at 942. (§ 440.) © 2019 Thomson Reuters. D. Under these facts the tornado may be deemed an unforeseeable intervening cause of the damage to the sculpture, and the farmer may avoid liability. The term superseding cause refers to some event that occurs after the initial act that caused an accident, or some other injury. B. An Example: An intoxicated cabdriver transports a person in a cab with faulty brakes. For example, assume that a farmer agrees to store a large, heavy sculpture for an artist. On appeal the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia affirmed. The concept of superseding cause, however, assumes that D's negligence was an actual cause and relieves him of liability because of the existence of another causative factor, which is termed a superseding cause.1" It is at this point that artificial methods of restrict-ing D's liability are invoked. She will not prevail, because the act of the burglar was an independent superseding cause of the homeowner's loss. (See: cause, negligence). In. Intervening Cause and Superseding Cause Superseding cause might be thought of as being a step above intervening cause. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. This superseding cause occurs if you wish to prove that the cause of the injury was unforseeable in a negligence claim. 466, 480 n.6, 804 P.2d 659 (1991). Like an intervening cause, a superseding cause occurs between the defendant’s action and the plaintiff’s injury, and it is also responsible for the injury. Not all intervening causes relieve a defendant of liability. These jurisdictions simply ask whether the intervening cause is sufficient to relieve a defendant of liability. This paper argues that the distinction between dependent and independent intervening causes ultimately is rooted in a deeper distinction between two kinds of coincidence, one of which is, as a general rule, more improbable than the other. An accident occurs, which is a direct … Torts, § 628, citing cases.) Bishop v. Miche, 137 Wn.2d 518, 532, 973 P.2d 465 (1999). ), Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil, Part II. A court order prohibiting a father's contact with his child may be an intervening cause breaking the chain from a negligent CPS investigation only if all the material information was presented to the court that issued the order. Sparks from the fire cause Petrol's truck to explode, sending the fire on the way to Rancher's barns and home, which burn down. For example, suppose the defendant poked an associate in the chest during a friendly discussion around a watercooler, and the associate subsequently jumped out a window. at 530 n.2. A defendant is not criminally responsible for the crime if the loss or injury was the result of an unforeseeable, independent, intervening cause. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Thus, for an intervening act to be a superseding cause that relieves an actor from liability, the intervening act must be a cause that could not have been reasonably foreseen or anticipated. An act is not foreseeable and thus is a superseding cause of the injury "if the independent intervening act is highly unusual or extraordinary, not reasonably likely to happen ...." (4 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Some jurisdictions use two terms to define the intervening cause doctrine: intervening cause and superseding cause. Example of an Intervening Superseding Cause . superseding cause n. the same as an "intervening cause" or "supervening cause," which is an event which occurs after the initial act leading to an accident and substantially causes the accident. "Intervening-Cause Defense: Is It Still Viable Under Comparative Fault?" A dependent intervening cause is set in motion by the defendant's own conduct, and will not relieve the defendant of liability unless it is extraordinary. All jurisdictions differentiate between an intervening cause that relieves a defendant of liability and one that does not: the only difference is in the terminology. Gausvik v. Abbey, 126 Wn.App. Find the right lawyer for your case and recover losses with LegalMatch. Natural forces include extraordinary weather, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and the conduct of animals. v. Corp. of Presiding Bishop, 175 Wn.App. If the vehicle is stolen, Martin may be held liable to Tasha for her loss because a reasonable person would have anticipated the theft. D.C. 187, 65 F.2d 820 (D.C. Cir. Two types of intervening causes are considered: dependent and independent. Ohio case law has. It relieves a defendant of liability unless it was foreseeable by the defendant. This has an effect on who should be held liable for the damages caused by the accident. at 298. Superseding – Intervening Cause. “If the acts are … within the ambit of the hazards covered by the duty imposed upon the defendant, they are foreseeable and do not supersede the defendant's negligence.” Cramer v. Dep't of Highways, 73 Wn.App. The decision to prosecute a parent was a superseding intervening cause breaking the causal connection to a negligent CPS investigation. Schlosser, William L. An independent intervening cause is an act or event (by a party other than the defendant) that happens after the negligent act and injures the plaintiff. 