Fall 2017 1L Torts Outline (Perry)
A civil wrong committed by one person against another
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
Compensation; Causation not necessary.
Deterrence (Just); Causation is not necessary.
Corrective Justice – fair for Δ to restore π to status quo
Punishment (only in some cases)
Administer Tort System efficiently – keep court costs down
Three types of TORTS:
NEGLIGENCE: the failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances
STRICT LIABILITY: liability without fault
Duty + Breach (falling below standard of care) + Causation + Injury = Liability
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 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:
RULE: A Δ may not be liable for an accident caused by a force beyond ∆’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 extra care was required and ignored doctor’s warnings, then he is liable.
Vicarious Liability: Being held responsible for the acts of another (e.g. a company being held responsible for the actions of a security guard of the company.)
RULE: To find an employer vicariously liable for employee’s torts apply The Brinker Test:
The employee’s conduct must be of the general kind the employee is hired to perform, that is, the employee must be about the employer’s business and the duties assigned by t
y was unavoidable and the Δ’s conduct was not blameworthy then liability may not be established.
Adams v. Bullock – Kid gets fried because he was twirling a wire near electrified rails
-RULE: not negligent for not providing protection against an Unforeseeable, extraordinary injury that is difficult to prevent. Harm must be foreseeable.
Reasonable care requires a high degree of vigilance. There is a duty to take all reasonable precautions to minimize risk.
-RULE: No liability 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=Burden of adequate precaution or the cost is less than
P=Probability of accident occurring multiplied by the
L=Loss or degree of injury
PL then Probably no negligence
United States v. Carroll Towing -Barge got loose and sank
-RULE: Negligence is found where B