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Arland v Taylor, [1955] OR 131 (CA)


Plaintiff injured in motor vehicle accident. The jury was asked (charged) to put themselves in the place of the driver in deciding whether standard of care was breached.

At trial: Jury held that defendant did not breach standard of care. Plaintiff appealed, based on judge’s charge to the jury.


Can the judge charge the jury to use a subjective test? Is the standard of care by which a jury is to judge the conduct of parties in a case of the kind under consideration the care that would have been taken in the circumstances by a reasonable person?


The standard of care use to judge conduct is based on what the conduct of a reasonable person would be.


Reasonable person test:
** An impersonal test, independent of idiosyncrasies of the particular person whose conduct is in question.
** The conduct of a reasonable person is the standard adopted in the community of persons of ordinary intelligence and prudence.
** Open to a diversity of views.
** Not about the highest degree of care of which humankind is capable
** Immutable legal standard in the face of changing factual standards

However, trial judges charge was only misdirection and not a substantial wrong.


Appeal dismissed.

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