1. 718 (A.B.R. Dr. Lattanzi received his J.D. The judge or jury asks whether a reasonable person would have anticipated a tornado. … A defendant is held liable for an injury or loss to another person if the defendant's negligent or reckless conduct was the proximate cause of the resulting injury or loss. Negligence—Risk—Misconduct—Proximate Cause, WPI 15.05 Proximate Cause—Supserseding Cause. In Cohen, Jeanette Cohen sued Joseph Petty for permanent injuries she suffered as a passenger in a vehicle when Petty drove it into an embankment. All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. The result is that the person who started the chain of events is no longer responsible and will not be found liable for damages to the injured person. A dependent intervening cause is one that is not an act and is never a superseding cause. An independent intervening cause is one that operates on a condition produced by an antecedent cause but in no way resulted from that cause. On the other hand, if that chain-of-events thing is something really out of the ordinary (like Batman), then we dub it a “superseding cause”… which means “Really? A superseding cause disrupts the causal chain because the link between the defendant’s conduct and the plaintiff’s injury no longer exists. superseding cause n. the same as an "intervening cause," or "supervening cause," which is an event which occurs after the initial act leading to an accident, and substantially causes the accident. See also Tegman v. Accident & Medical Investigations, Inc., 150 Wn.2d 102, 114, 75 P.3d 497 (2003) (jury required to segregate damages caused by intentional versus negligent tortfeasors). Maltman v. Sauer, 84 Wn.2d 975, 982, 530 P.2d 254 (1975); Cook v. Seidenverg, 36 Wn.2d 256, 264, 217 P.2d 799 (1950); Estate of Keck v. Blair, 71 Wn.App. The trial court agreed with Petty and entered judgment in his favor. Generally, extraordinary weather conditions are deemed an unforeseeable intervening cause. It must be truly independent and not set in motion by the defendant’s negligence. A separate act or omission that breaks the direct connection between the defendant's actions and an injury or loss to another person, and may relieve the defendant of liability for the injury or loss. A court's refusal to revoke a DUI probationer two days before he drove and killed plaintiff decedent was a superseding intervening cause to the county's negligent probation supervision preceding the court hearing. Thus, the "causal connection" between the wrong and damages is broken by the intervening cause. Albertson v. State, 191 Wn.App. C. She will prevail, because the maid's failure to lock the door created the risk that someone might enter and take the homeowner's valuables. New and wholly independent. A separate act or omission that breaks the direct connection between the defendant's actions and an injury or loss to another person, and may relieve the defendant of liability for the injury or loss. This is a "but for" situation, in which the intervention becomes the real reason harm resulted. At trial the issue of the farmer's liability is a Question of Fact to be determined by the judge or jury. See … New Mexico Law Review 30 (spring): 325–49. Review the example with Henry and Mary in Example of Legal Causation. 3. ... superseding cause of the Neubaums’ injuries in the absence of evidence the Attorneys contributed No claim to original U.S. Government Works. A Superseding – Intervening cause is a cause that totally supersedes the original wrongful act or omission. https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Superseding+intervening+cause, Again, the court was convinced that this was proof positive that a, (18) Every one of these considerations militates against treating an employer's personnel investigation for discipline as a, Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus - The Free Dictionary, the webmaster's page for free fun content, Comparative fault as a defense in products liability subrogation, Needle stick suit: judgment for RN & employer upheld, Defeat the 'cat's paw' defense to vicarious liability: employers are seeking to avoid subordinate-bias liability for employment discrimination by claiming that the chain of causation was broken by an unbiased final decision-maker. 516, 521, 870 P.2d 999 (1994). At trial Petty argued that he had become sick without warning and had fainted while driving. 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