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Tort Terms

Assumption of the Risk a defense used when it is alleged that the plaintiff assumed a risk knowingly and willingly of the possibility of harm.
Causation the act by which an effect is produced; one of four elements to be proven in a successful tort claim.
Cause-in-Fact an action by the tortfeasor that resulted in an invasion of some legally protected interest of another to which the tortfeasor is held responsible for the harm caused.
Comparative Negligence an alternative defense to contributory negligence theory which allows the liability of the defendant to be adjusted or reduced by the percentage of the plaintiff’s contribution to his/her own injuries.
Compensatory Damages money awarded to compensate the victim for the tortfeasor’s negligence.
Contributory Negligence a defense to negligence claiming the plaintiff’s own actions contributed to the injuries.
Due Care proper and sufficient care as far as circumstances demand it; the absence of negligence.
Foreseeability the action by which, under particular circumstances, would produce an anticipated result such as injury to someone.
Gross Negligence a higher degree of disregard, inadvertence, and indifference to a legal duty and the consequences of ignoring the legal duty.
Injunction a court order that directs a party to refrain from or to perform certain acts.
Intent the design, will or determination to act a certain way through a person’s state of mind.
Intentional Torts actions designed with intent that bring about a certain result from the act.
Jurisdiction the legal right by which a court can exercise authority over a case.
Malice ill will or the intentional doing of a wrongful act or injury to someone without excuse.
Negligence the failure to use such care as a reasonably prudent and careful person would use under the same or similar circumstances.
Negligence per se an action or omission where the evidence is clear and not controverted and was in violation of a statute.
Nominal Damages small damages awarded to a plaintiff as a symbolic gesture.
Preponderance of the Evidence evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing that the evidence offered in opposition.
Prima Facie Evidence that evidence which proves a case at first sight.
Proximate Cause a natural, continuous sequence of events set into motion by the tortfeasor; and, when unbroken, produces injury – without such action, the result or injuries would not have occurred.
Punitive Damages damages awarded to a plaintiff in order to punish the defendant and to keep a particularly bad act from happening again.
Reasonable Care a degree of care which a person of ordinary prudence would exercise in the same or similar circumstances.
Res Ipsa Loquitor the thing speaks for itself. A theory of negligence used when there is a rebuttable presumption or inference that the defendant was negligent.
Respondeat Superior “let the master answer”; the master (employer) is liable in certain cases for the wrongful acts of his/her servant (employee)
Spurious lacking authenticity or validity in essence or origin; not genuine; false.
Statute of Limitations the time limit in which a victim can bring a lawsuit for injuries before he/she is forever barred from bringing an action in court.
Statute of Repose the time limit in which a victim can bring a lawsuit for injuries against a manufacturer or seller in a products liability case calculated from the time of the sale of the product.
Strict Liability a concept applied in product liability cases in which a seller is liable for any and all defective or hazardous products which unduly threaten a consumer’s safety.
Subrogation the right of an insurer to institute suit in the name of the insured against the responsible party to collect for monies paid by the insurer to the insured.
Tort a civil wrong against a person or property as defined by state or federal law.
Tortfeasor one who commits a civil wrong; a wrongdoer.
Venue the locality of the court with proper jurisdiction to hear a case.
Created by: tlaw27903