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 ?
There are two likely situations where act of God could be taken as a defence; lightning which is unlikely to be guarded against as it is unpredictable, and sudden death by heart failure.
16% of all global respondents indicated the Tsunami was an act of God
But if the court finds it was an act of God, your husband will lose, and the court fees will be added to his loss.
While the upward spiral can't last forever, ``short of a major act of God or a stock market collapse,'' Ventura County will be booming into 2000, he said.