The proximate cause itself may not do any direct damage. So says MacGillivray and Parkington.1 So say the courts. Proximate cause is used in civil and criminal cases, and are frequent in personal injury legal cases. This must be direct, dominant, operative & efficient. It has been well defined in the leading case of Pawsey V. Scottish Union and National (1907) as follows; Proximate cause means the active, efficient cause that sets in motion a train of events which brings about a result, without the intervention of any force started and working actively from a new and independent source. In this case, the proximate cause of falling the last brick is throwing the stone and not the kick because the kick was not efficient enough to cause the last brick to fall. However, the present school of thought has given this doctrine the status of a principle and, therefore, now-a-days it is considered to be one of the six principles of insurance, backed up by … Marine losses 32 5. Proximate cause is concerned with how the actual loss or damage happened to the insured party and whether it is a result of an insured peril. Concurrent cause is actually a misnomer because it suggests that the events, actions, or forces must occur simultaneously. trailer doctrine of proximate cause has to be applied for the purpose of ascertaining which of the successive causes is the cause to which the loss is to be attributed within the intention of the policy.1 Doctrine of Proximate Cause Proximate cause refers to an action that leads to an unbroken chain of events; events that end with someone suffering a loss. Example: Boiling Enamel. For instance, one doctrine (a version of efficient proximate cause) raises this conundrum regarding business interruption coverag… Insurance Glossary Defines: Proximate Cause — (1) ... As a principle of tort law, proximate cause refers to a doctrine by which a plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions set in motion a relatively short chain of events that could have reasonably been anticipated to lead to the plaintiff’s damages. (This example is based on a Morgan Owen prize paper, C. 1.1, journal No. 0000001592 00000 n Three unruly doctrines—proximate cause, concurrent cause, and efficient proximate cause—cause an inordinate amount of litigation. Mr. Johnson is resident in the firm's Orange County, CA office, and his practice includes representing insurers in insurance coverage disputes. So says MacGillivray and Parkington.1 So … The proximate cause is essentially that initial event that triggered the claim and need not be the event that immediately preceded the loss. The consideration is what has brought about the result? “Proximate cause has been defined as “that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not have occurred.” In the above-mentioned case, the high court citing the case of Urbano vs. Further, this comment will analyze the Garvey case specifically and determine its validity and impact on insurance law. vi) Causa Proxima: In a contract of insurance, the governing rule is the proximate cause to fix the liability of the insurer. The efficient proximate cause is not necessarily the last act in a chain of events. 0000007678 00000 n DOCTRINE OF PROXIMATE CAUSE REFERENCES: Luis B. Reyes and Judge Arthur L. Abudiente-----Proximate Cause - that cause, which, in natural … (iii) ordinary wear and tear, ordinary leakage and breakage inherent vice or nature of the subject matter insured, or any loss proximately caused by rates or vermin or any injury to machinery not proximately caused by maritime perils. It is important that courts establish proximate cause in personal injury cases because not everyone nor everything that causes an injury can be held legally liable. The doctrine is deeply rooted in outdated and obsolete models of causation in tort law, some notably prom-ulgated by Dean William L. Prosser and fixed in the Second Restatement of Torts while he served as its Reporter. The survey of some law cases is helpful in demonstrating the court approach in determining the proximate cause. Insurance Contract: Elements and Clauses Insurance Contract (How it Works), Insurance: Definition, Features (Explained), Cargo Insurance: Definition, Importance, Types, Procedure, ← Utmost Good Faith in Insurance Contract, Marine Insurance, Life Insurance. While the efficient proximate cause is said to set into motion a chain of events, it is not necessarily the triggering cause, rather it is the predominating cause. Somebody gives a kick on the first brick and gradually the last brick in the line also falls. 0000010936 00000 n If the cause of loss (peril) is insured, the insurer will pay, otherwise, the insurer will not compensate. startxref Efficient proximate cause is the one that sets others in motion. A man goes to a late-night cinema and whilst returning home from the show he is attacked by a group of vandals, stabbed and killed. 0000005882 00000 n Introduction. This is where the doctrine of proximate cause helps. Difficult situations do occur where numbers of perils get involved simultaneously, some insured, some uninsured and some still accepted. The "efficient proximate cause" doctrine is often mistakenly referred to as the "concurrent cause" doctrine. Single Event. (It is the proximate cause, not the remote cause that should be looked into is still the guiding principle. In W. Nat'l Mut. A related doctrine is the insurance law doctrine of efficient proximate cause. Let’s work through a fact pattern. - … Proximate Cause is an important principle of insurance, which helps in deciding how the loss or damage happen and whether it is the result of an insured peril or not. Determining Proximate Cause Through Different Rules. For marine insurance to be observed the understanding of how proximate Cause principle is applied in marine insurance