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AMI 1301 Negligence—Use of Explosives

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 1301
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
December 2023 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 13. Explosives
AMI 1301 Negligence—Use of Explosives
It is the duty of one using explosives to use no greater quantity than is reasonably necessary and to use a high degree of care, commensurate with the danger reasonably to be expected, in order to avoid injury to [the property of] others. A violation of this duty is negligence.
This instruction is not applicable if the case is submitted solely on a theory of absolute liability. See AMI 1108.
An explosives case may be pursued under a negligence theory, a strict liability theory, or both. See Northside Const. Co. v. Huffman, 287 Ark. 145, 697 S.W.2d 89 (1985). In Northside, the jury was instructed on both absolute liability and negligence, but the jury was only given verdict forms for negligence. Consequently, the opinion only discusses negligence and proximate causation. A prima facie case of negligence is established where the evidence of the results and surrounding circumstances of a blast show that under ordinary circumstances such a result could not have occurred unless the blast was negligently performed. Id.
With respect to a claim by the owner, when blasting is conducted on the property damaged with the knowledge and consent of the owner, the rule of strict liability is not applicable. Carroll-Boone Water Dist. v. M. & P. Equipment Co., 280 Ark. 560, 661 S.W.2d 345 (1983) (“It would be unfair to allow a property owner to employ a contractor to use dynamite on the property and then recover for damage caused by the dynamite with no proof of negligence.”) See 2 D. Dobbs, Law of Torts 955-957 (2001), for discussion of other explosives-related cases in which a negligence theory may be applicable.
See Continental Geophysical Co. v. Adair, 243 Ark. 589, 420 S.W.2d 836 (1967), for a case in which there was a failure of proof to show a causal relationship between the defendant’s detonations and damage to plaintiff’s wells.
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