SEC 300 Introduction to Private Security
Prof Ebrahim Biparva
October 26, 2011
Elements of Negligent Liability
Negligence is the failure to exercise the care toward others which a reasonable or prudent person would do under certain circumstances or taking action which a reasonable person would not (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/negligence). Negligence also assesses the human choice to engage in harmful conduct as proper or improper. This is because choices are deemed improper only if they breach a preexisting obligation to avoid and repair carelessly inflicted harm to others. In some instances, a statute or other law may define specific duties, such as the duty of a person to rescue another. Professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, are also required to uphold a standard of care expected in their profession. When a professional fails to uphold such a standard of care, the professional may be liable for malpractice (doctors are liable for medical malpractice and lawyers are liable for legal malpractice), which is based on the law of negligence. There are five elements of negligent liability; the first is Duty. This is the obligation of one person to another, this flows from millennia of social customs, philosophy and religion. While serving as the glue to society duty is the thread that binds humans to one another in a community. Duty also constrains and channels behavior in a socially responsible way before the fact, and it provides a basis for judging the propriety of behavior. The second element is Breach. This is the misconduct itself when the defendant’s improper act or omission which is normally referred to as the defendant’s breach of duty implies the preexistence of a standard of proper behavior to avoid imposing the undue risks of harm to other persons and their property. The third element is Cause in Fact. This is most often described as the actual connection between a defendant’s negligence and...