Brace for Impact
Nov 06, 2014
The other day, as I was sitting in Southern California traffic, I glanced over at a large dump truck and its driver. Seems driver had failed to set the parking brake on his 70 ton monster. Driver lept out of the truck (which was perched near the bottom end of a hill) onto the pavement below with the truck still moving forward (slowly at first). Really, I don't know what was going through the drivers mind as he walked away from the truck (now moving faster). By the time the driver realized what was happening, dump truck had pulverized a couple of cars, a 5th wheel pick-up truck and was moving on to take out some heavier machinery.
All the time I was watching this I was thinking that this driver would soon be introduced to the world of litigation based on cases arising out of Negligence. What is Negligence? According to Black's Law Dictionary, Negligence is the failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in a similar situation; any conduct that falls below the legal standard established to protect others against unreasonable risk of harm, except for conduct that is intentionally, wantonly, or willfully disregardful of others' rights. WOW! That's pretty heavy. How does that apply here? Well, here you have a truck driver who failed to set the parking break of a 70 ton monolith on the backside of a hill. Would a reasonably prudent person have done that? Probably not - and welcome to the land of a thousand lawsuits (i.e. California),.
Maybe you have a similar-ish situation. OK, maybe you weren't plowed under by a 70 ton dump truck, but maybe someone did something to you that you didn't think was all that cool and you're looking for a little payback? Might I suggest you head on over to your local county law library (like ours) and take a look at:
- California Forms of Pleading and Practice (Vol. 33, Ch. 380)
- California Civil Practice: Torts (Vol. 1, Ch. 1)
- California Jurisprudence 3d; Vol. 456 (Negligence)
- California Torts (Vol 1., Ch. 1)
- California Tort Damages (pretty much the whole thing)
So, whether you're driving the truck or are sitting under the truck or just like to play with trucks, know that your local county law library (and accompanying friendly neighborhood county law Librarians) are ready and waiting to help you find whatever legal stuff you're looking for (or looking to avoid).
Bret is a Legal Research & Instructional Services Librarian at our Main Library.