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We now shift gears away from intentional wrongdoing and its defenses and toward what many consider to be the heart of tort law, both in volume of cases (and damages) and in conceptual challenge: negligence. Under what circumstances should someone’s actions be deemed careless enough to warrant damages, while falling short of the level of riskiness (or even certainty of harm) associated with intentional tort? At the core of negligence is a deceptively simple-sounding standard: act reasonably.
Negligence law naturally draws in a group of defendants rarely seen in intentional tort: corporations. Can a standard of reasonableness be as intuitively grasped by a jury for judgment of a firm’s behavior as for a person’s actions? How much of the application of that standard should be left to a jury, and how much to a judge, who can decide whether a fact pattern – even one most sympathetic to a plaintiff – merits a jury’s look at all?
The cases in these sections look at how the law conceives of a negligence standard by examining cases in which judges had to decide whether a jury should hear the case – or, if they heard it, whether they applied the standard correctly. Included is a case famed among legal scholars but typically unknown to senior practitioners: U.S. v. Carroll Towing. Carroll Towing introduces a formula by which one judge thought negligence might be further fleshed out – “unreasonable” behavior unpacked. How helpful is Judge Hand’s formula of b<pl? When, if ever, should a jury be exposed to it? Are there elements of unreasonable behavior not always captured by those three variables?EDIT PLAYLIST INFORMATION DELETE PLAYLIST
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|1||Show/Hide More||VI.A. The Murky Line Between Intentional Torts and Negligence|
|2.1||Show/Hide More||Chicago, B. & Q. R. Co. v. Krayenbuhl--"The Foot-Severing Turntable"|
|2.3||Show/Hide More||United States v. Carroll Towing Co., Inc.--"The Learned Hand Formula Case"|
|2.4||Show/Hide More||Adams v. Bullock--"The Trolley Wire Under the Bridge"|
|3.1||Show/Hide More||Pokora v. Wabash Railway Co.--"The Driver Who Failed to Step Out and Look Around"|
|3.2||Show/Hide More||Andrews v. United Airlines, Inc.--"The Baggage May Have Shifted During Flight Case"|
|4||Show/Hide More||VI.D. The Restatement Approach to Reasonable Care|
October 17, 2013
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