Novus actus interveniens
‘novus actus interveniens’ ("new act intervening") is a legal term which refers to breaking the chain of causation such that even if the defendant has acted negligently, a subesquent intervening act breaks the chain of causation with the loss or damage sustained and so the defendant is not liable.
This can be as a result of:
- The act of a third party, unless the action was foreseeable, such as negligence by a third party.
- The act of the claimant where their actions were disproportionate or unreasonable.
- Some natural event or coincidence, such as an extraordinary weather event.
Under certain circumstances, the courts may decide to apportion the loss between the parties. See contribution and apportionment for more information.
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