1. What is to be proved so that a claim of Act of God fails?

a. Negligence of the plaintiff.
b. No causal link exists between event and injury.
c. Event was unforeseeable
d. Injury could not be prevented through skill & caution

2. If an event is unforeseeable, would the tortfeasor still be liable?

a. Yes.
b. No, if the injury could have been prevented.
c. No, if the tortfeasor was negligent.
d. No, if the tortfeasor had omitted to exercise care.

3. Carl was hired to fill a city’s reservoir to capacity with rainwater. The region was soon flooded
after heavy rains occurred, nearly bursting the reservoir’s dam, killing about 20 people, destroying
several bridges, telegraph and telephone lines. The resultant damage was estimated to be $200
million. Decide Carl’s liability.

a. Carl is not liable.
b. Carl is liable only to the extent of the damage to the reservoir’s dam.
c. Carl is liable for all damages suffered.
d. It was the duty of the city administration to have proper mitigation methods in place, so it is only
due to the administration’s fault this tragedy occurred.

4. Principle: An act of God is an operation of natural forces so unexpected that no human foresight
or skill could reasonably be expected to anticipate it.
Principle 2: Insurance policies do not cover ‘Acts of God’ or acts arising out of Gross Negligence.
Principle 3: Gross Negligence is different from Negligence to the extent where the guilty party not
only does not fulfil his duty of car, but has blatant disregard for others. It involves a certain
amount of knowledge, knowing which the defendant chooses to allow an event to occur, that
event leading to the harm caused to the plaintiff.

Shordan Welfort is a shipowner. He has insured each of his ships for $2,000,000. One of his ships is
a small cargo carrier, while the rest are large cargo carriers. In the age where mass productivity has seen exponential growth, small carriers are out of fashion. Therefore, the small carrier remains largely unused, and does not have a full-time crew. He hires a crew when the ship is to set sail. It is also not maintained regularly, which has resulted in several leaks across the body of the ship. He was aware of these faults but chose to overlook it since it was barely used. On a fateful night, the small cargo ship ran into a storm in the middle of the ocean. It was only due to its leaks
that it was not able to withstand much longer. The crew discovered this, but being unable to help it, they jumped into the ocean. They were not too far from shore and managed to swim there. Seeing a good opportunity to make a profit out of the situation, Welfort claimed the insurance money. Simultaneously, the crew claimed damages from Welfort for Negligence, and when they insurance company discovered the issue of Negligence, they rejected his claim.

a. Welfort will not have a claim since it was an act arising out of his Gross Negligence due to the
disregard that water levels rise above normal in the ocean, and the leaks needed to be repaired if
the ship was to set sail. He will also have to compensate the crew for the same.
b. Welfort will not have to pay anything to the defendants since the storm was an Act of God. But,
he cannot claim anything from the insurance company either.
c. Welfort is liable for only simple negligence. Storms are not expected to occur suddenly near the
coast and it was an Act of God, so he cannot be said to have complete disregard. His insurance claim
will be barred.
d. None of the above.

5. Principle: An act of God is an operation of natural forces so unexpected that no human foresight
or skill could reasonably be expected to anticipate it.

Pilgrims congregate at Kedarnath each year in large numbers. They make arrangements well in
advance for the same. Mohit is one such person. He has booked 5 tickets for his family and
himself, each for Rs. 1500. Unfortunately, a month before he was to embark on his journey, floods
and landslides destroyed large parts of Kedarnath and its surrounding areas and they were
accordingly closed off, and all trains travelling to its nearest station was cancelled. He was unable
to make the journey. After normalcy resumed, he sued Indian Railways to refund him the money
for the tickets.

a. IR is liable to provide him new tickets or refund.
b. IR and the concerned authority who closed off the Kedarnath area are jointly liable, the former for
the tickets and the latter for closing off the area.
c. IR is not liable since they have the defence of Act of God.
d. IR is not liable since a government institute has to act for the larger welfare of the people and
cannot serve individual interests like that of Mohit.

6. To claim Inevitable Accident, one must show that the event was outside:

a. Human control
b. Control of the parties
c. Control of the claimant
d. Control of the tortfeasor

7. Which is not a requirement for Inevitable Accident?

a. Skill
b. Care
c. Foresight
d. Caution

8. Principle: A defendant is protected against harm caused to the plaintiff, if the harm caused is
outside his control and cannot be prevented. The check is to see if the defendant had the scope of
resorting to reasonable measures to avoid that harm, and he exercised the same.

