- Act is unintentional
- Act is unplanned
- Act results in an injury
- Intentional tort: a person deliberately causes harm/loss to another person (trespassing, causing a nuisance, defaming property). It must include –
- Foreseeability (realization that an accident could occur)
Elements of Negligence
- Duty of care: a legal obligation to not harm other people or their property
- Ex. A home owner has a duty of care to keep sidewalks free of snow
- For there to be an intentional tort, there has to be a breach in the duty of care – if they have failed to meet the expected standard of care of a reasonable person
- A person that is free of disabilities, careful, thoughtful and considerate
- A person that falls below the standard of care is liable (responsible) for the results of the negligent act
- 6 yrs and under don’t meet the standards of a reasonable person
- Causation: must be determined by the plaintiff that the defendant ‘s negligent conduct caused the harm
- The plaintiff must also prove that real harm occurred because of the defendant’s negligence
Defences for negligence
- Contributory negligence: a principle that places as element of negligence between both plaintiff and defendant
- Was one party more guilty than the other, or were both equally guilty?
- Voluntary assumption of risk: defendant must prove that the plaintiff knew the risk and made a choice to assume that risk
- Ex. Going to a baseball game and getting hit in the face with a ball (can’t sue – the plaintiff knew that would be a possibility)
- Inevitable accident: a result of a fluke accident, unforeseen by all
- Occupier’s liability: property owners’ responsibility
- Owes a duty of care to make property safe for visitors, employees, etc.
- Invitee: being on the property for a reason either than a social visit (students, business patrons, delivery people)
- licensees : enters property with permission of the occupier (dinner guest)
- Trespassers: owners have to exact a reasonable standard of care when dealing with trespassers
Occupier’s Liability Act
- Laws that determine whether a person is an invitee (business/school purpose) or a licensee (dinner guest)
- Commercial and social host invitees:
- Restaurant, bar, home owners all have responsibility towards those who are on their premises and then leave, get hurt and/or die, or cause the death of another
- Ex. Intoxicated patrons: refusing to sell drinks, calling a cab, calling the police
Motor Vehicle Negligence
- Can lead to criminal and civil action
- Both parties can be placed with the burden of proving negligence
- Passengers that know the driver is intoxicated cannot sue for damages
- Doctors, engineers, architects, accountants, lawyers – have to exercise a reasonable standard of care
- The more specialized the person, the higher the standard of care is
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