Chapter 20 negligence
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Chapter 20: Negligence. Negligence is conduct that falls below the standard established by law for protecting others against unreasonable risks of harm Examples • Dr. D’Angelo , a surgeon, forgets to remove a clamp from a patient’s body while operating and stitches up the patient.

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Chapter 20: Negligence

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Chapter 20 negligence

Chapter 20: Negligence


Chapter 20 negligence

Negligence is conduct that falls below the standard established by law for protecting others against unreasonable risks of harm

Examples

• Dr. D’Angelo, a surgeon, forgets to remove a clamp from a patient’s body while operating and stitches up the patient.

• Monica leaves a loaded rifle on the floor where her younger brothers and sisters usually play. A child is shot.

• A city employee working in a manhole forgets to replace the cover when he goes to lunch, and a pedestrian falls in and is injured.

• A drug company markets a birth control device for women without conducting adequate medical testing. A woman develops a serious illness from using the device.


Elements of negligence

Elements of Negligence

For a plaintiff to win a negligence action against the defendant, each of the following four elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence:

  • Duty

  • Breach of Duty

  • Causation

  • Damages


Chapter 20 negligence

Duty

Duty is the legal responsibility to act reasonably towards the person or their property

A Breach of Duty is when they do not reasonably perform their duty

Examples: A mechanic is replacing brakes but is lazy and does not install them correctly, you leave and are involved in a car accident b/c of the brakes

*Do not confuse a moral duty with a legal duty


Reasonable person standard

Reasonable Person Standard

Everyone in society has a duty to act reasonably. To determine this courts use the Reasonable Person Standard. They are an idealized version of how someone “should” act.

Reasonably skilled persons are held to the standard of their skill (plumbers, lawyers ect)


Causation

Causation


Causation1

Causation

Two Issues to Consider

  • Causation in Fact – The action was THE cause of the harm.

  • Proximate Cause – There is a close connection between the wrongful act and the harm

    A person is typically liable for the Foreseeable Harm that they caused


Damages

Damages

Courts allow plaintiffs to recover money for Economic Damages

  • hospital bills

  • lost wages

  • damage to property

  • reduced future earnings

  • other economic harm.

    May also recover for Noneconomic Damages

  • pain and suffering

  • emotional distress

  • permanent physical losses


Defenses

Defenses

Contributory Negligence – It was the person’s own fault that they were damaged.

Should a person that drowns at this beach be able to be held liable?


Defenses1

Defenses

Comparative Negligence – When both sides have fault and divides the damages based on the % of fault of each side.

Ex. Fred and Joe get in a car accident. Fred sues Joe for $10,000. A jury find that Fred was 30% liable for the damages since he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. How much would he receive?

You cannot receive damages if your fault is over 50%.


Defenses cont

Defenses Cont

Assumption of Risk - when a person voluntarily encounters a known danger and decides to accept the risk of that danger.

Examples

-Fans at a baseball Game

- Someone who is using a knife


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