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Answered Question
Max B
where exactly on my outline does Summers v. Tice belong?
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Answered by: Lawyer Up
Good question! Lots of students get this one wrong. Summers v. Tice goes under "causation", but NOT under "proximate cause". It goes under "Actual Casuation" or "Cause in Fact" or "But-For Causation" or whatever you call it.

Usually, actual causation is very easy. However, there are a few times when it can become tricky. The standard rule is that if you can say "Hey, Mr. Defendant... I wouldn't have been hurt if it weren't for you and your carelessness!", then your case has passed the "but-for" test.

In a situation like Summers v. Tice, it is technically impossible to say that. If you don't know who actually caused damage, you can't really say that if it weren't for person A, then you wouldn't have been harmed... because you may have been harmed by person B. So, in this one weird situation, we depart from the standard but-for test, and instead use the rule of Summers v. Tice (here, to hold both Ds jointly and severally liable, or to shift the burden onto them to prove which one actually caused the harm).
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TAGS:  torts, summers, tice, causation, proximate cause
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