Copyright 1965, American Law Institute
§ 9 LEGAL CAUSE
The words "legal cause" are used throughout the Restatement of
this Subject to denote the fact that the causal sequence by which the actor's
tortious conduct has resulted in an invasion of some legally protected
interest of another is such that the law holds the actor responsible for
such harm unless there is some defense to liability.
COMMENTS & ILLUSTRATIONS: Comment:
a. To become liable to another under the principles of the law of Torts, an actor's conduct must not only be tortious in character but it must also be a legal cause of the invasion of another's interest. If the actor has engaged in conduct which is tortious in character, he thereby subjects himself to liability as that phrase is defined in § 5. In order that the actor become liable to another, it is necessary, among other things, that his conduct be the legal cause of the invasion of the other's interest as the phrase "legal cause" is defined in this Section.
b. In order that a particular act or omission may be the
legal cause of an invasion of another's interest, the act or omission must
be a substantial factor in bringing about the harm, and there must be no
principle or rule of law which restricts the actor's liability because
of the manner in which the act or omission operates to bring about such
invasion. The principles and rules which determine whether a particular
act or omission is the legal cause of a particular result are stated in
§§ 430-453 and § 870.
REPORTERS NOTES: This Section has been changed from the first Restatement by adding the final words, "unless there is some defense to liability."