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LWSO 203 Lecture Notes - Special Circumstances

Law and Society
Course Code
LWSO 203
Marywyatt Sindlinger

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Four Elements of Negligence
1) Duty of Care
a) Q: To whom do you owe a duty of care?
b) A: Neighbour Principle
People so closely and directly affected by your actions that you ought
reasonably to have them in contemplation when acting/failing to act
c) Reasonable foreseeability
d) Requires a degree of proximity
e) Can be negatived by policy considerations
2) Standard of Care
a) Q: What standard of care is required in a given situation?
b) A: The standard of care of an ordinary, reasonable, cautious, prudent person in the
position and circumstances of the defendant
c) Factors affecting Standard of Care
Likelihood of harm (foreseeability)
Gravity of potential harm
Burden or cost of preventing the harm
Relevant customary and industry practices
Statutory and regulatory requirements
d) Special Circumstances
High risk activities
Professional activities
Mental capacity and Age
The reasonable person is a mythical creature of the law whose conduct is the standard by
which the Courts measure the conduct of all other persons and find it to be proper or
improper in particular circumstances as they may exist from time to time. He is not an
extraordinary or unusual creature; he is not superhuman; he is not required to display the
highest skill of which anyone is capable; he is not a genius who can perform uncommon
feats, nor is he possessed of unusual powers of foresight. He is a person of normal
intelligence who makes prudence a guide to his conduct. He does nothing that a prudent man
would not do and does not omit to do anything a prudent man would do. He acts in accord
with general and approved practice. His conduct is guided by considerations which ordinarily
regulate the conduct of human affairs. His conduct is the standard 'adopted in the community
by persons of ordinary intelligence and prudence.
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