Friday, October 19, 2012

Stewart v. Motts case brief

Stewart v.Motts (1995)
654 A.2d 535

•    The prudent person standard

Procedural History
•    Appellant sought review of the decision of the Superior Court (Pennsylvania), that affirmed a judgment in favor of appellee in appellant’s negligence action seeking damages for personal injuries.

•    Appellant was seriously burned while assisting appellee with the repair of an automobile fuel tank.

•    Under the reasonable care standard must the level of care be proportionate to the danger involved?

•    Under the reasonable care standard  the level of care must be proportionate to the danger involved.

•    The acceptable standard of care is “reasonable care” as well stated in the Restatement (Second) of Torts: The care required is always reasonable care. The standard never varies, but the care which it is reasonable to require of the actor varies with the danger involved in his act and is proportionate to it.
•    The greater the danger, the greater the care which must be exercised.

•    The court affirmed the judgment in favor of appellee finding that it was not error to refuse to instruct the jury that extraordinary care was required when using gasoline, a dangerous substance, because the only standard of care available under the law was reasonable care under the circumstances, and that the jury was properly instructed that the care required was that which a reasonable man would exercise in proportion to the danger involved
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