Superseding Cause

Definition - What does Superseding Cause mean?

A superseding cause is a cause of an injury that did not set the initial sequence of events in motion, but happened after the proximate cause and yet is still responsible for the injury. Those who are responsible for superseding causes assume liability that would otherwise go to those who caused the proximate cause.

Justipedia explains Superseding Cause

Sometimes, even if there is a proximate cause of an injury, the injury would still not have occurred if a superseding cause did not take place.

For example, if a man driving a car is struck by another vehicle, and is injured, then the proximate cause would be the man crashing into his car. However, if the air bag inside the car malfunctioned due to a manufacturer error, then this could be a superseding cause. This would be true if the air bag would have prevented the injury. In such a case, the car manufacturer could be held liable.

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