Torts: Negligence: Duty: 6 special duty scenarios: Professionals

Professionals: (lawyer/accountant/engineer/architect/doctor)
  • Usually comes up in medical malpractice.
  • A professional owes a patient or client the care of the average member of that profession practicing in a similar community.
  • Empirical std. Requires factual investigation. A physician or other professional should behave like his colleagues. The custom of the profession sets the std. of care.
  • ON BAR: Π demonstrates the duty(std of care) to the jury by educating the jury with an expert witness.
  • IN ESSAY use: “conform to custom of profession” NOT “reasonableness”
  • ON BAR: A primary care doc is held the same std. as a doc in a similar geographic community. So a big city doc could be an expert witness against another big city doc. Rural doc is held to std. of other rural doctors.
  • ON BAR: A specialist is held the std of person in the specialty, no matter where he practices.