Negligence Per Se

Common law negligence consists of the (1) existence of a legal duty, (2) breach of the duty and (3) proximately caused damages.

Negligence per se exists when the state legislature creates a statute defining a duty and a certain standard of care. Monteer v. Prospectors Lounge, Inc., 821 S.W.2d 898, 900 (Mo. Ct. App. 1992). Negligence per se, then, is a form of ordinary negligence that results from the violation of a statute. Id.

There are four elements to a negligence per se claim: (1) a violation of a statute or ordinance, (2) the injured party is within the class of persons intended to be protected by the statute or ordinance, (3) the claimed injury must be of the nature that the statute or ordinance was designed to prevent; and (4) the violation of the statute or ordinance proximately caused the injury. Business Men’s Assur. Co. v. Graham, 891 S.W.2d 438, 455 (Mo. Ct. App. 1994).

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