Civil Jury Negligence Charges

5.10E – Act of God


The defendant contends that the accident was caused by an act of God without any negligence on his/her part and that he/she is thereby exonerated from responsibility for the plaintiff’s injuries (or damage).

An act of God is an unusual, extraordinary and unexpected manifestation of the forces of nature, or a misfortune or accident arising from inevitable necessity which cannot be prevented by reasonable human foresight and care. If plaintiff’s injuries were caused by such an event without any negligence on the part of the defendant, the defendant is not liable therefor.

However, if the defendant has been guilty of negligence which was an efficient and cooperative cause of the mishap, so that the accident was caused by both the forces of nature and the defendant’s negligence, the defendant is not excused from responsibility.

In other words, if the defendant was negligent and his/her negligence contributed as an efficient and cooperating cause to the happening of the mishap and the injuries which proximately resulted therefrom, it is immaterial that an act of God was also a concurring cause.

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