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Last edited 20 Feb 2020
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 action 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 action of a third party, unless the action was foreseeable, such as negligence by a third party.
- The action 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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