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Chapter 5

NEGLIGENCE GENERALLY

  Tort law recognizes a broadly-defined “omnibus” tort called “negligence.” The essence of this tort is that the defendant has imposed an “unreasonable” risk of harm on the plaintiff, and the plaintiff has been injured as a result. Here are the most important concepts covered in this Chapter:
  • Negligence generally:  The tort of “negligence” occurs when D’s conduct imposes an unreasonable risk upon another, resulting in an injury to that other. D’s mental state is irrelevant.
    • Balancing:  In determining whether the risk of harm from D’s conduct was so great as to be “unreasonable,” courts use a balancing test: if the risk of harm to another from D’s conduct is greater than the “utility” of that conduct, the risk is deemed “unreasonable.”
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