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Exercise 13

This exercise is about causation.

Edward is stopped at a stop light with his window rolled down. Craig walks up to his car and, as a joke, sticks a toy gun to his temple. Edward is so scared he steps on the gas, runs the red light and slams into David’s car in the intersection.

Can Edward win a case against Craig for damages to his own and David’s car?

A. Yes, because Craig’s action caused Edward to step on the gas for fear of being killed. The damage to Edward’s and David’s cars was close enough in time and causation to Craig’s joke that Craig may be held responsible.
A is correct. Craig’s "joke" caused Edward to respond in a way that immediately led to the accident. Edward acted reasonably under the circumstances: his fear of being killed by a gunman justified his attempt to escape and the danger it posed to traffic. Craig’s motive -- joke, robbery or revenge -- was not important.
B. No, because Craig did not intend to harm anyone.
Sorry, but that's not the correct answer. Please select another.
C. No, because Edward ran the red light.
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