Causation Element of Negligence In California

"In California, the causation element of negligence is satisfied when the plaintiff establishes: (1) that the defendant's breach of duty (his negligent act or omission) was a substantial factor in bringing about the plaintiff's harm and; (2) that there is no rule of law relieving the defendant of liability." (Leslie G. v. Perry & Associates (1996) 43 Cal.App.4th at p. 481; see also Saelzler v. Advanced Group 400 (2001) 25 Cal.4th at p. 778 "to demonstrate actual or legal causation, the plaintiff must show that the defendant's act or omission was a 'substantial factor' in bringing about the injury".) A general finding of foreseeability of future injury or assault occurring on the premises does not establish that the defendant's omissions caused the plaintiff's injuries. Causation is "an entirely separate and independent element of the tort of negligence." ( Saelzler, supra, 25 Cal.4th at p.778.) "'Proof of causation cannot be based on . . . an expert's opinion based on inferences, speculation and conjecture." ( Saelzler, supra, 25 Cal.4th at p. 777.) A plaintiff seeking to prove causation by circumstantial evidence "cannot recover merely by showing that the inferences he draws from those circumstances are consistent with his theory. Instead, he must show that the inferences favorable to him are more reasonable or probable than those against him. " (Leslie G., supra, 43 Cal.App.4th at p. 483.) "'A mere possibility of such causation is not enough; and when the matter remains one of pure speculation or conjecture, or the probabilities are at best evenly balanced, it becomes the duty of the court to direct a verdict for the defendant.'" (Saelzler, supra, 25 Cal.4th at pp. 775-776)