US Tort Law/Ordinary Person of Reasonable Prudence

Tortfeasors are generally judged by the "reasonable prudent person" standard. This is an objective person, not the individual in question. The RPP is judged based on an individual in like circumstances.

Here is my section from my Torts outline on this. It was the first outline I did, so it may not be great. I'll try to "clean it up" later, but if someone else wants to, feel free.

b.	Reasonable Person Standard
i.	Physically disabled
1.	Smith v. Sneller
2.	Must take reasonable precautions (such as carrying a cane for a blind person); if not,l then negligent (Poyner v. Loftus)
ii.	Mentally disabled
1.	Breunig v. American Family Insurance Co.
2.	Generally not considered
3.	EXCEPTION:  insanity CAN be an excuse for intentional tort if the insanity causes the person to be unable to realize that the contact would occur
iii.	Youth
1.	Williamson v. Garland, Garratt v. Dailey
2.	Base “reasonable” standard on the same age child
3.	EXCEPTION:  doing an “adult” activity such as driving a boat requires standard of care of an adult (Dellwo v. Pearson)
4.	US standard holds even young children responsible because someone needs to bear the loss and it should not be the totally innocent plaintiff. (Child begins to assume liability for negligence around age 5/6/7, but always for intentional)

iv.	Elderly	
Reynolds v. LA Gas and Electric Co
Advanced age doesn’t matter 
v.	Professional training
						Public Service of NH v. Elliot					Judged by “reasonable” standard for someone with similar training
“If an actor has skills or knowledge that exceed those possessed by most others, these skills or knowledge are circumstances to be taken into account in determining whether the actor has behaved as a reasonably careful person”
a.	Gender
i.	Not considered
ii.	Other “related” factors may be considered such as individual strength
b.	Illness—if foreseeable, negligent; if unforeseeable (heart attack) not negligent
c.	Economic status—not considered
Default duty-Reasonable Person Standard
d.	Objective
i.	Looks at Averages, not extremes (Bligth v. Birmingham Water Co)
ii.	Even if someone subjectively does not “get it” still judged by “reasonable” person
e.	Learned Hand Test–balance burden of duty against utility or benefits	
i.	P*L | B 	
ii.	If product of probability of harm (P) and Π’s loss (L) is greater than Δ’s burden (B), then Δ guilty and should have taken precautions
iii.	If product of P and L is less than or equal to Δ’s burden, then Δ is not guilty of negligence 
f.	Benefits
i.	Provides some standard
ii.	“Am I being too risky?” 
iii.	Limit to how safe you have to act
g.	Drawbacks
i.	Hard to apply and determine standard
ii.	Fails to take individual differences and abilities into account
iii.	Individuals (i.e. jury) use themselves as “reasonable person”	

ii.	Children
1.	Judged to a reasonable child of like age, experience and intelligence
2.	Mentally Ill
iii.	Physically disabled
iv.	Elderly
v.	Below average intelligence
vi.	Specialized knowledge
1.	Industry standard
a.	Sometimes not high enough (TJ Hooper–operator is liable without a radio even though it wasn’t the industry standard)
b.	If the cost-benefit analysis clearly shows that the burden is less than the cost, then that will override industry standard
2.	Professional standard (Helling v. Carey)
a.	Doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc
b.	The established practice is dispositive factor
c.	Formerly used role of locality (Bergara v. Doan), not so relevant now with advanced technology and national standards for professions; however location, technology and resources may be looked at.
d.	If 2 established schools, either could be accepted