Legal Requirements for Proving Negligence Cases


Cullen McKinneypic
Cullen McKinney

Designated a Rising Star in the Detroit legal scene, attorney Cullen McKinney is a founding partner of Tanoury Nauts McKinney & Garbarino, where he focuses on medical malpractice. Cullen McKinney often deals with issues of negligence in his litigation.

The concept of negligence has five parts, each of which must be established to obtain a possible conviction:

– Duty. Ordinarily a judge will determine if a person is obligated to provide safe conditions, based on the expectation of a reasonable person. For example, someone unloading a truck in a public area could reasonably be expected to not injure a passerby with a falling object.

Breach of duty. The jury must determine if the accused violated these expectations of acting safely.

Cause in fact. This is also known as but-for causation. The prosecuting attorney must prove that but for the accused’s actions, an accident or injury would not have occurred.

Proximate cause. This describes what a person is and is not responsible for. Proximate cause cannot be proven if the defendant did not know or could not anticipate the possible results of his or her actions.

Damages. The prosecution must prove that actual harm, usually in the form of injury to a person or damage to property, resulted from the inaction of the accused. Simply establishing negligence is not sufficient.


TNMG Law – Civil-Litigation Defense Practice in Metropolitan Detroit


Cullen McKinney

Cullen McKinney earned a BA in political science from Michigan State University before obtaining a JD from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Since 2009, Cullen McKinney has drawn on his education to serve as a founding partner at Tanoury, Nauts, McKinney & Garbarino, PLLC.

From offices in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, Michigan, Tanoury, Nauts, McKinney & Garbarino, PLLC (TNMG Law), represents clients in matters of complex civil litigation. Comprised of a team of attorneys with over 150 years of collective relevant experience, the firm focuses specifically on providing defense in the areas of product liability, insurance, and legal and medical malpractice.

TNMG Law serves both individuals and businesses, and prides itself on its personalized, aggressive approach to trial and appellate defense. The firm involves clients in all aspects of the legal process, and its attorneys commit themselves to acquiring a comprehensive understanding of each case and consistently staying abreast of important developments in their respective fields.

TNMG Law practices throughout lower Michigan, including in Detroit. To learn more about the firm, which over the years has tried a number of high-profile and multimillion-dollar cases, please visit