Business Law (9)

Negligence Ex. You're texting and driving and you go through a stop sign and hit someone The victim can sue you for negligence You have to prove: Driver owes pedestrian duty of care 1. Basic duty: everyone is required to act like a reasonable person of ordinary prudence would have acted under the same circumstances 2. Frequent issue: to whom the duty is owed You owe a duty to people who are foreseeably at the risk of harm if there is a breach (ex. Pedestrian crossing an intersection 3. Who determines if a duty is owed? (on exam) Sometimes there's a jury and sometimes there isn't. Even if there is a jury, it is always the judge who decides if a duty is owed Driver breached the duty of care 1. Objective approach What would a hypothetical reasonable person do Look at the defendant's conduct rather than their subjective state of mind 2. 6 factors that courts look at to determine if there was a breach How foreseeable is it that harm will result from the defendant's conduct? The more foreseeable, the more likely there will be a breach The seriousness of the foreseeable harm The more serious, the more likely there was a breach Is there any social utility? Ex. if there's a burning apartment building and the fire alarm goes off and fire trucks come rushing out How easy would it be for the defendant to avoid the risk? More easy to avoid, more likely there was a breach Look at the personal characteristics of the defendant What would a reasonable 4 year old do? Intoxication is not a defense Context What was the defendant doing in the emergency? Ex. a woman is in labor, her husband speeds
through a stop sign and causes an accident while rushing to the hospital to get her there on time. Some courts will look at the context and decide that it was an emergency and therefore not negligent 3. Special rules Professional negligence (doctors, lawyers, auditors) Ex. working on an audit engagement and messing up, the client wants to sue for negligence and include you as a defendant. How would we assess conduct and figure out if there was a breach of duty for the audit client? Compare your work on the audit engagement with work done by another auditor at a similar experience and skill level
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