Dressler, pp. 200-209: Proximate Cause (“Legal” Cause)


Introductory Comment


The “but for” test is too imprecise, so we use the doctrine of proximate causation.


If a person is a proximate cause of a result, then they are an actual cause of the result.


The issue of proximate cause comes up when there is an intervening force between an act and social harm.  This force can be:


1.     An “Act of God”

2.     A third-party act

3.     An act or omission of the victim


There is no foolproof test for proximate causation, but there are factors you may consider.


Dressler suggests that proximate cause analysis is overly conservative.


Case: Kibbe v. Henderson


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