Who can break the chain of causation?
For a claimant to break the chain of causation: The claimant’s acts or omission “must constitute an event of such impact that it obliterates the wrongdoing” of the defendant. The claimant must at least act unreasonably to break the chain.
What always breaks the chain of causation?
The chain of causation is broken when an intervening cause (otherwise known as a “superseding cause”) severs the link between cause-and-effect. This can only occur when the intervening cause is unforeseeable, however.
Can a victim break the chain of causation?
Under this test, the chain of causation is not broken unless the act of the accused is no longer a substantial and operating cause of death. That is, it is only if the subsequent event is so overwhelming as to make the initial wound ‘merely part of the history’ that the chain of causation will be held to be broken.
How can a causal link be broken?
Novus actus interveniens is an independent, intervening act which breaks the chain of causation between a negligent act and the ultimate harm. A successful break in the chain of causation absolves the original tortfeasor from liability for the injured party’s ultimate loss.
What happens if the chain of causation is broken?
Novus actus interveniens in medical negligence cases is when an unforeseeable event occurs after a neglectful act which intervenes and worsens the effects. This is known as “breaking the chain of causation” and often means the defendant will not be found liable – even if it can be proved that they acted negligently.
How do you establish legal causation?
Under legal causation the result must be caused by a culpable act, there is no requirement that the act of the defendant was the only cause, there must be no novus actus interveniens and the defendant must take his victim as he finds him (thin skull rule).
Can natural phenomena break the chain of causation?
It involves natural events other than human beings acts. Again, principles of foreseeability determine whether a naturally-occurring event will amount to an intervening act which breaks the chain of causation. This is a wholly foreseeable occurrence so it will not break the chain of causation.
Can a natural event break the chain of causation?
Natural events An act of God or natural event may be sufficient to break the chain of causation. In Alphacell Ltd v Woodward the House of Lords said that an act of God means something which no human mind would foresee as being a possibility in the relevant situation, for example a pump struck by lightning.
Does the thin skull rule break the chain of causation?
You must take your victim as you find them. So the refusal of your victim to treatment would not relieve you of liability in the thin skull rule. And so it wouldn’t break the chain of causation.
Do you need both factual and legal causation?
Factual causation requires proof that the defendant’s conduct was a necessary condition of the consequence, established by proving that the consequence would not have occurred but for the defendant’s conduct. Legal causation requires proof that the defendant’s conduct was sufficiently connected to its occurrence.
Will a victim’s refusal of medical treatment break the chain of causation?
However, if the medical treatment received is so abnormal to the point where it causes further injury or death, the courts will find that the chain of causation has been broken. She still refused, and died the following day.
Do you need both legal and factual causation?
A novus actus breaks the causal chain between the initial wrongdoer’s action and the liability that is imputed to him or her as a result thereof. A requirement for an act or omission committed after the initial wrongdoer’s act to constitute a novus actus is that the secondary act was not reasonably foreseeable.
Can a third party omission break the chain of causation?
Third party omissions breaking the chain of causation. ⇒ As a general rule, it would seem that omissions of a third party cannot break the chain of causation. For example, if you stabbed someone and a medic arrived but refused to treat the victim, the medic’s omission (to treat the victim) would not break the chain of causation.
How does a novus actus interrupt the causal chain?
A novus actus is not confined to either factual or legal causation only, and can interrupt the causal chain at either point. In respect of factual causation, a novus actus interrupts the nexus between the wrongful act of the initial wrongdoer and the consequences of his act to such an extent that it frees him of the liability of his actions.
When does medical intervention break the chain of causation?
Medical intervention; this arises in most cases where the defendant committed an offence which led his victim to the hospital, and while in the hospital, the victim receives poor treatment and dies and he’s charged with either murder or manslaughter. The defendant argues that the act of the doctor has broken the chain of causation.