Select Page

Torts II
Elon University School of Law
Grant, Helen

TORTS II
I.      FACTUAL CAUSATION
a.     Acting in Concert (two people racing, guy got hit, you encouraged it! Pump that hand up)
                                                              i.      3 ways of acting in concert:
1.      Tortious act in concert with another or pursuant to a common design with him/her; or
2.      Knows other’s conduct is tortuous and gives substantial assistance or encouragement; or
3.      Gives substantial assistance to the tortious conduct of another and his/her own conduct constitutes a breach of duty to the third person
                                                            ii.      Substantial Assistance (Dr. PKN)
1.      Nature of the Wrongful Act
a.       Riskier the behavior more likely assister acted in concert
2.      Kind & Amount of Assistance
a.       Greater the assistance more likely acted in concert
3.      Relation Between the Parties
a.       Control/Protection more likely acted in concert
4.      Presence Or Absence of the Defendant
a.       Present more likely acted in concert
5.      Def’s State of Mind
a.       Knowledge of the risk more likely acted in concert
b.      Balance these factors (not all required)
b.    Alternative Liability
                                                              i.      Elements
1.      All def’s breached their duty to the plaintiff
2.      Plaintiff cannot prove who caused their harm
3.      Each def created “substantially similar risk of harm” (risk uniformity)
4.      All potential def’s are being sued
                                                            ii.      Summers v. Tice (one guy sue
1.      2 tortfeasors
a.       who commit independent acts of negligence; and
b.      only one can have caused the harm
c.       Pl cannot determine who was the actual cause
2.      Burden of Proof shifts to def to prove that their negligence was not the cause
3.      If can’t both found to be the cause of the harm
                                                          iii.      Rationale behind Summers
1.      Fairness
a.       Def’s generally in a better position to identify the cause
b.      Def’s have the ability to exculpate
c.      Market Share Liability
                                                              i.      Define Market – National/State/ Regional – depending on jurisdiction. The size of the market determines your liability. Percentage share?
1.      What is the market?
a.      National/State/Regional?
2.      Reverse Onus -Exculpation
a.      Showing no market share in relevant market
3.      Apportionment of Damages
a.      Based on market share
b.      May be joint & several or just several (NY Several)
                                                            ii.      J & S Liability
1.      Each negligent defendant is fully responsible for the plaintiff’s damages if the harm is indivisible
2.      Damages pro rated, but if 1 Def can’t pay the other/s

UES IN DUTY OF CARE
a.     Introduction
                                                              i.      Is there a Duty of Care?
1.      If there is a Duty of Care the defendant will owe the standard of the reasonably prudent person in the circumstances (Subject to expectations)
                                                            ii.      Duty v. Proximate Cause: Both seek to limit liability & both concerned with issues of policy and foreseeability
1.      Duty:
a.       Concerned with categories of case: identifiable groups or identifiable types of claims
b.      Question o flaw for the judge
2.      Proximate Cause:
a.       Concerned with the specific case
b.      Concerned with whether the damage suffered was too remote
                                                          iii.      Duty and Limitations: A person owes a duty of reasonable or ordinary care to everyone in the world who they can foresee may suffer personal injury or property damage as a consequence of the acts that they undertake.
                                                          iv.      Limited categories – where no duty may be owed
1.      Non Action (Non-feasance)