Friday, October 10, 2014

JS and MS v. RTH case brief summary

JS and MS v. RTH case brief summary
F: Two girls of neighborhood were abused by D’s husband, who is also D
P’s parents brought this action against the Ds (husband and wife) on the basis that P was injured by wife’s negligence.
TC entered SJ in favor of D. AC reversed (in favor of P)

I: 1. Whether a wife who suspects or should suspect her husband of actual or prospective abuse of their neighbor’s
children has any duty of care to prevent such abuse
2. If there is such a duty, does a breach of that duty constitute a proximate cuase of the harm that results from abuse

R: 1. When a spouse has actual knowledge or special reason to know of the likelihood of his or her spouse engaging in abusive behavior against a particular person, a spouse has a duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent or warn of the harm
2. Breach of such a duty constitutes a proximate cause of the resultant injury, the abuse of the P.

1. Considerations of foreseeabiity, the comparative interests and relationships of the parties, and public policy and fairness support the recognition of a duty of care.
2. It does not seem highly extraordinary that a wife’s failure to prevent or warn of her husband’s abuse or his propensity
for abuse would result in the occurrence or the continuation of such abuse. The harm from the wife’s breach of duty is
both direct and predictable

C: affirmed (in favor of P)

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