superseding cause

Definition of "superseding cause"
  1. An event that happens after the original act leading to an accident, and significantly contributes to the accident. This cause frees the party who initiated the series of events leading to the accident from liability, as their initial negligence is no longer the direct cause
How to use "superseding cause" in a sentence
  1. A sudden heavy rainstorm can act as a superseding cause if it leads to a car accident.
  2. If a bystander rushes onto a fiery scene to help and further escalates the fire, his actions may be a superseding cause.
  3. A construction worker accidentally leaving machinery on could have caused an accident, but if another person purposely tampers with the machinery afterwards, that second action could serve as a superseding cause.

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