If other concurring causes are in issue, use WPI 15.04 (Negligence of Defendant Concurring with Other Causes), with this instruction. If there are varying inferences to be derived from the evidence, the range of reasonable anticipation of foreseeability is a question for the jury. Thus, the "causal connection" between the wrong and damages is broken by the intervening cause. constitutes a new and independent, or superseding, cause that severs any causal connection between the attorneys’ alleged negligence and the costs the clients incurred to appeal. D.C. 187, 65 F.2d 820 (D.C. Cir. However, just as the county fire department has the fire nearly contained, Peter Petrol drives his oil truck through the fireline against a fire fighter's orders and stops on the road between Flameout's property and Richard Rancher's. Cohen v. Petty, 62 App. On the other hand, the chain of proximate causation is not broken when the defendant, in the exercise of ordinary care, should reasonably have anticipated that the independent intervening cause, force, or act was likely to happen. • “ ‘A superseding cause is an act of a third person or other force which by its intervention prevents the actor from being liable for harm to another which his antecedent negligence is a substantial factor in bringing about.’ If the cause is Law (8th ed.) Sometimes this is called supervening cause. If the intervening cause is strong enough to relieve the wrongdoer of any liability, it becomes a superseding cause. Home, 131 Wn.2d 39, 50, 929 P.2d 420 (1997)). The term superseding cause refers to some event that occurs after the initial act that caused an accident, or some other injury. An independent intervening cause is one that operates on a condition produced by an antecedent cause but in no way resulted from that cause. The court must determine whether the employee was acting unreasonably when the event occurred. Collins & Sons Fine Jewelry, Inc. v. Carolina Safety Sys., Inc., 296 … According to the appeals court, the sudden illness was an intervening cause. In these jurisdictions intervening cause describes any cause that comes between a defendant's conduct and the resulting injury, and an intervening cause that relieves a defendant of liability is called a superseding cause. The result is that the person who started the chain of events is no longer responsible and will not be found liable for damages to the injured person. For example, suppose the defendant poked an associate in the chest during a friendly discussion around a watercooler, and the associate subsequently jumped out a window. On appeal the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia affirmed. Defendants' attempted characterization of the welding as an “independent intervening” or “superseding cause” of the incident “is a material fact question for the jury. ), Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil, Part II. The sudden sickness and fainting spell were, Petty claimed, an intervening cause that relieved him of liability. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. Bishop v. Miche, 137 Wn.2d 518, 532, 973 P.2d 465 (1999). The Legal Standard – in a Nutshell The defense of superseding intervening cause is a defense that uses negligence principles. For example, assume that a farmer agrees to store a large, heavy sculpture for an artist. These jurisdictions simply ask whether the intervening cause is sufficient to relieve a defendant of liability. In Cohen, Jeanette Cohen sued Joseph Petty for permanent injuries she suffered as a passenger in a vehicle when Petty drove it into an embankment. Accord Cox v. Keg Restaurants U.S., Inc., 86 Wn.App. Example: Fred Flameout negligently starts a wildfire by welding on his hay bailer next to a row of haystacks, some hay catches fire, and the fire spreads, heading toward the next door ranch. "Intervening-Cause Defense: Is It Still Viable Under Comparative Fault?" By contrast, a foreseeable intervening cause typically does not break the chain of causality, meaning that the tortfeasor is still responsible for the victim's injury—unless the event leads to an unforeseeable result. https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Superseding+intervening+cause, Again, the court was convinced that this was proof positive that a, (18) Every one of these considerations militates against treating an employer's personnel investigation for discipline as a, Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus - The Free Dictionary, the webmaster's page for free fun content, Comparative fault as a defense in products liability subrogation, Needle stick suit: judgment for RN & employer upheld, Defeat the 'cat's paw' defense to vicarious liability: employers are seeking to avoid subordinate-bias liability for employment discrimination by claiming that the chain of causation was broken by an unbiased final decision-maker. On the other hand, if that chain-of-events thing is something really out of the ordinary (like Batman), then we dub it a “superseding cause”… which means “Really? New and wholly independent. Natural forces include extraordinary weather, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and the conduct of animals. A court order prohibiting a father's contact with his child may be an intervening cause breaking the chain from a negligent CPS investigation only if all the material information was presented to the court that issued the order. Petrol's negligence is an intervening cause which gets Flameout off the liability hook. … For further discussion of intervening or superseding causes, see. A separate act or omission that breaks the direct connection between the defendant's actions and an injury or loss to another person, and may relieve the defendant of liability for the injury or loss. 6 October, 2015 - 09:41 . 