0000000696 00000 n 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. 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. Until recent past the Principle of proximate cause was not used to be considered as a principle as such. DOCTRINE OF PROXIMATE CAUSE In case an individual is injured due to someone else’s negligence, one can easily claim damages due to the negligence at the end of that individual. 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. Almost immediately there was a cyclonic storm and the ship sank. 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.” 0000007678 00000 n Proximate cause is a key principle of insurance and is concerned with how the loss or damage actually occurred and whether it is indeed as a result of an insured peril. Proximate Cause 11 5. A similar view was expressed in Incorporated General Insurances Ltd v Shooter 1987(1) SA842(A) at 862D: “No difficulty arises when only one cause has to be considered. 0000001157 00000 n nature of the insurance policy and whether a tort proximate cause analysis should be used in an insurance contract analysis. Mr. Johnson is resident in the firm's Orange County, CA office, and his practice includes representing insurers in insurance coverage disputes. Finally, the recommended 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. SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE DOCTRINE OF PROXIMATE CAUSE. 0000014929 00000 n 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. vi) Causa Proxima: In a contract of insurance, the governing rule is the proximate cause to fix the liability of the insurer. 0000005882 00000 n 8.1 Proximate Cause Definition Proximate cause was defined in the case of Pawsey v Scottish Union & National Insurance Company … Marine Insurance Transhipment 1. Because proximate cause is the darling of law professors and bar examiners! Proximate cause i s a common law doctrine was developed in the state courts within tort . 0000003637 00000 n Here, going to the cinema may be simply a remote cause without proximately causing his death. The concept of covered “perils” only exists in the property insurance context for the purpose of determining what causes of loss will be covered. It is not always that much straightforward that a loss would be caused by a singular insured or uninsured or an excepted peril so that a claim would be either payable or not payable. This means understanding if the injury would occur but for the action or lapse of the defendant. The following morning he is discovered by some persons. 0000007141 00000 n 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. 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. In Washington, a judicial doctrine called the “efficient proximate cause” rule may apply and affect insurance coverage when multiple events combine to cause a loss. Marine Insurance: The Doctrine of Proximate Cause and Insurance against War Risks at Sea. Types of Policies 34 6. Dover says; “The causa Proxima of a loss is the cause of the loss, proximate to the loss, not necessarily in time, but inefficiency. Three unruly doctrines—proximate cause, concurrent cause, and efficient proximate cause—cause an inordinate amount of litigation. 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 … 0000001444 00000 n The Efficient Proximate Cause Doctrine in California: Ten Years After Garvey SCOTT G. JOHNSON - Scott G. Johnson is a partner with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. 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. Average clause 23 4. 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." He is being taken to the hospital by an ambulance. The claim is not payable because the proximate cause of loss is earthquake fire and not ordinary fire even though the earthquake had nothing to do with the insured building. Marine Insurance: The Doctrine of Proximate Cause and Insurance against War Risks at Sea. 0000001123 00000 n "doctrine of efficient proximate cause." 34 20 It is also hard to understand what it means and hence hard to apply it. - … While remote causes may be disregarded in determining the cause of a loss, the doctrine must be interpreted with good sense.”. 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." This must be direct, dominant, operative & efficient. The policy does not cover loss due to “spontaneous fermentation”, but any resultant fire damage is covered. 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. 6d.) To take another example, a man riding a horse in a lonely hilly place falls from the horseback, gets an injury and remains unconscious the whole night under exposure to severe cold. Proximate cause refers to the first event, or first peril, in a series of events that cause damage in an insurance claim. 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. Therefore, the cause of death in this policy is of paramount importance. x�b```b``fa`a``�� �� �l@q������4�l��d�v� X���M��� � It is the immediate cause and not the remote cause. The principle of proximate cause virtually revolves around the claims administration and, more precisely, diagnosing the playability or otherwise of a claim on the question of perils covered by a policy. 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. For marine insurance to be observed the understanding of how proximate Cause principle is applied in marine insurance must be understood. 0000001592 00000 n Let’s work through a fact pattern. n. a happening which results in an event, particularly injury due to negligence or an intentional wrongful act. Immediate or proximate means Proximate inefficiency and not necessarily in time. A model of causation more rational than the "doctrine of efficient ... instances where the doctrine of proximate cause can be applied to a patent infringement . 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. A related doctrine is the insurance law doctrine of efficient proximate cause. Here the proximate cause of falling off the last brick is certainly the kick because the strength of the kick was such that it could effectively make the last brick fall without the intervention of any new force started. Single Event. Concerning pay-ability or otherwise of a claim, keeping in view the perils insured, uninsured and excepted, certain rules of proximate cause should be noted carefully. Business interruption insurance is complex, both in terms of identifying the obligation to indemnify (that is the trigger for cover) as well as quantifying the amount of the indemnity (that is the covered financial loss). It is also hard to understand what it means and hence hard to apply it. Proximate cause is used in civil and criminal cases, and are frequent in personal injury legal cases. 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”. 