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Tag Archives: proximate cause

Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice — Wrongful Death – Jury Instructions – Proximate Cause – Foreseeability – ‘Injury & Death’ (access required)

Atkinson v. Carolina Radiology Consultants, P.A. Over plaintiff’s objection, the trial court instructed the jury, “Proximate cause is a cause in which a natural and continuous sequence produces a person’s injury and death and is a cause which a reasonable prudent health care provider could have foreseen would probably produce such injury and death.” Since this instruction would hold defendants responsible only where defendant Clark could have foreseen the exact injury ultimately suffered by plaintiff, the instruction was contrary to prior opinions of our Supreme Court.

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Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice — Wrongful Death – Jury Instructions – Proximate Cause – Foreseeability – ‘Injury & Death’ (access required)

Atkinson v. Carolina Radiology Consultants, P.A. Over plaintiff’s objection, the trial court instructed the jury, “Proximate cause is a cause in which a natural and continuous sequence produces a person’s injury and death and is a cause which a reasonable prudent health care provider could have foreseen would probably produce such injury and death.”

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Criminal Practice – DWI & Second-Degree Murder – Proximate Cause – Prior Convictions – Malice – Other Bad Acts (access required)

State v. Marslender An eyewitness testified that defendant’s truck passed her just as she was beginning to slow down because of heavy rain. She saw the truck go out of control due to, she thought, overcompensating. In addition to defendant’s 0.12 blood alcohol content, this was sufficient evidence that defendant’s impaired driving was the proximate cause of the accident that killed his passenger.

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Civil Rights – Excessive Force Claim – Proximate Cause — TASER – Threatened Self-Injury – Tort/Negligence (access required)

Cook v. Riley Defendants responded to a domestic disturbance call and found plaintiff in a tree stand 15 feet off the ground. According to defendants, plaintiff threatened to cut his wrists, so defendants tased him, and plaintiff then jumped off the tree stand. According to other witnesses, plaintiff did not have a knife, and he fell as a result of being tased. The court is not required to disregard the other witnesses’ statements in determining the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injury.

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Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Standard of Care – Proximate Cause – Civil Practice – Directed Verdict (access required)

Day v. Brant Even though plaintiffs’ proximate cause expert agreed on cross-examination that assigning percentages to a patient’s survival changes was “speculation”, the expert’s testimony as a whole was sufficient to get to the jury on the issue of proximate cause. We reverse the trial court’s grant of a directed verdict for defendants.

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Tort/Negligence – Negligent Infliction of Sexually Transmitted Disease – Duty – Proximate Cause – Subsequent, Intervening Cause – Foreseeability – First Impression (access required)

Carsanaro v. Colvin A person who knows, or should know, that he or she is infected with a venereal disease has the duty to abstain from sexual conduct or, at the minimum, to warn those persons with whom he or she expects to have sexual relations of his or her condition. Since a spouse is a foreseeable sexual partner, this duty is also owed to the spouse of any of the infected person’s sexual partner, if the spouse is known or should have been known to the infected person at the time of the sexual intercourse. The infected person can be liable in tort for breaching this duty.

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Criminal Practice – Felonious Serious Injury by Motor Vehicle – DWI – Proximate Cause — Speeding to Elude Arrest – Felony – Reckless Driving (access required)

State v. Leonard Although defendant argues that it was his attempt to elude arrest, rather than his drunk driving, that led to the victim’s serious injury, there can be more than one proximate cause of an injury. There was sufficient evidence from which a jury could reasonably find that defendant’s drunk driving was a proximate cause of the victim’s injury: defendant was consuming alcohol on the evening of Jan. 16, 2009; he got into an altercation with his girlfriend and her family, got into his vehicle, drove it into his girlfriend’s car, refused to pull over for the police, drove the car faster than the speed limit, proceeded through a red traffic light, and collided with the victim’s vehicle; officers who responded to the incident said defendant had a strong odor of alcohol and appeared impaired; and defendant stipulated to a blood alcohol concentration of .10. We find no error in defendant’s convictions of felonious serious injury by motor vehicle, felonious operation of a motor vehicle to elude arrest, and misdemeanor hit and run.

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Injuries from wreck triggered by yellow jacket stings compensable (access required)

First the yellow jackets attacked. But that wasn't the worst part. A city of Raleigh employee who was stung 30 times while in the course of his work duties became lightheaded after the stings, and when he left work, he drove off the road and into a tree. The employee didn't remember the accident, and a police investigation found no skid marks and said he had not even applied the brakes before impact. So is the injury from the car crash - a fractured ankle - compensable? The N.C. Industrial Commission said yes, and in an unpublished opinion filed Jan. 4, the N.C. Court of Appeals upheld the ruling.

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