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3.1-7  Proximate Cause - Foreseeable Risk

Revised to January 1, 2008

To prove that an injury is a reasonably foreseeable consequence of negligent conduct, a plaintiff need not prove that the defendant actually foresaw or should have foreseen the extent of the harm suffered or the manner in which it occurred.  Instead, the plaintiff must prove that it is a harm of the same general nature as that which a reasonably prudent person in the defendant's position should have anticipated, in view of what the defendant knew or should have known at the time of the negligent conduct.


Merhi v. Becker, 164 Conn. 516, 521 (1973) ("'If the . . . [defendant's] conduct is a substantial factor in bringing about harm to another, the fact that the . . . [defendant] neither foresaw nor should have foreseen the extent of the harm or the manner in which it occurred does not prevent him from being liable.' Restatement (Second), 2 Torts 435 (1).  Neither foreseeability of the extent nor the manner of the injury constitute the criteria for deciding questions of proximate cause.  The test is whether the harm which occurred was of the same general nature as the foreseeable risk created by the defendant's negligence").


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