Manav, a budding actor, was going for a celebrity gala, and was already running late. He was to
meet big producers, and was sure of landing a major film with one of them. On the way, Madhav,
who was driving his car, accidentally went into a puddle, which splashed some mud on Manav.
Manav’s tuxedo was ruined, and he could not attend the gala. The road was dark and the puddle
was not visible although Madhav had switched on the car’s headlights. Can Madhav plead
inevitable accident?

a. Yes, because Madhav headlights were switched on and the puddle was not visible.
b. No, because Madhav should have been extra-cautious while driving on a dark road.
c. Yes, because Manav should have been careful to be as far away from puddles and the like, as
possible.
d. Yes, because in going down a dark road, parties agree to harm suffered. Since the mud was
splashed inadvertently, Madhav can claim inevitable accident.

9. Principle: A defendant is protected against harm caused to the plaintiff, if the harm caused is
outside his control and cannot be prevented. The check is to see if the defendant had the scope of
resorting to reasonable measures to avoid that harm, and he exercised the same.

The plaintiff was employed to carry a cartridge for the shooting party when they had gone gamehunting.
A member of the party fired at a distance, but the bullet after hitting a tree, rebounded
into the plaintiff’s shoulder. The defendant claimed the defence of inevitable accident in court.

a. The defendant would be liable for not taking proper aim. It was natural that the bullet will bounce
off of hard a surface.
b. The defendant would not be liable for his actions were in no way intended to injure the plaintiff.
Amongst so many members of the hunting party, neither the plaintiff’s presence in the exact spot
could have been predicted by the defendant, nor the fact that the bullet would bounce off and hit
the plaintiff.
c. The defendant would not be liable for his actions since the plaintiff should have taken safety
precautions such as bullet-proof vests and such.
d. The defendant would be liable since a bullet travels very fast and he should have warned the party
that he was taking aim.

10. Dwivedi ignored a red light and drove his car onto the railway tracks as a train was
approaching. The motor stalled and Dwivedi did not have sufficient time to get the car across the
tracks. Trivedi, the railway engine driver, saw Dwivedi and could have stopped the train had he
not been waving at a group of girls jogging along a road beside the track. They collided and
Dwivedi was injured. In an action by Dwivedi against Trivedi,

a. Dwivedi will win because lie could not get to safety in time.
b. Dwivedi will win because Trivedi was operating the train in a careless manner.
c. Dwivedi will lose because Trivedi was relying on the warning signal.
d. Dwivedi will lose because he did not obey the red signal.

 

Answer Key

1. b – The rest of the options, if proved, will help the claim instead of failing it.
2. b – This covers cases of negligence, and others. C & D mean the same thing.
3. a – D is wrong because we only have to answer whether Carl’s defence will succeed, which it
will. Several or special adjectives are not required – since determining its foreseeability is
key, “heavy” implies that it was unforeseeable.
4. a – First, he was aware of the leaks; second, he did nothing to repair it; third, he allowed it to
set sail with that knowledge; fourth, the crew was not informed of the leaks, and only
discovered it during the storm; even if it is argued that storms do not occur suddenly near
the coast, the four points indicates that there was more than mere negligence of not taking
adequate care, but having almost a blatant disregard, i.e., he was Grossly Negligent.
5. c – Straightforward application of the principle.
6. b – Events outside human control in cases of Acts of God. C & D implies that the event is in
the control of one of the parties – which would possibly make that party liable. In Inevitable
Accident, neither party have control, and the tortfeasor cannot avoid injury to the plaintiff
despite exercising reasonable skill, care & caution.
7. c.
8. a – Straightforward application of the principle.
9. b – For the reasons given therein. The party was out to hunt, so it was obvious one would
stay steady, quiet, and fire when the game was in sight, and as a matter of practice would
not go about warning people with alarm bells.
10. b – This is not a case of inevitable accident. Plus, both are responsible. However, as greater
risk = greater care & caution, the train driver had the bigger responsibility here. Moreover,
this is a case of CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE, where both parties contribute to the injury
suffered, and the liability is on the party who had the last opportunity (last chance rule) to
avoid the injury. In this case, it is the train driver.

Leave A Comment

Please enter your name. Please enter an valid email address. Please enter message.