Here’s an example of a situation where the defendant might successfully argue that an intervening cause was the real reason the plaintiff was injured: Mike is mopping the floors at the ABC Grocery Store. During a thunder storm, the horse is spooked, and runs through the damaged section, breaking his leg so severely that he has to be put down. Usually intervening causes are actions by a third party or natural occurrence that alter the circumstances of accident. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. An unforeseeable event that interrupts the chain of causation, becoming the actual cause of the accident. Intervening cause — An intervening cause is a potential defense to the tort of negligence, if it is an unforeseeable, and therefore superseding intervening cause, rather than a foreseeable intervening cause.For example, if a defendant had carelessly spilled gasoline … Wikipedia An intervening cause, such as the failure of a home builder to include sufficient exits from a home, may rise to the level of a superseding cause if it is so extraordinary or unusual that its interference, or consequences thereof, could not have been foreseen or anticipated. plaintiff, thus absolving defendant from liability: ‘(a) the fact that its … Proximate cause refers to the act that most directly resulted in someone’s damages or injury. Intervening Cause and Superseding Cause. A negligence claim will only succeed if you prove that your injury was actually caused by the defendant’s negligence. However, Wes is probably the intervening superseding cause of Mary’s death because he interrupted the chain of events started by Henry. An intervening cause is something that happens in between the defendant’s actions and the accident, and causes the injuries. Intervening and superseding causes—which occur when the action of a third party, or even an act of nature, play a role in causing the plaintiff’s injury—disrupt this so-called "causal chain" and can diminish or even wipe out the defendant's liability, which means intervening and superseding causes can reduce or eliminate your ability to get fair compensation ("damages") for your injuries. The family filed a civil lawsuit, naming a host of defendants, including the landlord, the manufacturer of the smoke alarms, the home builder, the electrician, and the city inspector. An intervening cause may break the connection between the injury and the defendant’s action, and thus destroy a negligence claim. In this example, the superseding cause was the tow truck running into the already damaged vehicle. Professors throw these terms around as if they are household words. Here is how to conduct an analysis to determine if a defendant is still liable in the presence of one or more intervening … Quinn files a civil lawsuit against Brenda because she ran the stop sign and hit him. During the night a storm arises, and hurricane-force winds pick up an empty refrigerator in the neighbor’s yard, and hurls it at the horse, striking him, and forcing him into the damaged section of the fence. A superseding cause is an unforeseeable intervening cause. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. In 2007, a power outage occurred in a Maryland neighborhood, leaving residents in the dark. The answer is probably no because the intervening action was (or should have been) reasonably foreseeable to the homeowner. But in this situation, the actions of the car driver may be considered a superseding cause of the passenger's injuries, whether or not the bus company could also be considered negligent. 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. To break this down, consider that very few occurrences happen in a vacuum. Additionally, a superseding act must have occurred after the original actor’s negligent act was committed. ... For example, the culpability of the third person committing ... determining whether an intervening force is a superseding cause of harm to the. The superseding intervening cause defense is one of the few defenses in Minnesota workers’ compensation law that can result in a complete bar to all benefits claimed that are attributable to the superseding event. One of the children picks … While the person who committed the act considered to be the proximate cause of a plaintiff’s damages is held liable, he may escape being held liable if he can show that some subsequent event – the intervening cause – was actually the cause of the damages or injury. The companies claimed that all of these events amounted to superseding causes that should absolve them of liability. An intervening act, which is a normal response created by negligence, is not a superseding, intervening cause so as to relieve the original wrongdoer of liability, provided the intervening act could have reasonably been foreseen and the conduct was a substantial factor in … Ultimately the court ruled that reasonable minds could very surely come to different conclusions about that issue, and therefore it is a question of fact that should be determined by a jury. Intervening Cause. intervening cause Primary tabs. This has an effect on who should be held liable for the damages caused by the accident. An intervening cause can be the action of another person (who is generally called a "third party"), and it can also be an act of nature, such as a branch falling from a tree or a weather-related event. Mary escapes Henry and hides in an abandoned shed. Let’s look at an example of this. An intervening cause is any event in an accident that occurred after the actions of the defendant (i.e. In this example, superseding cause may enable Manny to escape liability for the horse’s demise. See People v.Acosta for a great example.. Quinn just has time to realize his arm hurts before a tow truck, happening on the scene, rams into Quinn’s car, pushing it into a ditch. In March 2000, Teresa Butts was driving down a dark and rainy night, when she struck a homeless man crossing the street. For example: Manny agrees to keep Ron’s horse in his corral for a week while Ron moves. 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