What Is an Intervening Act in Law

For example (as in Watson v. Kentucky & Indiana Bridge & Railroad Co.), if a defendant carelessly spilled gasoline near a pile of cigarette butts in an alley behind a bar, the fact that a bar patron then carelessly threw a cigarette butt into gasoline would be considered a foreseeable intermediate cause. and would not relieve the defendant of liability in tort. However, if the patron of the bar intentionally threw the cigarette butt into the gasoline because he wanted to see it ignite, this deliberate act would likely be considered unpredictable and therefore superior. [1] For the intermediate cause to be deemed to have been overcome and to release the injured party from liability, both the action/event and the damage must be unforeseeable. For example, suppose Contractor A is responsible for fencing or marking a hole in the ground and does not do so negligently, while Contractor B is working in the hole. Then, a driver who did not take his medication negligently before the trip and therefore does not see clearly led into the unmarked hole and injures contractor B. Contractor A continues to be liable for damages caused to Contractor B, although the driver does not take any medication negligently. Because even if the driver`s negligent act is not foreseeable, the fact that a driver is injured is predictable (i.e. a car falls into it because there is no guard). [2] Some jurisdictions use two terms to define the doctrine of intervening cause: intervener cause and substitute cause. In these jurisdictions, the term “intervening cause” describes any cause that falls between a defendant`s conduct and the resulting harm, and an intermediate case that relieves a defendant of liability is called a substitute cause.

Other jurisdictions do not use the term “surrogate cause.” That case-law merely asks whether the intervener is sufficient to exonerate a defendant from liability. All courts distinguish between an intervening case that exonerates a defendant from liability and one that does not: the only difference is terminology. Not all intermediate cases relieve a defendant of liability. A dispute relieves the defendant of liability only if it could not have been foreseen by a reasonable person and only if the damage resulting from his own actions could not have been foreseeable by a reasonable person. The trial court agreed with Petty and ruled in his favour. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld. According to the Court of Appeal, sudden illness was an intermediate cause. Petty had no reason to foresee illness, and because he had not been negligent in any way prior to the accident, illness absolved him of any responsibility for Cohen`s injuries. Next, the investigator checks whether the farmer could have foreseen the damage caused by the outdoor storage. Since the artist made the sculpture for outdoor display, damage to the sculpture due to outdoor storage can be considered unpredictable.

In these circumstances, the tornado can be seen as an unpredictable cause of damage to the sculpture, and the farmer can escape responsibility. Some states follow a combination of these rules. Because of these differences, it is important to consult a lawyer when a person is considering making a claim, as the rule in place can affect the approach that works best for their case. In the trial, the question of the farmer`s liability is a question of fact that must be decided by the judge or jury. The judge or jury asks if a reasonable person would have expected a tornado. In general, extreme weather is considered an unpredictable intermediate cause. However, if the farmer lives in Kansas, where tornadoes are expected, and stored the sculpture outside without chains during tornado season, the judge or jury may determine that he should have foreseen the tornado and its adverse effects and is therefore responsible for the damage. There are two categories of intermediate cases, including: An independent intervening case arises from the fault of the defendant. It relieves the defendant of liability, unless this is foreseeable for the defendant.

n. an event that occurs between the initial inappropriate or dangerous act and the damage itself. Thus, the “causal relationship” between injustice and harm is interrupted by the intermediate cause. This is a “but for” situation where intervention becomes the root cause of the damage caused. As a result, the person who triggered the chain of events is no longer responsible and is not liable for any damage caused to the injured person. Example: Fred Flameout carelessly lights a wildfire by welding his haystack next to a row of haystacks, hay catches fire and the fire spreads to the next ranch. But just as the county fire department had nearly contained the fire, Peter Petrol drove his oil truck across the line of fire against a firefighter`s orders and stopped on the road between Flameout`s property and Richard Rancher`s. The sparks from the fire blew up Petrol`s trucks, setting fire to Rancher`s barns and house, which were burning.

Petrol`s negligence is an intermediate cause that exempts Flameout from the bait of liability. Sometimes this is called the parent cause. (See: Cause, negligence) A defendant is liable for harm or loss suffered by another person if his negligent or reckless conduct was the direct cause of the resulting harm or loss. This means that the defendant`s conduct must have played a material role in the cause or direct cause of the injury or damage. However, the defendant may avoid liability by proving that a subsequent act or event, or an intermediate cause, was the actual cause of the damage. In tort law, an intrusive cause is an event that occurs after the initial negligence of an injured party and inflicts harm or injury on a victim. An intermediate cause generally releases the injured party from liability for the harm caused by the victim only if the event is considered a substitute cause. A stain remover cause is an unpredictable intermediate cause. In contrast, a predictable intermediate cause usually does not break the chain of causality, meaning that the perpetrator is always responsible for the victim`s injury – unless the event leads to an unpredictable outcome. The intermediate reasons most often cited by defendants are the forces of nature and negligent human behavior. The forces of nature include exceptional weather, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and animal behavior.