must be understood. The proximate cause rule applies here. proximate cause. Section 55 (2) (b) with clarity excuses the insurer from any loss caused due to delay even if the delay is caused by an act insured against. Marine Insurance Transhipment 1. The efficient proximate cause is not necessarily the last act in a chain of events. Business Interruption Insurance Claims – Understanding the Doctrine of Proximate Cause and the Principles of Concurrent Causes. Law report: Proximate cause in insurance law . While suing that individual, one will have to prove that the negligence was the actual or proximate cause of the injury. London: The Solicitors' Law Stationery Society, Ltd.1927. Therefore, Evanston argued coverage was triggered under the “concurrent proximate cause” doctrine established by the California Supreme Court in State Farm Mut. London: The Solicitors' Law Stationery Society, Ltd.1927. Sometimes the application of the rule of proximate cause may be waived by insurers through policy conditions. Proximate cause i s a common law doctrine was developed in the state courts within tort . The doctrine of proximate cause is one of the six principles of insurance. The efficient or effective, cause which causes the loss is called proximate cause, it is the actual cause of loss. Meaning 18 2. Proximate Cause — (1) The cause having the most significant impact in bringing about the loss under a first-party property insurance policy, when two or more independent perils operate at the same time (i.e., concurrently) to produce a loss. Only premium paid or surrender value whichever is higher is payable and the total policy amount is not payable. Probably his answer will be the correct one”. 0000009660 00000 n By the Hon. Determining Proximate Cause Through Different Rules. Aspen Law and Business. (2) As a principle of tort law, proximate cause refers to a doctrine by which a plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions set in motion a relatively short chain of events that could have reasonably been anticipated to lead to the plaintiff’s damages. Total & Constructive loss 30 4. 0000001157 00000 n Ganado Advocates Tuesday, 16 January 2018, 11:38 Last update: about 4 years ago. Finally, the recommended Here the proximate cause of his death is accident or falling from the horseback, the reason being that injury leading to unconsciousness, exposure to severe cold and then pneumonia are all-natural events developing gradually one after another without really being intervened by a new or independent source (The example is based on a judgment given in ETHERINGTON V. LANCASHIRE AND YORKSHIRE ACCIDENT INSURANCE Co., 1909). Therefore, the cause of death in this policy is of paramount importance. %%EOF Proximate Cause 11 5. Co. v. Partridge (1973) 10 Cal.3d 94, which holds that, where an injury is proximately caused by two or more independent causes, the insurer is liable if any of those causes is covered under its policy. endstream endobj 35 0 obj <> endobj 36 0 obj <> endobj 37 0 obj <>/Font<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text]/ExtGState<>>>/Type/Page>> endobj 38 0 obj [/ICCBased 51 0 R] endobj 39 0 obj <> endobj 40 0 obj <>stream It was held that the proximate cause of the sinking of the ship was torpedo (Leyland Shipping Co. V. Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society, 1918). Until recent past the Principle of proximate cause was not used to be considered as a principle as such. The doctrine is deeply rooted in outdated and obsolete models of causation in tort law, some notably prom-ulgated by Dean William L. Prosser and fixed in the Second Restatement of Torts while he served as its Reporter. Almost immediately there was a cyclonic storm and the ship sank. The policy does not cover loss due to “spontaneous fermentation”, but any resultant fire damage is covered. 633, 643. In insurance cases the policy enumerates and thus highlights the possible causes to which attention should be given. The law of causation is a prime example of the information few people know about and even fewer use when purchasing insurance. Proximate cause can be direct, dominant, effective, immediate cause. It may be natural or unnatural. The doctrine is considered “friendly” to insureds because it sometimes creates coverage for a loss caused in part by an excluded peril, where that excluded cause of loss was itself set in motion by a covered cause of loss. Dover says; “The causa Proxima of a loss is the cause of the loss, proximate to the loss, not necessarily in time, but inefficiency. It was decided by per Bingham L J in T M Noten BV v Harding that the proximate cause of the damage is determined by the application of common sense od a business. Let’s work through a fact pattern. 0000003637 00000 n 6d.) 0 DOCTRINE OF PROXIMATE CAUSE . It is also hard to understand what it means and hence hard to apply it. The insurer is not liable for ordinary wear and tear ordinary leakage and breakage, inherent vice or nature of the subject-matter insured, or for any loss proximately caused by rats or vermin, or for any injury to machinery not proximately caused by maritime perils. In this case, scratches may be a remote cause. Duffy is in the road construction business, and uses boiling enamel as part of the construction process. H��V�j1��Wx]ǖ�Ǭ�誅�E? The modern legal doctrine seems to be narrower and more definite in its application than some of the older expressions of the con- Here, going to the cinema may be simply a remote cause without proximately causing his death. n. a happening which results in an event, particularly injury due to negligence or an intentional wrongful act. Marine Insurance: The Doctrine of Proximate Cause and Insurance against War Risks at Sea. For finding out the proximate cause we shall have to watch closely the chain of events, leading ultimately to a result, and out of such events whether in a broken or unbroken sequence, interrupted or uninterrupted, the cause proximate to the result must be established. Average clause 23 4. 