Sunday, July 24, 2011

A tortious event

I can see that tort is going to be interesting if it is anything like the case of Cole v German Savings Bank. Obviously the key point of this is that a party's liability is limited due to the acts of a third party towards the defendant. In this case, an elevator shaft was empty and under construction. A young boy about 13 years old impersonated the usual elevator boy by dressing up in his costume. He then led a woman to the shaft, opened the door, and invited the patron to pass into the shaft and let her fall down the hole. Shocking I know. The court found that there was no evidence that the woman's injuries resulted from acts or omissions of the building owner. Rather, there was positive and convincing testimony that the woman's injuries were caused by the wrongful act of the young man, who was a trespasser. The building owner could not foresee or reasonably anticipate the young man's violation of the law and trespass upon its property. The young man's voluntary act broke the chain of causation between any prior negligence of the owner and the patron's injury. The owner's acts were not a proximate cause of the accident.

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