Business Law Ch 9
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The determination that the defendant’s breach of duty resulted directly in the plaintiff’s injury.
assumption of the risk
A defense whereby the defendant must prove that the plaintiff voluntarily assumed the risk that the defendant caused.
Money awarded to a plaintiff as reimbursement for her or his losses; based on the amount of actual damage or harm to property, lost wages or profits, pain and suffering, medical expenses, disability, etc.
A defense to negligence whereby the defendant can escape all liability by proving that the plaintiff failed to act in a way that would have protected him or her from an unreasonable risk of harm and that the plaintiff’s negligent behavior contributed in some way to the plaintiff’s accident.
dram shop acts
A regulation under which bartenders can be held liable for injuries caused by individuals who become intoxicated in their bars.
good samaritan statutes
A statute that exempts from liability a person, such as a physician passerby, who voluntarily renders aid to an injured person but negligently, but not unreasonably negligently, causes injury while rendering the aid.
An act committed with extreme reckless disregard for the property or life of another person.
A doctrine used by a plaintiff when the defendant establishes contributory negligence. If the plaintiff can establish that the defendant had the last opportunity to avoid the accident, the plaintiff may still recover, despite being contributorily negligent.
modified comparative negligence
In some states, a defense whereby the defendant is not liable for the percentage of harm that he or she proves can be attributed to the plaintiff’s own negligence if the plaintiff’s negligence is responsible for less than 50 percent of the harm. If the defendant establishes that the plaintiff’s negligence caused more than 50 percent of the harm, the defendant has no liability.
negligence per se
A doctrine that allows a judge or jury to infer duty and breach of duty from the fact that a defendant violated a statute that was designed to prevent the type of harm that the plaintiff incurred.
Behavior that creates an unreasonable risk of harm to others.
The extent to which, as a matter of policy, a defendant may be held liable for the consequences of his or her actions. In the majority of states, proximate cause requires that the plaintiff and the type of injury suffered by the plaintiff were foreseeable at the time of the accident. In the minority of states, proximate cause exists if the defendant’s actions led to the plaintiff’s harm.
Compensation awarded to a plaintiff that goes beyond reimbursement for actual losses and is imposed to punish the defendant and deter such conduct in the future. Also called exemplary damages.
pure comparative negligence
A defense accepted in some states whereby the defendant is not liable for the percentage of harm that he or she can prove can be attributed to the plaintiff’s own negligence.
reasonable person standard
A measurement of the way members of society expect an individual to act in a given situation.
res ipsa loquitur
A doctrine that allows a judge or jury to infer that, more likely than not, the defendant’s negligence was the cause of the plaintiff’s harm even though there is no direct evidence of the defendant’s lack of due care.
Liability in which responsibility for damages is imposed regardless of the existence of negligence. Also called liability without fault.
An incident that simply could not be avoided, even with reasonable care.
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