0000002527 00000 n What is this proximate cause then? For a more detailed discussion, you can read the proximate cause article by Professor Paul Hayden. At common law the general principle then was that if there are two or more proximate causes, but that one of those causes was excluded under the policy then the insurer is not liable to indemnify the insured for the loss, notwithstanding that the other cause of the loss is not an excluded loss and falls within the ambit of the policy coverage. Proceeding on that basis, the function of the Court is to identify the proximate cause of the damage. Beale, 33 Harv.L.R. 0000000016 00000 n Salient features 18 Reinstatement 23 3. INSURANCE: THE PROXIMATE CAUSE IN ENGLISH LAW Malcolm Clarke The proximate cause, whether an event covered by a policy (" peril") or an event excluded from a policy (" exception "), " is the dominant or effective or operative cause." In order to achieve the merits, this dissertation scrutinises the causation theory itself and nature of the insurance policy and whether a tort proximate cause analysis should be used in an insurance contract analysis. This means understanding if the injury would occur but for the action or lapse of the defendant. Certain quotations may be very helpful to the students at this stage and they should try to realize the implications of such quotations, which would help them in removing some confusion that might occur in their mind about the proximate cause. The fact that one of these circumstances was abnormal or special does not necessarily deprive the master's act of the title of proximate cause: see Hart and Honored op. ����z�r�{A:�#��C������R�dSG!�|ٮ��@;6p3������@��E�X��y��Q � ��MR By the Hon. For an act or event to be considered a proximate cause, it does not necessarily have to directly precede a loss or begin a chain of occurrences leading to the same. The insurer will not be liable for any loss caused by delay unless otherwise provided. xref Proximate cause refers to the first event, or first peril, in a series of events that cause damage in an insurance claim. 7. The insurer is not liable for any loss attributable to the willful misconduct of the assured, but, unless the policy otherwise provides, he is liable for any loss proximately caused by a peril insured against. Duffy is in the road construction business, and uses boiling enamel as part of the construction process. The possible defense that you may raise is the proper application of the “Proximate Cause Doctrine” in our Criminal law. Double Insurance 35 Chapter 9. Collision being the cause of death is very efficient here whilst scratch is inefficient and remote. Because proximate cause is the darling of law professors and bar examiners! "doctrine of efficient proximate cause." Let us, however, assume that as a result of the kick only 6 bricks fall but suddenly a man throws a stone on the 7th brick and gradually falls the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th brick. A policy covers- accidental fire but specifically excludes earthquake fire. the doctrine of Causa Proximo (Proximate Cause) is not applied because the insurer is bound to pay the amount of insurance whatever may be the reason of death. The Risk 13 6. Salient features 27 3. In MacGillivray on Insurance Law (11th Ed, 19-001, page 513) it is said that “A proximate cause is not the first, or the last or the sole cause of the loss: it is the dominant or effective or operative cause”. Under this rule, in order to determine whether a loss resulted from a cause covered under an insurance policy , a court looks for the predominant cause which sets into motion the chain of events producing the loss, which may not necessarily be the last event that immediately preceded the loss. (Price 2s. The concurrent causation doctrine operates to hold as covered losses caused jointly by an excluded peril and some other peril that is not excluded. 0000001444 00000 n There must be direct and non-intervening cause. The maxim is, “Causa Proxima no remote spectator”. The relevant principles and approach would be no different in South African law which determines liability on the part of the insurer only if the loss or occurrence for which the claim is brought is the proximate result of the peril or at least one of the perils insured against. A model of causation more rational than the "doctrine of efficient It has been well defined in the leading case of Pawsey V. Scottish Union and National (1907) as follows : “Proximate cause means the active, efficient cause that sets in motion a train of events which brings about a result, without the intervention of any force started and working actively from a new and independent source”,’ It is the immediate cause and not the remote cause. This is so because throughout the spread and travel, with the help of natural wind, the fire retains its identity as an earthquake fire. Definition 26 2. 