TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Recent Cases: Substantial Factor and Multiple Defendants/Potential Causes

Compare Beebe v. N. Idaho Day Surgery, ___ Idaho ___, ___, 526 P.3d 650, 658 (2023) (“[T]his Court has consistently held that the ‘substantial factor’ jury instruction must be given when the evidence at trial produces multiple potential causes that could have contributed to a plaintiff's injury.”) with Haas v. Estate of Carter, 370 Or. 742, 750-752, 525 P.3d 451, 456-458 (2023) (“The substantial factor test was developed primarily for … the situation in which the concurrent conduct of two or more causes combine to create an injury, and either one of those causes, operating alone, would have been sufficient to produce the same result.”; However, that does not mean that “the substantial factor standard applies, and consequently that a substantial factor instruction should be given, in all multiple tortfeasor cases,” or that “the substantial factor standard rather than the but-for standard applies in all instances in which there are multiple tortfeasors.”).

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