Law 3101A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Endangerment

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Part 1: positive acts vs failures to act. Common law distinguished between injuries caused by positive acts and those caused by failures to act. No general duty in negligence to take affirmative action to benefit others. Some limited duties of affirmative action were recognized if their parties were in special relationship or defendant had statutory/contractual obligation to intervene. In most cases though, law simply required an individual to refrain from interfering with another person"s rights. Law does not recognize general duty of affirmative action, but courts have expanded the situations in which they will recognize existence of special relationship, between. Part 2: the duties to rescue and render aid, treat and refer. No general duty of care in negligence to rescue and render aid to a person in peril, unless special relationship exists between parties (ex. Hp have little reason to fear being held liable in negligence for assisting in an emergency (despite conventional wisdom to the contrary)

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