However, with negligence per se, the main basis for liability is the violation of the statute. That is, the standard of care is set by the statute rather than a “reasonable person” standard or professional standard. Also, an act may fall under negligence per se when a person acts or omits to do something that is so far beyond reasonable standards that it is inherently negligent.
Alternatively, some acts are considered to be negligent in themselves, and do not require proof that the negligence was intentional. For instance, if a doctor fails to remove a sponge from a patient’s body, it would be inherently negligent under per se laws.
However, assume that in the above example a person was injured due to toxic contaminants in the house. Here, the contractor would not be held liable under negligence per se rules, since the safety code was intended to protect against collapses, not toxic contamination. This is what is meant the requirement that the defendant’s acts must cause the “type of harm” that the statute is “intended to prevent”.
In addition, the defendant can sometimes limit or prevent recovery based on comparative/contributive negligence rules. These can be raised if the plaintiff’s actions have caused or contributed to their own injury.
Last Modified: 04-23-2018 08:07 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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