Proximate Cause (Legal Causation, Direct Cause)—relationship b/w conduct of D and harm suffered by P must be close enough to justify causation
a. Duty (Palsgraff – P injured on platform by explosion resulting from guard dislodging package of explosives out of the hands of a passenger)
i. Question of Law
ii. Cardozo –
i. Is this particular P owed a duty? Is this P foreseeable or in the zone of danger?
ii. Cardozo Rule: Zone of Danger and “Eye of Ordinary Vigilance” –
? No duty owed to P; duty only to passenger
iii. Andrews Dissent – D liable for all harm regardless of whether or not the injury to that degree was foreseeable
i. Once there’s a duty, there’s a duty to the WHOLE WORLD
ii. Superceding/Intervening Cause – to determine S/I cause, look for human agents
? Time and space important but not conclusive
— key in ignition liability ends if accident happens several days after theft
Note: If there is no duty owed, then you don’t even get to direct cause or reasonable foreseeability b/c there is no NEGLIGENCE!!!!!!
iv. Green Analysis – Look at risk of harm and ask is this risk protected by a duty? The duty/risk analysis is at the heart of the inquiry. (Refinement of Cardozo)
b. Direct Cause (Polemis – falling board caused spark)
i. Where negligence is direct cause of injury, actor is liable for full extent of injuries
regardless of foreseeability
ii. Wagon Mound ruled that it was unfair to hold actor liable for full extent of injuries
Question of fact for jury
c. Foreseeability (Wagon Mound – floating rag caught fire and spread through oil in water)
i. Question of fact – jury
ii. D only liable for damages that are reasonably foreseeable.
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