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Torts
Rutgers University, Newark School of Law
Perry, Twila L.

TORTS –
1.      A civil wrong committed by one person against another
2.      can and usually does arise outside of any agreement between parties

A tort is a civil redress. The primary concern of tort law has been whether one whose actions harm another should be required to pay compensation for the harm done.

UNDERLYING POLICIES AND GOALS OF TORT LAW
1.     
CENTRAL CONCEPT
Standard of Care
The Reasonable Person
THE ROLES OF JUDGE AND JURY
Role of Custom
Role of Statutes
PROOF OF NEGLIGENCE
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Compensation; Causation not necessary.
2.      Deterrence (Just); Causation is not necessary.
3.      Corrective Justice – fair for Δ to restore π to status quo
4.      Punishment (only in some cases)
5.      Avoid violence/chaos
6.      Administer Tort System efficiently – keep court costs down

Three types of TORTS:
I)                   NEGLIGENCE: the failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances
II)                STRICT LIABILITY: liability without fault
III)             INTENTIONAL HARM/TORT

I. NEGLIGENCE – inadvertent or unintentional failure to exercise that care which a RPP would exercise; conduct which violates certain legal standards of due care. Neg. constitutes recovery in a tort action if it is the proximate cause of injury to the π.


To establish a prima facie case of negligence, you must show that there was a duty to the π, a breach of that duty, and that the breach was the actual and proximate cause of the injury. Negligence may occur by a volitional act or by a willful and affirmative omission to act.

To establish a prima facie case of negligence, you must show five things:
1) Affirmative Act of Omission by a defendant
2) DUTY: exercise reasonable care or to act as the “reasonable person”
3) BREACH of that DUTY which establishes
4) CAUSATION: relationship between P and D conduct (be it Actual or Proximate) which results in:
5) INJURY

A few items to warm up with:
Hammontree v. Jenner
Hammontree, and husband were working in their bicycle shop, when D, had a seizure and crashed into Hammontree’s shop.
A Δ may not be liable for an accident caused by a force beyond D’s control so long as the Δ demonstrated due care, but if the Δ failed in his duty of due care, then this would be an affirmative omission for which he is liable.
(i.e. the guy had seizures but exercised his DUE CARE by taking medicine)
-BUT if the guy knew or should’ve known that DUE CARE was required and sat on his ass and didn’t do anyt

y for foreseeable injury (not caused by negligence or intentional action) if the risk of injury is extremely minimal. 
Risk must be “reasonably” and “substantially” foreseeable.

(B) BPL

B=Burden of adequate precaution or the cost is less than
P=Probability of accident occurring multiplied by the
L=Loss or degree of injury

-If B
PL then Probably no negligence

United States v. Carroll Towing
-Barge got loose and sank       
-RULE: BPL
When the burden of adequate precaution is high in comparison to the low probability of the accident occurring, then Δ’s conduct may be considered reasonable.

McCarthy v. Pheasant Run
-Woman almost raped at D’s hotel. Woman argues that signs needed to warn people to lock door
When the preventative measures are of reasonable cost in comparison to the probability and loss, then D may be liable for negligence. π needs to present evidence of costs and apply the Learned Hand Formula.
-But the case at hand, D never put up evidence showing the cost of preventive measures