An accident out of Clarksville, Tennessee sounds as if it were written for a torts exam. Around 5 pm, a car hit a deer in downtown Clarksville and sent the deer flying. The deer then landed on a pedestrian who had to go to a hospital for broken bones.
Clarksville Police spokeswoman Officer Natalie Hall dryly remarked “This is not a type of crash that happens often.” I would hope so.
The first question is whether the driver was negligent in hitting the deer. If so, the question becomes one of proximate cause since there is no factual causation question that the alleged act of negligence cased the injuries.
The Second Restatement of Torts adopted what is often called the “Cardozo Rule” of proximate causation:
“If the actor’s conduct creates a recognizable risk of harm only to a particular class of person, the fact that it causes harm to a person of a different class, to whom the actor could not reasonably have anticipated injury, does not render the actor liable to the persons so injured.”
Assuming that this was an act of negligence in hitting the deer (and there is no evidence of such negligence at this time), the risk of being hit by a flying deer is not so remote as to be unforeseeable in my view.
Of course, deer often do not require a car to take out humans, as runners learned recently:
What do you think?