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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Negligence is conduct that falls below the standard established by law for protecting others against unreasonable risks of harm
• 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.
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 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
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)
Two Issues to Consider
A person is typically liable for the Foreseeable Harm that they caused
Courts allow plaintiffs to recover money for Economic Damages
May also recover for Noneconomic Damages
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?
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%.
Assumption of Risk - when a person voluntarily encounters a known danger and decides to accept the risk of that danger.
-Fans at a baseball Game
- Someone who is using a knife