civil tort litigation

Civil tort litigation is a judicial proceeding that asks two questions – known as issues of liability and damage: 1) does the defendant’s conduct create legal liability to the plaintiff; and 2) if so, how much are the plaintiff’s damages caused by such wrongful conduct. “There is in this State but one form of civil actions for the enforcement or protection of private rights and the redress or prevention of private wrongs.” (Civ. Code § 307.) “In such action the party complaining is known as the plaintiff, and the adverse party as the defendant.” (Civ. Code § 308.) Broadly speaking, only torts are covered by liability insurance. The word “tortious denotes conduct of such a characters as to subject the actor to liability.” (1 Restatement of Torts 2d § 6 (ellipses omitted).) “[D]uty denote[s] the fact that the actor is required to conduct himself in a particular manner at the risk that if he does not do so he becomes subject to liability to another to whom the duty is owed for any injury sustained of which the actor’s conduct is the legal cause.” (1 Restatement of Torts 2d § 4 (ellipses omitted).)

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