Copyright 1965, American Law Institute
RULES AND PRINCIPLES
Division Two - Negligence
Chapter 12 - General Principles
Topic 2 - The Standard By Which Negligence is Determined
§ 284 NEGLIGENT CONDUCT; ACT OR FAILURE TO ACT
Negligent conduct may be either:
(a) an act which the actor as a reasonable man should recognize as involving an unreasonable risk of causing an invasion of an interest of another, or
(b) a failure to do an act which is necessary for the protection or
assistance of another and which the actor is under a duty to do.
COMMENTS & ILLUSTRATIONS: Comment on Clause (a):
a. The actor, as a reasonable man, should realize that his act involves an unreasonable risk of causing an invasion of an interest of another, if a reasonable man knowing so much of the circumstances surrounding the actor at the time of his act as the actor knows or should know, would realize the existence of the risk and its unreasonable character. The conditions under which the actor should realize the existence and extent of the risk involved in his conduct are stated in §§ 289 and 290. The considerations which determine whether such a risk is unreasonable are stated in §§ 291-293.
b. If the actor is a child of tender years, his conduct is not required to conform to the standard of a "reasonable man." Such a child is not guilty of negligence, unless the risk and its unreasonable character are recognizable by a child of his age, intelligence, and experience. (See § 283 A.) As to the negligence of an insane or mentally deficient person, see § 283 B.
Comment on Clause (b):
c. The conditions which create a duty of positive action for the protection or assistance of another are stated in §§ 314-324 A.