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Torts
University of Denver School of Law
Pepper, Stephen L.

 
1.      Strict Liability
2.      Negligence
3.      Duty
4.      Standard of Care
5.      Breach
6.      Cause in Fact
7.      Proximate Cause
8.      Damages
9.      Joint and Several Liability
10. Vicarious Liability
11. Intentional Torts
12. Defenses
 
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1.      Strict Liability
STRICT LIABILITY replaces the first 3 elements in our negligence formula (no need for negligence).
1.            Animals
                                              i.                       General Rule: Those who keep, possess, or harbor an animal are strictly liable for the behavior of the animal.
                                            ii.                       Domestic Animals:
1.                        General Rule: Owners or keepers of domestic animals are not liable for injuries done by them in a place where they have a right to be
2.                        Exception: when the animals are vicious, and the owner knows this
3.                        Exception to the exception: When the injured party also knew the animal was vicious and voluntarily puts himself in their way to be hurt
4.                        Many states have special strict liability for dog bites
2.            Abnormally Dangerous Activities (a.k.a. “Ultrahazardous Activities”)
                                              i.                       General Rule: One who carries on an abnormally dangerous activity is subject to liability for harm to the person, land or chattels of another resulting from the activity, even though he used the utmost care to prevent the harm.
                                            ii.                       Strict liability if actions outside of the natural use of the land (Rylands – reservoir construction over mind shaft)
                                           iii.                       Factors to Consider (usually two factors met is sufficient)
1.                        Whether the activity involves a high degree of risk of some harm to the person, land or chattels of others;
2.                        Whether the gravity of the harm which may result from it is likely to be great;
3.                        Whether the risk cannot be eliminated by the exercise of reasonable care;
4.                        Whether the activity is not a matter of common usage;
5.                        Whether the activity is inappropriate to the place where it is carried on; and
6.                        The value of the activity to the community.
                                          iv.                       Common “Abnormally Dangerous” Activities (but NOT always strict liability):
1.                        Transportation or storage of toxic chemicals and inflammable liquids
2.                        Pile driving
3.                        Crop dusting
4.                        Fumigation with toxic gases
5.                        Testing of rockets
6.                       

ons would not do**
                                            ii.                       Elements of a Cause of Action
1.                        6 Elements:
a.                              Duty
b.                             Standard of Care
c.                              Breach
d.                             Cause in Fact
e.                             Proximate Cause
f.                               Damages
2.            Foreseeability
                                              i.                       If risk unforeseeable, no negligence (Cohen – no foreseeability of fainting)
                                            ii.                       Low probability, high consequence events: even if the probability is low, if the potential risk/damage is huge, a reasonable man would take steps to prevent (rough bunk cap)
3.            The “Learned Hand Formula”
                                              i.                       B (burden of precaution) < or > P (probability of injury) * L (potential liability)
                                            ii.                       B >, then precaution not reasonable
                                           iii.                       B