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Exercise 12

This exercise is about causation.

Jennie slaps her daughter’s teacher, Anne, after the teacher accused Jennie’s daughter of cheating on a test. Distracted and humiliated, Anne drives home five hours later, runs a stop sign and gets into an accident that causes $3000 in damage to the other driver’s car, which Anne is required to pay. Anne sues Jennie for the tort of battery, and asks the court to award her the $3000 damages she had to pay the other vehicle owner for the accident.

What should the court do?

A. Award Anne the $3000 in damages because the accident would not have happened if Jennie hadn’t slapped her.
Sorry, but that's not the correct answer. Please select another.
B. Refuse to award Anne the $3000 in damages because Anne was the driver who caused the accident, not Jennie.
Sorry, but that's not the correct answer. Please select another.
C. Refuse to award Anne the $3000 in damages because these damages are too remote in time and causation.
C is correct. While each case should be determined on its own merits, in this case the lapse of time and the slim connection between Jennie’s slap and Anne’s accident would prevent recovery of the damages from the accident. The fact that Anne was the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident would not by itself prevent recovery, however.