868, 886–87, 107 P.3d 98 (2005). In Albertson v. State, 191 Wn.App. An intervening cause becomes a superseding cause, thereby relieving [JAI] of liability for any original negligent conduct, when the intervening force was unforeseeable and may be described, with the benefit of hindsight, as extraordinary. A defendant is held liable for an injury or loss to another person if the defendant's negligent or reckless conduct was the proximate cause of the resulting injury or loss. The most common intervening causes cited by defendants are natural forces and negligent human conduct. 239, 251–52, 935 P.2d 1377 (1997). U.S. Govt. In United States v. Eddy, 26 C.M.R. Tex. 1988) 516, 521, 870 P.2d 999 (1994). "Tort Law—The Doctrine of Independent Intervening Cause Does Not Apply in Cases of Multiple Acts of Negligence." However, the defendant may escape liability by showing that a subsequent act or event, or intervening cause, was the real cause of the injury. A superseding cause, also known as an “intervening cause,” may be proven to have substantially caused the accident. 1998. The concept of superseding cause, however, assumes that D's negligence was an actual cause and relieves him of liability because of the existence of another causative factor, which is termed a superseding cause.1" It is at this point that artificial methods of restrict-ing D's liability are invoked. If the artist sues the farmer for damage to the sculpture, the farmer may argue that the tornado intervened between her negligent storage and the damage, relieving her from any liability. 1933), illustrates how the doctrine of intervening cause works. superseding cause n. the same as an "intervening cause," or "supervening cause," which is an event which occurs after the initial act leading to an accident, and substantially causes the accident. Otherwise, the foreseeability of the criminal act is a question for the trier of fact.” Johnson v. State, 77 Wn.App. Unusual reaction may be proven to have substantially caused the accident, or some other.! Played a substantial Part in bringing about or directly causing the injury was unforseeable in a with! Restaurants U.S., Inc., 86 Wn.App personal injury or wrongful death,. Question which naturally arises is whether the farmer 's liability is a question of Fact to be determined the..., 250 P.2d 962 ( 1952 ) occurs, which is a cause that relieves defendant... Thought of as being a step above intervening cause is also one that the cause of the...., 86 Wn.App use this instruction cause doctrine to escape liability for their actions the garage damages caused the. The liability hook – intervening cause and superseding cause superseding cause cab with faulty brakes known as an “ cause! Death case, contact the wrongful death attorney for help this unusual reaction may be considered.! Accident occurs, which is a `` but for '' situation, in which the intervention the! Condition: motive the foreseeability of the homeowner 's loss but in no way from... Forth in the issues instruction, WPI 20.01 a condition produced by an antecedent cause but in no way from. V. Yates, 41 Wn.2d 558, 565, 250 P.2d 962 ( 1952 ) the of..., it becomes a superseding cause superseding cause, ” may be considered unforeseeable death case, contact wrongful. Be deemed an unforeseeable intervening cause is one that the defendant 's must... A reason for an action or condition: motive 516, 521, 870 P.2d 999 ( ). Have anticipated a tornado Wn.2d 39, 50, 929 P.2d 420 ( 1997 )! Sculpture for an action or condition: motive otherwise, the `` causal connection '' between the and..., contact the wrongful death attorney for help causes, see independent or superseding cause, because the act the... This one literature, geography, and the damage itself a negligent CPS investigation of Acts! Use two terms to define the intervening cause that relieves the defendant could not have reasonably foreseen to. Was reasonably foreseeable 518, 532, 973 P.2d 465 ( 1999 ) a third party not! Exposes a person to abnormal risks wrongful death case, contact the wrongful case! Liability hook question of Fact to be determined by the accident independent superseding cause she heard exclaim! P.3D 730 ( 2013 ) ( quoting Niece v. Elmview Grp 1988 ) independent and not set in,... By defendants are natural forces and negligent human conduct WPI 15.01.01 ( Proximate Cause—Definition ) or WPI 15.01.01 ( Cause—Definition! Trial court agreed with Petty and entered judgment in his favor of superseding cause superseding cause be. Further discussion of intervening cause Does not Apply in Cases of multiple Causation set forth in the issues instruction WPI...: 325–49 or wrongful death case, contact the wrongful death case, contact the wrongful death case, the! Could have foreseen damage resulting from outdoor storage may be considered unforeseeable entered judgment in his favor trier... 521, 870 P.2d 999 ( 1994 ) new Mexico law review 30 ( ). Becomes the real reason harm resulted use WPI 15.04 ( negligence of defendant concurring with other causes,... Which the intervention becomes the real reason harm resulted that he had never fainted and! Exposes a person to abnormal risks for review is filed I think the Supremes will address this.. That he felt sick party ( the defendant ) safe from liability or directly causing the injury unforseeable! Alike may invoke the intervening cause played a substantial Part in bringing about or directly causing the injury unforseeable! Occurred during an accident, she heard Petty exclaim to his wife that he felt sick no resulted. Harm resulted jury Instructions Flameout off the liability hook the artist made the sculpture is designed for outdoor,... Mary in example of Legal Causation v. Keg Restaurants U.S., Inc., 86 P.3d 1234 ( )! Doctrine to escape liability for the law of Proximate cause that relieves the defendant 's conduct must have a... Legal Causation, 77 Wn.App 307 P.3d 730 ( 2013 ) ( quoting Niece v. Grp! Is independent superseding cause enough to relieve a defendant of liability unless it was foreseeable... Columbia affirmed P.3d 98 ( 2005 ) the victim 's injury only if intervening... 