, cannot be sued for negligence


professional misconduct or the failure to exercise the requisite degree of skill as a professional


the failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in similar circumstances

negligence per se

an act in violation of statutory requirement

proximate cause

legal cause; exists when the connection between an act and an injury is strong enough to justify imposing liability

reasonable person standard

standard of behavior of the hypothetical "reasonable person"

strict liability

liability regardless of fault. may be imposed on defendants in cases involving abnormally dangerous activities, dangerous animals, or defective products

superseding cause

an intervening force or event that breaks the connection between a wrongful act and an injury to another. A defense against liability

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