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Prepared by Douglas Peterson, University of Alberta 5-1 Part 2 – The Law of Torts Chapter 5 Negligence and Unintentional Torts.

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Presentation on theme: "Prepared by Douglas Peterson, University of Alberta 5-1 Part 2 – The Law of Torts Chapter 5 Negligence and Unintentional Torts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prepared by Douglas Peterson, University of Alberta 5-1 Part 2 – The Law of Torts Chapter 5 Negligence and Unintentional Torts

2 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-2 Overview  Concept of Tort liability  Strict liability  Vicarious liability  Negligence  Proximate cause  Duty of care  Forseeability  Res ipsa loquitor

3 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-3 Overview  Occupiers liability  Manufacturers' liability  Nuisance  Defenses  Contributory negligence  Volenti non fit injuria  Act of god  Waiver  Release  Statute of limitations

4 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-4 Overview  Remedies  Compensation  Nominal damages  Punitive damages  Court orders

5 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-5 Tort Liability  Concept – one should not intentionally cause injuries to another  Initially only deliberate direct injury was actionable  Strict Liability  Responsibility for loss regardless of the circumstances  Strict liability still exists but a move towards negligence

6 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-6 Vicarious Liability  Definition  The liability at law of one person for the acts of another  Employers (deep pockets theory)  If done during the course of employment  Reflected through insurance coverage

7 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-7 Evolution of Negligence  Negligence  This type of liability enlarged as society changed and became more civilized  Proximate Cause (Causation)  A cause of injury directly related to an act of a defendant  Must be a connection between the defendant’s act and the plaintiff’s injury  Cannot be too remote

8 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-8 Duty of Care  Duty not to injure another person  A right-duty relationship  Duty not to injure must be owed to the party suffers the injury  Foreseeability (the reasonable person)  A standard of care used to measure acts of negligence

9 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-9 Foreseeability  A reasonable person would foresee that their actions would cause harm to another  If yes = liable  If no = not liable  A flexible concept

10 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-10 Determining Negligence  Intentional – willful  Unintentional – negligence or recklessness  Usually an omission on the part of someone  Duty to refrain from acting negatively  No duty to act a certain way (positive duty)

11 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-11 Negligence (Liability)  3 Requirements 1. Defendant owes the plaintiff a duty not to injure 2. Defendant’s actions constitute a breach of that duty 3. Plaintiff suffers some injury as a direct result (causation) of the defendant’s actions

12 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-12 Nature of Duty of Care  Varies based on:  Nature of activity  Nature of person  Subject to test of foreseeability and the reasonable person  Breach of duty is a factual question

13 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-13 Res Ipsa Loquitor  “the thing speaks for itself”  Plaintiff must prove: 1. Cause of injury is something in the exclusive care and control of the defendant 2. Circumstances constitute events that would not normally occur if proper care had been taken by the defendant  Burden shifts to defendant if proven

14 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-14 Occupiers Liability  Concept (common law)  duty of care owned by occupier to those who come on their land  Duty owned depends on kind of person entering (ascending order of importance) 1. Trespassers 2. Licensees 3. invitees

15 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-15 Occupiers Liability  Trespassers  Lowest duty of care owed  Duty of common humanity, not deliberately injure  Common law now superseded in some provinces by statute (Occupiers Liability acts)

16 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-16 Occupiers Liability  Licensees  Enter land with express or implied permission  Medium duty - duty to protect from concealed dangers  Invitees  A person who enters upon the lands of another by invitation, usually or the benefit of the person in possession of the land  Retail stores  Owed the highest duty of care  Duty

17 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-17 Occupiers Liability  Contractual Entrant  A person who enters on the premises with a colour of right stemming from a contract with the occupier  Hockey game, movie theater, opera, night club  Duty to warn or protect from any unusual dangers or hazards of which the occupier is aware or ought to be aware

18 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-18 Occupiers Liability (Statute)  Codified in 1957 in UK  Abolished distinction between invitees and licensees  Both referred to as visitors  Standard of care owed is that owed to invitee under common law  Some provinces have Occupiers Liability legislation which now establishes a statutory standard

19 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-19 Manufacturers’ Liability  Traditionally  Duty of care owed only to the purchaser of goods not the user  Manufacturer’s now owe a duty of care to any foreseeable users of their products if:  They were negligent in their manufacture  They were aware of dangers associated with the goods and failed to warn

20 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-20 Nuisance  Wide application  Interference with the enjoyment of real property or, in some cases, material interference with a person’s physical comfort  Balance the reasonable use of land by one with the decrease in enjoyment by another  Requires  Serious decrease in enjoyment of land  Specific damage to the land

21 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-21 Nuisance  Remedies  Injunction  Equitable remedy order the person to refrain from doing certain acts  Environmental nuisance  Covered through legislation

22 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-22 Defenses  Contributory Negligence  Actions of the injured party contributed to their injuries (plaintiff’s carelessness)  Injured party is the author (partially or wholly) of their own misfortune  Responsibility is apportioned  Voluntary Assumption of Risk  Volenti non fit injuria

23 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-23 Defenses  Act of God  Unanticipated event that prevents the performance of a contract or causes damages to property  Waiver  An express or implied renunciation of a right or claim  Usually must be written and cover the injury contemplated by the parties at the time

24 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-24 Defenses  Release  Promise not to sue or press a claim, or a discharge of a person form any further responsibility to act  Statute of Limitations  Legislation sets forth time periods within one must bring an action  Most provinces it is 2 years from the date the injury occurred

25 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-25 Remedies  Compensatory Damages  Money damages  Purpose is to restore the injured party to a whole state (undo the harm done) 1. Special damages: covers specific losses or costs (actual amounts) 2. General damages: compensation for pain and suffering, future health issues, permanent incapacity (estimated by court)

26 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-26 Remedies  Nominal Damages  Tort does not result in a monetary loss  Award nominal damages i.e.) $1  No actual damages  Punitive Damages  Damages awarded to “set an example” to deter similar behavior by others  Court Orders  Order by a court to a person to stop doing something or to do something  Contempt of Court – refusal to obey a court order

27 © 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 5-27 Summary  Duty of Care  if owed then a breach of that duty is a tort  Foreseeability test – determined by the reasonable person test  Defendant’s actions must be the cause of the injuries (can’t be too remote)  Defenses  Can be used by the defendant  Some are absolute defenses others are not

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