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Administrative Studies
ADMS 2610
Robert Levine

ADMS2610 Session 4 Chapter 5 (pg. 79-85, 89-91, 93-97) Negligence and Unintentional Torts Concept of Tort Liability - Basic foundation of tort liability is that individuals and corporations living in a civilized society will not intentionally cause injury to one another or others property - Initially only deliberate direct injury was actionable - Strict liability (responsibility for loss regardless of the circumstances) o Deliberate acts causing injury to others o Still exists in cases where activities or practices are inherently dangerous o Based neither upon intent nor negligence but conduct, while not wrongful or improper, is so inherently dangerous - Vicarious Liability (the liability at law of one person for the acts of another) o One person controls the activity of another to such an extent that the act of one may be attributed to the other o The liability is carried back to the person not directly associated with the tortuous act o At Common law, an employer is considered to be vicariously liable for the torts of the firm’s employees given it was committed by the employee in the course of the employers business  Reasoning behind this is the employee may not have financial means to compensate for the damage caused  Employers would, through insurance coverage  Also because the tort is committed during the employers business therefore the employer should have some responsibility for the loss o All partners in a partnership are vicariously liable for the torts committed by a partner o Provincial statute law also imposed a vicarious liability on the owner of a motor vehicle if the vehicle is negligent in its operation Evolution of Negligence - This type of liability enlarged as society changed and became more civilized - It was developed to cover injuries suffered by persons who were not intentionally injured, but were injured nevertheless by the actions or inactions of others o Unintentional injury was established for persons with specific trades, callings or professions when their careless conduct injured another  Early cases were decided on the basis the skilled person failed to carry out the work in accordance with the level of skill they possess Proximate Cause (Causation) – a cause of injury directly related to an act of a defendant - Must be a connection between the defendant’s act and the plaintiff’s injury - Connection cannot be remote - The “But For” Test in Causation o Asks the question: “but for” the defendant’s actions, would the injury or damage not have occurred? o An affirmative answer to the question would identify the defendant’s action as a cause of the injury o This test is less helpful where there are other intervening incidents that also result in injury  Example: if a person slips while walking in a foyer and breaks a leg, the building owner may be liable for the injury if its failure to remove the water was the proximate cause of the injury  But if the injured person is being transported to a hospital to have its broken leg treated, and along the way is severely injured when the ambulance is involved in an accident with another vehicle, the building owners negligence cannot be said to be the proximate cause suffered as a result of the motor vehicle accident o The intervening event of driving the person to the hospital is sufficient to break the direct link between the building owners action (or inaction) and the traffic accident Duty of Care – is the duty not to injure another person - Must be more than a moral obligation - Must be a duty that the person causing the injury owes to the injured party - Sometimes referred to as a right-duty relationship in tort law o The duty not to injure must be owed to the party who suffers the injury, the injured party must have a legal right that has been violated by the act of the other party o Example: a taxi driver owes a duty of care to his or her passengers and the passengers have a right to safe transportation to their destination  A breach of the duty of care by the driver that results in an injury to the passengers would violate their right to safe transportation and be actionable as a tort Foreseeability: The Reasonable Person – a standard of care used to measure acts of negligence - The reasonable person was presumed to posses normal intelligence and would exercise reasonable care in his actions towards others o The reasonable person was also expected to assume risk of daily living, but was considered to do so only after taking reasonable precautions to avoid injuring others - A reasonable person would foresee that their actions would cause harm to another o If yes = liable o If no = not liable o It is a flexible concept Determining Negligence - Difference between intentional and unintentional interference with the person is a matter that relates to the state of mind of th
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