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Lecture 6

LAW 122 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Damages, Statutory Authority, Product Liability

Law and Business
Course Code
LAW 122
Peter Wilson

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LAW122 Business Law
Chapter 6: Negligence
Standard of Care:
Reasonable Person:
It is not enough to say they did their “best”
Reasonable foreseeability of risk
- Any realistic risk may require precaution
Likelihood and severity of loss
- More care if great danger of great harm (e.g. plane crash)
- More care if inexpensive precaution (e.g. cab door kids’ locks)
Social utility
- Less care if socially valuable activity
Sudden peril doctrine
- Less care if emergency (e.g. rescue from fire)
- You are already sacrificing your life to rescue someone so the standard of care is lowered
Product Liability:
Losses caused by manufactured products
- American approach = strict liability (manufacturer liable for any defects)
- Canadian approach = negligence (manufacturer liable only for careless defects)
Types of product liability:
- Careless manufacture of specific item: isolated incident
- Careless design of product line: widespread problem
- Careless failure to warn of risk of harm
Sue everyone (manufacturer, seller, installer may be liable)
“Learned intermediary rule” in some situations
You can sue the manufacturer even if you did not directly buy the faulty
product from them
Causation of Harm:
Liability only if breach caused lost
Proof on balance of probabilities (at least 51%)
- All-or-nothing approach
Full compensation if probable causal connection
No compensation if not probable causal connection
Breach as a cause not necessarily only cause can still lead to liability
- E.g. if you pushed me off a cliff and I have bad posture (get 100% compensation)
Several defendants may cause single injury
- If your loss or injury was caused by more than one person they all will be liable
- They must pay their portion depending on what the judge says
- If one does not pay you will get the full amount from the others or the other person
Thin skull = unusual vulnerability to loss
- The defendant is liable if they can reasonably for see that they will injure or cause a loss
to the plaintiff
- If the plaintiff has a condition that the defendant did not know of, they may not be liable
Plaintiff’s careless contribution to own loss
- Unreasonably enter into dangerous situation
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