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. marine insurance context and to explore how perils themselves would affect the formation and application of causation rules. Ganado Advocates Tuesday, 16 January 2018, 11:38 Last update: about 4 years ago. So says MacGillivray and Parkington.1 So … 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. In this case, scratches may be a remote cause. In the meantime, due to the severe exposure, the contracts pneumonia and dies. 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. 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. H��V�j1��Wx]ǖ�Ǭ�誅�E? This section provides a definition of proximate cause and explains how it should be determined in practice. Courts employ a set of proximate cause rules to resolve causation disputes when a property policy states that it covers or excludes losses "caused by" a peril and there is … For a more detailed discussion, you can read the proximate cause article by Professor Paul Hayden. Efficient proximate cause is the one that sets others in motion. DOCTRINE OF PROXIMATE CAUSE . Reinsurance & Retention 25 8. 15 Insurance Premium. (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. 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. Knowledge of Agent. While suing that individual, one will have to prove that the negligence was the actual or proximate cause of the injury. 0 1 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. The concurrent causation doctrine operates to hold as covered losses caused jointly by an excluded peril and some other peril that is not excluded. 0000008510 00000 n Determining Proximate Cause Through Different Rules. 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. 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”. The efficient or effective, cause which causes the loss is called proximate cause, it is the actual cause of loss. 0000012280 00000 n Although, the cyclone was nearer to sinking in time, nevertheless, a torpedo was the active efficient cause, because the ship was so hard hit by a torpedo that it would have sunk. 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. Auto. 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 concept of Proximate Cause was first distinctly stated as a legal doctrine by Bacon, and was embodied in the first of his max- ims in the phrase Iii ure non remola Causa, sedproxima spectatur. The Court then opined that because nothing in the Policy undermined application of concurrent cause doctrine and no efficient proximate cause could be determined, concurrent cause doctrine applied in favour of coverage for the loss. Difficult situations do occur where numbers of perils get involved simultaneously, some insured, some uninsured and some still accepted. Let us take another example. DOCTRINE OF PROXIMATE CAUSE REFERENCES: Luis B. Reyes and Judge Arthur L. Abudiente-----Proximate Cause - that cause, which, in natural … There might be multiple causes for the delay but the aptest cause must be looked into. A similar view was expressed in Incorporated General Insurances Ltd v Shooter 1987(1) SA842(A) at 862D: The "efficient proximate cause" doctrine as developed by the courts in Garvey and Sabella, 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. Further, this comment will analyze the Garvey case specifically and determine its validity and impact on insurance law. MrJustice Wright. In accident benefits policy, double of the policy amount is paid. (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. 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. If a suicide occurs within one year of the policy, or there was an intention to commit suicide arid the payment of policy would be restricted, only up to the interest of the third party in the policy provided the interest was expressed at least one month before the suicide. Because proximate cause is the darling of law professors and bar examiners! Collision being the cause of death is very efficient here whilst scratch is inefficient and remote. For instance, one doctrine (a version of efficient proximate cause) raises this conundrum regarding business interruption coverag… 633, 643. 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. Certain states take into consideration the “but for” rule for proximate cause. Washington courts had never previously engaged in an efficient proximate cause analysis outside the context of property insurance policies, and with good reason. The concurrent causation doctrine operates to hold as covered losses caused jointly by an excluded peril and some other peril that is not excluded. We should not try to find out the cause of causes thereby getting mixed up and complicating the issue. Proximate cause refers to a direct cause of loss, without which the loss would not occur; therefore, it is a highly relevant principle in the insurance industry. 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. Meaning 18 2. Recommended Citation Mark Y. Umeda, Comment,Concurrent Proximate Causes in Insurance Disputes: After Garvey, What Will Policyholders Expect?, 29 Santa ClaraL. xref 0000004739 00000 n One of the leading and often quoted cases on the doctrine of proximate cause is Insurance Company v. Boon . It is hard to disagree. 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. Double Insurance 35 Chapter 9. The doctrine of proximate cause is one of the six principles of insurance. It is only by considering some propositions and examples that the doctrine of proximate cause can best be understood. 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. - Volume 3 Issue 2 - W. L. M. This is so because throughout the spread and travel, with the help of natural wind, the fire retains its identity as an earthquake fire. Efficient Proximate Cause Law and Legal Definition. 8. Example: Boiling Enamel. London: The Solicitors' Law Stationery Society, Ltd.1927. Duffy is in the road construction business, and uses boiling enamel as part of the construction process. 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. California Courts have interpreted California Insurance Code sections 530 and 532 to codify the efficient proximate cause doctrine. A model of causation more rational than the "doctrine of efficient Proximate cause is used in civil and criminal cases, and are frequent in personal injury legal cases. He is taken to a hospital and in the hospital, he contacts cholera from the next bed patient and dies. Subrogation Principle in Insurance: How it Works? To give an example, let us take 10 bricks arranged in a lined standing order one after another keeping a gap of say 6 Inches in between. 0000001479 00000 n If the cause of loss (peril) is insured, the insurer will pay, otherwise, the insurer will not compensate. cit., p. 75. 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