reasonable care

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The level of care that a reasonable person would exercise in such circumstances. Failure to exercise reasonable care may lead to liability, if such a failure caused an injury; while exercise of reasonable care can establish that a party acted reasonably and is not liable. For example, in the famous 1856 English case of Blyth v. Birmingham Waterworks Co., the court found that pipelayers exercised reasonable care and were not liable when their pipes burst from an abnormally cold winter, since they installed the water pipes to withstand freezing conditions ordinarily to be expected in that city.

[Last updated in November of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]