LAW 511-002 – Torts I

Intervening Cause


When a third person intervenes between the defendant's conduct and the plaintiff's injury, liability turns upon whether the intervening act is a normal or foreseeable consequence of the situation created by the defendant's negligence.

Superseding

A superseding act breaks the causal nexus of proximate cause. An intervening act may well be superseding if it is extraordinary under the circumstances, not foreseeable in the normal course of events, or independent of or far removed from the defendant's conduct.

Rescue Doctrine

To achieve rescuer status one must demonstrate:

  1. The defendant was negligent to the person rescued and such negligence cause the peril or appearance of peril to the person rescued.
  2. The peril or appearance of peril was imminent.
  3. A reasonably prudent person would have concluded such peril or appearance of peril existed.
  4. The rescuer acted with reasonable care in effectuating the rescue.

The rescue doctrine does not apply to professional rescuers for normal risks of their employment when they are working.