chapter 8 - Principal of Legal Liability.
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Define "Civil Law"
Civil law is concerned with settling disputes between individuals or other legal entities in matters not involving a criminal act.
What is the goal in a civil action ?
The goal in any civil action is to seek compensation for the amount of the financial loss or damage suffered by the insured party.
Identify the two main areas of law comprising civil law
1. Common law: Except Quebec, the legal responsibility for on'e actions is defined within the English system of law know as common law
2. Statue law: is written law and is derived from bills introduced into parliament and provincial legislative assemblies to deal with specifics need, Statue law overrides Common Law.
A tort is a wrong act which has negligently caused damage or injury to another. This wrongful act may be an intentional act, a negligent act or a failure to act.
Identify three elements required to be present in every tort action
i) Duty owed: people have the right to not be harmed, and by that implication, people have duty to refrain causing harms on other
ii) Duty breached:
iii) (direct) Damages suffered as proximate result of defendant's actions.
Identify two types of torts for which a person might be held responsible
i) Intentional Torts: Liability insurance policies do not pay for injury or damaged caused intentionally.
ii) Unintentional Torts: involve careless rather than intentional. Liability insurance covers this.
Negligence is "the omission to do something which a reasonable person would do or doing something which a reasonable and prudent person would not do"
What are the two elements must be present to prove the tort of negligence ?
- - Result must have been foreseeable
- - Legal duty owed to the plaintiff was breached as as a result of the carelessness or neglect of the defendant.
A Trespasser is on the premises without the expressed or implied permission of the occupier.
A Visitor is defined as anyone entering the premises other than a trespasser.
State the "legal duty" owed by occupiers to "a trespasser"
Occupiers must not
- - set traps
- - intentionally cause harm to the trespasser.
State the "legal duty" owed by occupiers to "a visitor"
- take reasonable care to ensure that all visitors are reasonably safe in using the premises.
State the "legal duty" owed by occupiers to "children"
The occupier of property must ensure that the premises are safe from any danger whatsoever
State the liability of a landlord
In common law, landlords are not responsible for ensuring that a building or land rented to others is fit for the purpose for which it is rented unless:
- - They specifically warrant the fitness for such purpose
- - They conceal any adverse conditions
In building with multiple tenancies, landlord is responsible to both the tenant and others for the conditions of the areas common to all tenants.
State the liability of a tenant to a landlord
- Tort law:
- - Tenant is liable in tort for damaged caused, the building owner is entitled to compensation.
- Contract law:
- - usually state in the rental/lease agreement
State the liability of a bailee for customer's goods
- Tort law:
- - Bailees are responsible when the duty of ordinary care is breached because of their negligence
- Contract law:
- - Bailee may assume other responsibilities for the property under a separate contract.
State the liability for an employer
- - Employers shall be held liable for the torts of their employees while in the course of their employment
- - Worker's Compensation Act provides employees with no fault insurance benefits for injuries received on the job, in exchange, the employee is considered to have given up the right to sue the employer for injuries on the job.
State the liability of property owners for torts of an independent contractor.
- Generally occupiers of property are not liable for the negligence of an independent contractors with whom they have contracted to perform the work if it can be shown that
- - Reasonable care was exercised in the selection of the independent contractor
- - It was reasonable that the work the independent contractor was engaged to do should have been undertaken.
- Except: the occupier and independent contract will share in liability for injury or damage when:
- - The work being contracted is inherently dangerous
- - The injury or damage results from the contractor's use of defective fixtures, machinery supplied by the occupier
- - The occupier controls the manner in which the work is to be done
State liability for animals
- i) Domestic animals:
- - the dog's owner is deemed legally liable from the first bite
- ii) Wild animals:
- - Strictly liable
State the legal position regarding the payments of damages when two or more people are held responsible for a tort
In case of joint tortfeasors
Each tortfeasor will be held liable for the entire amount of the award. As the result the plaintiff will receive twice the amount of judgement. As the result, each tortfeasor will generally agree to pay an equal share of the damages and whatever needs to resolve their own disputes.
State the liability of children
Children are responsible for the injury or damage they cause unless it can be proven they were incapable of understanding the consequences of their actions.
Parents are generally not required to pay for the torts of their children except
- There was a demonstrated failure of proper supervision and control of their children activities.
- - The injury or damage was caused by a dangerous things or animals relinquished by the parent to the control of the child.
- - The injury or damage was cause by a child acting on the authority of parents
- - The injury of damage arose out of the duties of employment in the parents' business.
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