This is an extract of our Causation document, which we sell as part of our Torts Outlines collection written by the top tier of University Of Virginia School Of Law students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Torts Outlines. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
- "but for"
- Simple to state but harder to prove.
- But for the negligence (breach of duty) damage or injury would not have happened (but for the D's speeding, the stopping distance would have been shorter and would not have caused the harm).
- New York Central R.R. v. Grimstad - P fell overboard and drowned immediately. D was negligent by not having life buoys on board but it was not the but-for cause of the P's death.
- "substantial" factor
- What would have happened? (Zuchowicz - Overdose of Danochrine)
- Did Danochrine cause the disease that killed her? Court ruled that it did. Did overdose of Danochrine cause death? Court ruled that it was a substantial factor. Can't show but-for but enough to show substantial factor.
- Experts ruled out other known causes of the disease which made the P's contention more likely
- Campfire in dry conditions was but for cause but it was also the wind and lack of rain. "you take nature as you find it"
- tougher issues
- two forces (Kingston)
- 2 fires, 1 set by D negligently, simultaneously xconverges on P's house and burn it down. If 1st fire hadn't burned down the house the 2nd one would have.
- Make liable the tortfeasor in front of us, they are more guilty than the innocent P.
- alternative liability (Tice)
- 3 people quail hunting, 2 D's hit P in the face, one hits the lip other hits eye. 1 pellet in the eye and 2 shooters, 50% chance it came from either shooter.
- If it is that close, 50/50, D's are held jointly and severally liable.
- Burden shifts to D to prove which one was negligent
- Joint and several liability - P can choose the "deep pocket" but that D can recover against the other D that D's portion of liability.
- loss of chance (Herskovits)
- D failed to diagnose the P's cancer until his chances of survival were only 25 percent. There was testimony, hoever, that even absent the D's malpractice (i.e. but-for the malpractice) D's chances at survival would have only been 39%.
- Could not have been said that "but-for" the D's malpractice, D would more probably than not have died.
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