Friday, March 5, 2010
4 - Torts - Negligence (Standard of Care)
Negligence – Standard of Care
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING IS TAKEN FROM SOME OF MY CLASS NOTES, SOME OF WHICH IS MY OWN PERSONAL WORK AND SOME OF WHICH BELONGS TO CONCORD LAW SCHOOL. IT IS POSTED TO HELP MY IL STUDENTS IN PARTICULAR. IT CANNOT BE DISSEMINATED WITHOUT EXPRESS, WRITTEN PERMISSION.
The Standard of Care for negligence is the required level of expected conduct. The level of conduct demanded of a person so as to avoid liability. It is the failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person, under the same or similar circumstances, would exercise.
The Reasonable person standard: One must act as a reasonably prudent person in the same or similar circumstances would act, though there are a few other points to make here.
Emergency: One must act as a reasonably prudent person in the same or similar emergency so long as the defendant did not create the emergency. If that is the case, then the general reasonable person standard would apply.
Physical Conditions: One must act as a reasonably prudent person of the same or similar condition.
Mental Conditions: Traditional rule is that one’s mental condition is not relevant. The minority rule is that one must act as a reasonably prudent person of the same or similar condition.
Superior Abilities, Skill or Knowledge: Here, one must act as a reasonably prudent person, taking into account the abilities, skill or knowledge of the Defendant.
Child: Probably, the reasonable child is an oxymoron. But, nonetheless the rule is that one must act as a reasonably prudent child, except where the Defendant is participating in an adult activity.
So that’s it for the standard of care. Next in torts, we’ll talk about breach of duty.
Professor Doug Holden
© 2010. Douglas S. Holden. All Rights Reserved.