Tort question, help

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vidayvino
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Tort question, help

Postby vidayvino » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:57 am

Hi, quick question about causation in tort.

Jurisdiction: US common law/tort

Q: A looks out of his apartment window and finds a group of teens sit on the top of the expensive sports car of his. Out of anger, A fires a gun into the air just to scare away those teens. The group of teens get scared and run away in different directions. Being petrified, one of the teens sprints across the street out of rush and hit by a car passing by.

Is A innocent? Or is A liable for the teen's death?

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pancakes3
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Re: Tort question, help

Postby pancakes3 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:13 am

that's a poor use of the word "petrified" and your torts prof should know better

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Minnietron
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Re: Tort question, help

Postby Minnietron » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:52 am

Don't you sprint when you're too scared to move?

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hdivschool
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Re: Tort question, help

Postby hdivschool » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:37 am

Haven't taken torts in years, but here's my take: A is probably liable. He is the actual cause because but-for his gunshot, the kid would not have fled into the street. His gunshot is the proximate cause because the harm was foreseeable. It is foreseeable (indeed, intended) that A's gunshot would cause the kids to run away and into the street, and also foreseeable that scaring someone onto the street would put them at risk of getting hit by a car (and thus the car is not a superseding cause). There may be a contributory vs. comparative negligence issue too.

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pancakes3
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Re: Tort question, help

Postby pancakes3 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:41 pm

it's also a poor use of the word "innocent"

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tedler
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Re: Tort question, help

Postby tedler » Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:09 pm

I think that's a reasonably foreseeable consequence of firing his gun. Probably a solid negligence per se argument as well




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