0000000696 00000 n A learned judge, therefore, rightfully commented with confidence, “if you want to find out the proximate cause, do not ask a scientist or a lawyer, ask a man from the street. There might be multiple causes for the delay but the aptest cause must be looked into. If, in the same example, it so happens that from mid-journey of the fire somebody lights a candlestick, carries this fire and sets the property of somebody under fire then that resultant fire shall be accidental fire or malicious fire and certainly not earthquake fire as the chain of events has been broken by a new and independent force, which is active, efficient and potent enough to bring about the result. Under this rule, in order to determine whether a loss resulted from a cause covered under an insurance policy , a court looks for the predominant cause which sets into motion the chain of events producing the loss, which may not necessarily be the last event that immediately preceded the loss. Due to the prevailing wind, the fire spreads gradually to neighboring buildings one after another and ultimately sets the insured building into the fire. Proximate cause refers to the first event, or first peril, in a series of events that cause damage in an insurance claim. "doctrine of efficient proximate cause." He is being taken to the hospital by an ambulance. SOME IMPORTANT LEGAL JUDGMENTS HAVING BEARING ON THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THE DOCTRINE, According to Section 55 (i) Marine Insurance Act,”Subject to the provisions of the Act and unless the policy otherwise provides the insurer is liable for any loss proximately caused by a peril insured against, but subject to as aforesaid he is not liable for any loss which is not proximately caused by a peril insured against.”, Section 55 (2) enumerates the losses which are not payable are. More so, the position gets further complicated when an insured peril is followed up by an excepted peril or an excepted peril is followed up by an insured peril, simultaneously getting mixed up by uninsured perils. On the other hand, a new and intervening force developed (throwing of the stone) which was active, efficient and potent enough to cause the result, i. e., falling off the last brick. We would be well served by getting rid of these terms and other jargon as a prologue to the development of a set of simple and cogent doctrines. A similar view was expressed in Incorporated General Insurances Ltd v Shooter 1987(1) SA842(A) at 862D: SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE DOCTRINE OF PROXIMATE CAUSE. The proximate cause of his death is cholera and not falling from the ladder, or for that matter scratches on his leg, even though it can be wrongly argued that has he not had scratches on his leg he would not have gone to the hospital and contacted cholera as such. While the efficient proximate cause is said to set into motion a chain of events, it is not necessarily the triggering cause, rather it is the predominating cause. There might be multiple causes for the delay but the aptest cause must be looked into. This means understanding if the injury would occur but for the action or lapse of the defendant. 0000001479 00000 n A problem arises when an insured under an accident policy is killed or suffers an injury, which has an immediate cause and a remote cause. Certain states take into consideration the “but for” rule for proximate cause. 6d.) 0000008510 00000 n cit., p. 75. Washington courts had never previously engaged in an efficient proximate cause analysis outside the context of property insurance policies, and with good reason. Subrogation Principle in Insurance: How it Works? 0000001123 00000 n The insurance policy may cover the proximate cause, but not the event that actually causes the damage, so the policy holder will not be reimbursed for his claim. The law is comprised of doctrines that are incompatible, vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and lend themselves to “logic chopping.” Even worse, the application of these doctrines to claim scenarios is often strange if not downright counterintuitive. It looks for what is the reason behind the loss, is that is an insured peril or not. Journal of Insurance Coverage. California Courts have interpreted California Insurance Code sections 530 and 532 to codify the efficient proximate cause doctrine. MrJustice Wright. Types of Policies 34 6. To uphold and not defeat the intention of the parties to the contract. This section provides a definition of proximate cause and explains how it should be determined in practice. The proximate cause, whether an event covered by a policy (“peril”) or an event excluded from a policy (“exception”), “is the dominant or effective or operative cause.” So says MacGillivray and Parkington.1 So say the courts. Causation – the relationship between cause and effect – can play a key role in determining whether a claim is approved or denied, particularly as it relates to commercial property insurance coverage. Proximate cause is used in civil and criminal cases, and are frequent in personal injury legal cases. There is an earthquake fire somewhere near the insured building. Proximate cause i s a common law doctrine was developed in the state courts within tort . The proximate cause itself may not do any direct damage. Proximate cause, or the Latin Causa Proxima, relates to the cause of the loss in that the event of the peril insured against must be covered under the insurance contract (policy), and the dominant cause of the event must not be excluded. The following morning he is discovered by some persons. It contained a provision exempting the insurer from liability for “loss or damage by fire which may happen or take place by means of any invasion, insurrection, riot or civil commotion, or of any military or usurped power.” (Price 2s. A related doctrine is the insurance law doctrine of efficient proximate cause. The best example here is probably the standard fire policy. C ONSISTENT advance in the development of legal doctrines and in their application is impossible without a clear under-standing of elementary definitions and concepts. For more information, please contact sculawlibrarian @ gmail.com the contracts pneumonia and dies identify the proximate cause is in! The claim and need not be liable for any loss caused by delay unless provided. Some still accepted and examples that the doctrine of efficient proximate cause—cause an inordinate amount of litigation determine validity. 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