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Chapter 10

Chapter 10 BU353.docx

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Heather Graham

BU353 Chapter 10 – Legal Liability for Insurance Week 4 Some Background on the Law -Common law – the law that have evolved over time as a result of previous court decisions -Statutory law – laws that have been passed into written form by the federal Parliament, provincial legislatures, and municipalities -Criminal law – covers acts against local government or the federal government -Civil law – deals with acts that causes losses to another individual, but for which society has less direct interest -Contract law – interprets contractual provisions and resolves disputes between contractual parties, such as when one party is harmed as a result of another party’s failure to fulfill its contractual obligations -Tort law – deals with wrongs done to one party by another party who is under a duty to act reasonably to protect the first party and fails to do so, causing provable injury or damage to that other person or entity Overview of Tort Liability Rules and Procedures -Liability for harm to another person varies depending on the context -Range of alternative tort liability rules: Description Example No liability Defendant cannot be held liable Children in some cases Negligence Defendant is liable if found negligent, but migLiability for damages caused by be able to avoid liability using certain defensautomobile accidents Strict Defendant is liable even if not negligent, but Liability of firms for damages resulting liability might be able to avoid liability using certain from defective products defenses Damages -Compensatory damages – designed to compensate injured parties for losses -Special damages – compensation to the plaintiff for monetary losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and the value of lost services from bodily injury, and repair/replacement costs and loss of use for property damage -General damages – compensation for nonmonetary losses, such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium with an injured or deceased spouse, and emotional distress from the death of a spouse or family member – difficult to measure -Punitive damages – reserved for situations where the defendant’s conduct was malicious, oppressive, and high handed Joint and Several Liability -Often situatiosn arise in which the actions of multiple parties combine to cause loss -Under the doctrine of joint and several liability, each defendant can be held responsible for the entire amount of damage -If multiple parties are held liable under this, the court might instruct one party to pay the paintiff the entire amount of damages – the division of damages among the liable parties is then determined in subsequent negotiations or litigation between the liable parties -If some parties are unable to pay, the full burden of paying damages will fall on other parties Liability from Negligence Elements of Negligence -Four conditions: -Legal duty owed to the plaintiff by the defendant BU353 Chapter 10 – Legal Liability for Insurance Week 4 -Breach of duty by the defendant -The defendant’s breach of duty is the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury -The plaintiff suffers provable injury or damage Legal Duty -The defendant must have had a duty to behave so as to protect other parties from harm Breach of Duty -Assuming a legal duty, the defendant must have breached this duty by failing to exercise the required standard of care for the protection of the other party Proximate Cause -The defendant’s behaviour must be the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury -A defendant’s action will not be considered the proximate cause of injury if the injury would have occurred regardless of whether the defendant failed to satisfy the standard of care required for protection of the other party Injury to Plaintiff -The plaintiff must have suffered provable injury or damage Defenses to Negligence -If the plaintiff is able to establish all four conditions then the defendant must answer to the allegation of negligence -The
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