Assignment 2: Alternative to the But-For Test

| March 13, 2016

LEG 300- Tort Law
Assignment 2: Alternative to the But-For Test

Based upon Battocchi v. Washington Hospital Center, 581 A.2d759 (D.C.1990)
Because of the use of forceps during his delivery, baby Adam received permanent brain injuries.
The attending physician, Dr. Cohn, diagnosed the babys position as face down, while in fact the
baby was face up. When babies are face up, the use of forceps is inappropriate. The forceps
slipped off the babys head twice while Dr. Cohn attempted to deliver the baby. Dr. Brady was
called, did not ascertain the babys position and, using the forceps, eventually delivered the
baby. The parents claimed that both doctors negligently used forceps by applying too much
compression pressure to the babys head, causing brain injuries. The parents settled with Dr.
Cohn; only Dr. Brady was a defendant at trial.
Please read pp. 182-204 in your text book regarding Alternatives to the But-for Test which is
used to test legal causation in a negligence case.
Write a two to three (2-3) page paper in which you:

1.Describe the theory of multiple sufficient causes as an alternative to the but-for test.
2.Decide whether the plaintiff or the defendant traditionally has the burden of proving the
defendants tortious conduct was a factual cause of the plaintiffs harm.
3.Describe the effect of the Court granting the plaintiffs motion to shift the burden of proof
regarding causation to Dr. Brady.

4.Describe whether or not Dr. Bradys burden of proof re: his innocence is made difficult by the
fact that Dr. Cohn settled outside of court without admitting fault.
5.Format your assignment according to these formatting requirements:
Typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all
sides; references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any
additional instructions.
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the students name, the professors
name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in
the required page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

Identify the elements of negligence, that is, duty, breach, causation, proximate cause, and
Use technology and information resources to research issues related to law and the legal
Write clearly and concisely about issues in law and the legal system using proper writing

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