But-For Test

Definition - What does But-For Test mean?

The but-for test is a way of deciding whether or not a party was responsible for a particular outcome. The way the but-for test works is by asking whether the outcome would not have occurred "but for" the actions or omissions of the defendant. This test can be used in civil or criminal law.

Justipedia explains But-For Test

Often, in lawsuits, it can be difficult to establish whether or not a defendant is responsible for the relevant events that have occurred, resulting in the lawsuit. For example, a woman may have fallen down and broken her leg in a pizza shop. The reason she may have fallen down is because a pizza shop employee may have spilled a drink on the ground, making the floor slippery. So, in such a case, the but-for clause could be used to determine if the woman still would have broken her leg without the actions of the pizza shop employee.

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