Torts: Negligence: Duty

Negligence: Duty: obligations for safety precautions to not hurt others. Cannot engage in activities pursuant to your unfettered whims. There are two inquiries:
  • To whom do you owe a duty of care: foreseeable victims of your carelessness. (you do not owe a duty to unforeseeable victims, they always lose in negligence).
    • Unforeseeable victims: Palzgraf. Not owed a duty because she’s not in the “ZONE OF DANGER.”
    • On bar, when someone really far away gets hurt, they are an unforeseeable victim.
    • Exception: Rescuers. They begin the problem very far away, and are allowed to go forward.
  • How much care do you owe: (Standard of Care Δ) –A reasonably prudent person acting under similar circumstances.
    • Jury decides who the reasonably prudent person is.
      • RPP has no observable attributes.
      • No allowance for the individual attributes. It is an objective standard. It’s inflexible.
        • Duty of care of a developmentally disabled person: Held to RPP std.
        • Duty of care of a mentally ill person: Held to RPP std.
        • Duty of care of a novice/amateur: Held to RPP std.
    • Exceptions:
      • Superior Skill or Knowledge: If Δ possess superior skill or knowledge the standard becomes a RPP with that superior skill or knowledge.
        • If Δ has a skill-set that others don’t have. Δ is a professional racecar driver and gets into an ordinary accident on an ordinary road, he is held to same std. as a RPP who is a racecar driver.
        • A stupid person can have superior knowledge. Δ knows where the dangerous intersection is. Δ must drive his car like an RPP with superior knowledge of the dangerous intersection .
      • Δ’s physical attributes:
        • If Δ is blind, the std. becomes an reasonably prudent blind person; or Δ is in a wheelchair, then std. is RPP in a wheelchair.