3 Negligence and Liability This field of law comes initially from common lawIt was and still is known as TORT lawStatutory law has been added to the common law, dealing with things like immunity, defense and allocation of responsibility
4 Negligence and Liability Deals mostly with wrongs to a private party or private interests versus the criminal law, where the main aim is to protect overall societal interests.Can an act constitute both a tort (negligence) and a criminal act?
5 Negligence and Liability Negligence is the middle of the road as far as responsibility under tort lawIn the text (chap 2 p 50 fig 2.1) is the “spectrum” of liability versus conduct.
7 Elements of a Negligence Case Plaintiff must allege and prove 4 elements to win a negligence case:defendant owes plaintiff a duty to act reasonablydefendant breached that dutythe defendant’s conduct caused the injury or damagethe plaintiff suffered injury and damages
8 Existence of a duty to act reasonably do not owe duty to every oneowe duty to those who would foreseeably be harmed by conductBishop v Chicago (1970) 121 Ill. App. 2d 33Febesh v. Elcejay Inn Corp. (1990) 555 N.Y.S.2d 46 from the text Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Law, Cournnoyer, Marshall and Morris, case involved bee stings at outdoor event.
9 Breach of duty How can you tell when duty is breached? The “reasonable person of ordinary prudence” standard is used to judge conductThis person uses ordinary care and skill and “does not have bad days, is always up to standard, a personification of the community ideal of reasonable behavior.” from the text Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Law, Cournnoyer, Marshall and Morris (1993)Question of breaching a duty and the standard of care is for the trier of fact to determine
10 Breach of DutyA professional may be held to a higher standard of care. E.g.. The reasonable and prudent doctorCases in duty and its breach are often fact intensive and the 4 elements may not be identified.Thomas v. Grand Hyatt Hotel (1990) 749 F. Supp. 313
11 Proximate CauseThe breach of the duty must be the proximate cause of the injury.Notice that this involves the concept of foreseeable harm again.
12 Proximate Cause“A proximate cause is the direct and immediate foreseeable connection between a breach of duty and a resulting injury. Proximate cause means the injury must have been caused by the breach of duty; in other words, there must be a cause and effect relationship between the injury and the unreasonable conduct. The connection also must be direct or immediate, so that a reasonable person could foresee the potential danger of the careless act.” from Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Law, Cournnoyer, Marshall and Morris (1993)
13 Injury and DamagesThe plaintiff must have suffered some injury to his or her body or property as a result of the act of the defendant
14 Premises (e.g. a hotel)In the case of an injury on a premises, the duty owed the plaintiff would depend on the type of visitor.Invitee - members of public invited onto the premises to conduct business with the hotel.Licensee - person lawfully on the premises but has entered the premises for his or her own purposes, not to further the business interests of the hotel.Trespasser - person not lawfully engaged in an expected business practice of the hotel, e.g. car cutting through parking lot, people jumping fence to swim in pool etc.Difference is in legal duty owed to different type of visitor from Inn Keeper’s Liability Management, (1995) Bakken & AbeleThere are also people who do not fall into any of the above categoriesSome states have abolished these distinctions by statute
15 Premises (e.g. a hotel)Duty owed to invitees Montes v Betcher (1973) 480 F.2d 1128 Lutz v. Goodlife Entertainers (1973) 208 Ill.App.3d 565Duty owed to licensees Steinberg v. Irwin Operating Co. (1956) 90 So.2d 460Duty owed to trespassers Hanson v. Hyatt Corp (1990) 196 Ill.3d 618Duty owed to others Fedie v. Travelodge (1989) 782 P.2d 739