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Assignment 2: Alternative to the But-For Test
Due Week 4 and worth 140 points
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 baby’s 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 baby’s head twice while Dr. Cohn attempted to deliver the baby. Dr. Brady was called, did not ascertain the baby’s 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 baby’s 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:
Describe the theory of “multiple sufficient causes” as an alternative to the “but-for test.”
Decide whether the plaintiff or the defendant traditionally has the burden of proving the defendant’s tortious conduct was a factual cause of the plaintiff’s harm.
Describe the effect of the Court granting the plaintiff’s motion to shift the burden of proof regarding causation to Dr. Brady.
Describe whether or not Dr. Brady’s burden of proof re: his innocence is made difficult by the fact that Dr. Cohn settled outside of court without admitting fault.
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 student’s name, the professor’s 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 damages.
Use technology and information resources to research issues related to law and the legal system.
Write clearly and concisely about issues in law and the legal system using proper writing mechanics.