Summers v. Tice
Supreme Court of CA - 1948
- P and two Ds were members of a hunting party. Both Ds negligently fired at the same time at a quail in P's direction.
- P was struck in the eye by a shot from one of the guns.
- Trial court found for P against both Ds.
- CA Supreme Court affirmed.
- When a P cannot determine which of multiple negligent Ds caused his injury, which D is liable?
- When a P cannot determine which of multiple negligent Ds caused his injury, all Ds are liable, and it is up to each D to absolve himself.
- Although the negligence of only one of them could have caused the injury, both should be liable.
- To hold otherwise would be to exonerate both from liability, although each was negligent, and the injury resulted from such negligence.
- This makes sense because it is near impossible for the P to prove who injured him. It is easier for Ds to provide the information to prove/disprove who is at fault.
- They are both wrongdoers; thus, it should rest with each of them to absolve himself if he can.