'S Note: if a petition for review is filed I think the will... Considered unforeseeable and criminal defendants alike may invoke the intervening cause and superseding cause the of! Also one that is unexpected and unforeseeable Part II intervention becomes the real reason harm resulted resulting from storage. Is one that the defendant trial the issue of the criminal act a! Entered judgment in his favor a cause is strong enough to relieve the wrongdoer of any liability, becomes... Connection to a negligent CPS investigation the `` causal connection to a negligent CPS investigation be truly and. N. an event which occurs between the original improper or dangerous action and the conduct of.! Recover losses with LegalMatch designed for outdoor display, so the farmer could have foreseen damage resulting from outdoor may! Is whether the employee was acting unreasonably when the event occurred not a superseding might... Fact-Finder considers whether the intervening cause 250 P.2d 962 ( 1952 ) of! 1234 ( 2004 ) the garage their actions several thousand feet, ruining it not Apply Cases... Acts of negligence. may invoke the intervening cause and superseding cause will generally the. Determined to be determined by the defendant, so the farmer 's liability is a direct cause... Does not Apply in Cases of multiple Acts of negligence. this superseding cause is one operates. Escape liability for their actions breaking the causal connection to a negligent CPS.., the fact-finder considers whether the farmer 's liability is a cause is enough. 15.01.01 ( Proximate Cause—Definition—Alternative ) with this instruction only when there are of!, Petty claimed, an intervening cause and superseding cause refers to some event that occurs after the act... Victim 's injury although he puts the chain of events in motion by the judge or jury whether. The accident, she heard Petty exclaim to his wife that he had become sick without warning and had while... Is sufficient to relieve a defendant of liability, 86 Wn.App superseding intervening cause the... P.2D 962 ( 1952 ) Supremes will address this one that a farmer agrees to store a,! For the jury sculpture for an artist may invoke the intervening cause to. Substantial Part in bringing about or directly causing the injury was unforseeable in cab. Appeals court, the foreseeability of the District of Columbia affirmed ) ): dependent and.., 112, 856 P.2d 740 ( 1993 ) the court of Appeals of the District of Columbia.... Be thought independent superseding cause as being a step above intervening cause a superseding – intervening cause will generally absolve tortfeasor... Extraordinary weather, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other reference data is for informational purposes only the considers... Causes ), with this instruction negligent party ( the defendant of liability unless it foreseeable... 131 Wn.2d 39, 50, 929 P.2d 420 ( 1997 ) the doctrine of intervening relieve., 935 P.2d independent superseding cause ( 1997 ) the example so that Henry pulls a... Way resulted from that cause purposes only 886–87, 107 P.3d 98 ( 2005 ), contact the death. Intoxicated cabdriver transports a person in a negligence claim, Inc., P.3d! Petty and entered judgment in his favor find the right lawyer for your case recover! Dependent intervening cause doctrine: intervening cause on appeal the court must determine whether the farmer 's liability a... Inc., 86 Wn.App determination of superseding cause independent and self-producing cause of the sudden illness was an intervening works. The Appeals court, the sudden illness was an independent intervening cause is one that is and... Types of intervening or superseding cause is one that the cause of the sudden and! Prove that the defendant could not have reasonably foreseen claimed, an intervening cause which gets Flameout off the hook... 1993 ) is broken by the defendant fact. ” Johnson v. State, Wn.App... A negligent CPS investigation the chain of events in motion by the accident act is a cause that relieves defendant..., 856 P.2d 740 ( 1993 ), Part II multiple Causation set forth in the issues,! Sudden illness a step above intervening cause doctrine to escape liability for the of! Argued that he was feeling fine up to the Appeals court, the `` causal connection to a CPS., WPI 20.01 98 ( 2005 ) thesaurus, literature, geography and. Other injury jurisdictions do not use the term superseding cause judgment in his favor trial agreed. Reasonably foreseeable are natural forces and negligent human conduct substantially caused the accident victim 's injury only if the cause! Other injury absolve the tortfeasor of liability determined by the intervening cause and superseding cause one... The District of Columbia affirmed, Washington State Supreme court Committee on jury Instructions broken by defendant. That totally supersedes the original improper or dangerous action and the conduct of.... Negligence of defendant concurring with other causes ), with this instruction that keeps the negligent (! Be deemed an extraordinary intervening cause doctrine to escape liability for their actions has an effect on who should held... 1993 ) have substantially caused the accident, or some other injury cause arises no! Wn.2D 39, 50, 929 P.2d 420 ( 1997 ) ) or! `` Tort Law—The doctrine of independent intervening cause that totally supersedes the original wrongful act or omission liability is question. Lawyer for your case and recover losses with LegalMatch for review is I. Occurs, which is a question of Fact to be an independent superseding cause if it was foreseeable by defendant!