Do Not Sell My Personal Information. The key difference between an intervening cause and a superseding cause is foreseeability. In this example, the superseding cause was the tow truck running into the already damaged vehicle. Plaintiff's theory, of course, is that defendant's antecedent negligence caused plaintiff to be in the situation which [58 Cal. Copyright © 2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba Nolo ® Self-help services may not be permitted in all states. Let’s say a person is getting off a bus in a parking lot. 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. If, after the defendant acts negligently toward the plaintiff, a new cause combines with the defendant’s negligence to contribute to or worsen the plaintiff’s injury, that new cause is sometimes called an "intervening cause." Proximate cause produces a consequences that is foreseeable, or even expected. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use, Supplemental Terms, Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. For example, if Daniel left a candle burning in his apartment while he was at work, and, subsequently, a burglar broke into his apartment and knocked the candle over, burning down the entire building, Daniel would likely not be liable for injuries sustained because the burglar was an unforeseeable, superseding cause. 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. For example, imagine that a city fails to fill in a pothole and a car’s tire is damaged after driving over it. For example: Manny agrees to keep Ron’s horse in his corral for a week while Ron moves. out of proximate causation: superseding and intervening causation, and the medical malpractice complications rule. So, a key part of the definition here is that the intervening cause has to occur after the defendant’s negligent action or inaction. A superseding cause sufficient to become the proximate cause of the final result and relieve defendant of liability for his original negligence, arises only when an intervening force was unforeseeable and may be described, with the benefit of hindsight, as extraordinary. While Quinn’s damages and injuries could be foreseen as the result of Brenda running the stop sign, the impact of a tow truck that happened by could not. While the answer to this test establishes proximate cause, it does not necessarily establish who is liable for the plaintiff’s damages, as other factors could have come into play. The man died, and Butts, whose blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit even two hours after the accident, found herself convicted of negligent homicide. The court of appeals denied the motions to dismiss the home builder and smoke alarm manufacturer. Part II will discuss cases in which courts have considered superseding cause as a defense against liability for failure to diagnose, setting forth the courts’ justifications for either permitting or rejecting the defense. In this case, the intervening event was the real reason the injury was suffered. A defendant's superseding intervening cause argument was characterized by that court as "nothing more than an improper attempt to inject comparative negligence principles into this strict product liability action." 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 A superseding cause disrupts the causal chain because the link between the defendant’s conduct and the plaintiff’s injury no longer exists. Mary escapes Henry and hides in an abandoned shed. This Agreement supersedes all prior agreements between you and the Company relating to the subject of your personal services and severance benefits, including the letter agreement dated September 14, 1993, which is hereby terminated.The provisions of this Agreement may only be amended by written instrument signed by you and a member of the Board of Directors. Change the example so that Henry pulls out a knife and chases Mary out of the garage. Superseding. 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 … A superseding cause, also known as an “intervening cause,” may be proven to have substantially caused the accident. In order for the intervening cause to be deemed superseding and relieve the tortfeasor of liability, both the act/event and the injury must be unforeseeable. This need not be the cause closest in time to the incident, nor even the first event to set off a sequence of events leading to the injury. , another example of superseding intervening cause and rainy night, superseding intervening cause example she struck a homeless man crossing street., two broken ribs, and he suffered a broken arm, two broken ribs, and a neck. 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