What is Concert of Action?
Art often imitates real life. Driving across town, just the other day, i witnessed an example of that. It could have ended in a terrible tragedy, but on that day we were all fortunate. The experience was a great illustration of the tort law Concert of Action and how it applies to wrongful death cases.
A Real Live Example
The movies are full of young people and sometimes, not so young people, zipping through traffic on the public roads. Weaving back in forth in unison, they follow each other. Obviously speeding, they are driving carelessly, if not recklessly. What we see in the movies, is often imitated in life.
My “could have been” real live example started just this past weekend. I was driving across the Buckman Bridge. Anyone that lives in Jacksonville knows that to be a very long bridge.
I was traveling across the bridge heading east. All the sudden, two cars traveling at least 100 mph, were darting in and out of traffic. Passing on the left and right, they looked for whatever lane offered the least resistance.
They were clearly each in violation of the laws of Florida (and probably every other state). They were each placing everyone on that bridge at risk of harm.
Concert of Action Tort Law
The Restatement of Torts, Section 876, states that for one person to be responsible for the harm caused by another, that
- One must show that the tortious act was committed in concert with the other or pursuant to a common design with that other,
- OR that one person knew that the other’s conduct constituted a breach of duty and that one gave substantial assistance or encouragement to the other to so conduct themselves,
- OR that one person has substantial assistance to the other one in order to accomplish a tortious result and their own conduct.
Sounds like lots of legalizing. What does it mean for our real-life example?
Applying the Concert of Action Law
What it means in our example is this. Driver A is speeding along and racing with Driver B across the bridge. Drive A then loses control of his foreign, low riding, loud mufflered, little car. In the resulting accident, an innocent party loses their life as a result.
In this example and applying the Concert of Action tort law, Driver B can be just as liable as Driver A.
At this point, obviously the “fun” they were having on a Sunday afternoon can cause them both to be equally at fault for the wrongful death.
In some cases, witnesses may testify to what happened. They can state that the conduct was so bad that it all but guaranteed that someone was likely to be seriously injured or killed. Now, the State Attorney may look into prosecuting them both for vehicular homicide.
Jacksonville Wrongful Death Attorneys
If you have lost a loved one due to an accident through no fault of their own, you may have grounds for an Wrongful Death case.
The Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorneys at Harris Guidi Rosner as available for a free consultation. They will sit with you and explain all of the options that are available to you.