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The issue of foreseeability is related to the issue of proximate cause. An intervening cause reasonably foreseeable by the defendant is not such a new and independent cause as to break the chain of causation between the defendant's negligence and the injury complained of to the extent of relieving the defendant of liability for such injury.
McCane-Sondock Protection Systems, Inc. installed a burglar alarm system in James Roy Emmittee d/b/a Bedford Package Store. McCane-Sondock failed to connect the wires and failed to test the system after installation of the alarm buttons. Emmittee was robbed, and was unable to notify the police via the alarm system. The trial court awarded Emmittee damages for McCane-Sondock’s negligence. McCane-Sondock argued in five points of error there was no evidence to support the finding that it proximately caused the loss by failing to connect the wires leading from the hold-up button to the burglar alarm control panel and that such finding was so against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence as to be manifestly wrong and unjust. Further, McCane-Sondock contended there was no evidence or, in the alternative, insufficient evidence to support the finding that it proximately caused the damages in failing to test the system prior to leaving the premises of the store, and that such finding was so against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence as to be manifestly wrong and unjust. Finally, McCane-Sondock urged the trial court erred in entering judgment for $10,500 remitted to $6,839 because as a matter of law, the maximum amount Emmittee could recover was $25 based on the liquidated damage clause in the contract. McCane-Sondock argued its action could not be a proximate cause of the loss suffered by Emmittee because it was the action of some third party which caused the loss.
Was there sufficient evidence to show that McCane-Sondock’s negligent installation of an alarm system proximately caused Emmittee’s loss from a robbery?
The court affirmed the judgment. The record supported the finding that Emmittee’s loss was the proximate result of McCane-Sondock’s failure to properly install the alarm equipment. Testimony was presented that had the system been properly installed, the police would have been notified within 35 to 40 seconds; moreover, the police station was only located a couple of miles away. The court rejected McCane-Sondock’s claim that the maximum amount that Emmittee could recover based on the liquidated damages clause was $ 25. The liquidated damages provision applied when a party sustained losses if an installed system failed to operate. It did not apply where appellant failed to perform its duty of properly installing a workable alarm system.