act of God


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act of God,

in law, an accident caused by the operation of extraordinary natural force. The effect of ordinary natural causes (e.g., that rain will leak through a defective roof) may be foreseen and avoided by the exercise of human care; failure to take the necessary precautions constitutes negligencenegligence,
in law, especially tort law, the breach of an obligation (duty) to act with care, or the failure to act as a reasonable and prudent person would under similar circumstances.
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, and the party injured in the accident may be entitled to damages. An act of God, however, is so extraordinary and devoid of human agency that reasonable care would not avoid the consequences; hence, the injured party has no right to damages. Accidents caused by tornadoes, perils of the sea, extraordinary floods, and severe ice storms are usually considered acts of God, but fires are not so considered unless they are caused by lightning.

act of God

Law a sudden and inevitable occurrence caused by natural forces and not by the agency of man, such as a flood, earthquake, or a similar catastrophe
References in periodicals archive ?
A: One who negligently creates a dangerous condition cannot escape liability for the natural and probable consequences thereof, although the act of a third person, or an act of God for which he is not responsible, intervenes to precipitate the loss.
Just as the insurers can invoke the Act of God defence, consumers may be able to rely on the defence of legal frustration to avoid paying for a holiday which cannot take place.
Our ancestors tended to call anything they could not explain an act of God.
SEATTLE -- Half of southern evangelicals and one in ten Catholics in America believe the devastation caused by the South Asian Tsunami was an act of God of religious significance, according to independent market research solutions company GMI, Inc.
When in the past we have only around 20 percent of vehicles with Act of God coverage, now we can say we have 60 to 70 percent," Pira deputy chair and spokesperson Michael Rellosa said in an interview over the weekend.
If your neighbour - or anyone seriously injured by one of your roof tiles - did take you to court they would probably win unless you could show that you had the roof inspected recently or that the weather conditions were truly exceptional: it's rare for an Act of God defence to succeed.
The fury of Hurricane Katrina can rightly be called an act of God.
As Peter proclaims it, the crucifixion is an act of people; the resurrection is an act of God.
An agent wanted to know if it was an act of God,'' she said.