Due Diligence

TheFreeDictonary.com defines “due diligence” (meticulously, but with sub-par grammar) as “the conduct that a reasonable man or woman will exercise…in looking out for the safety of others.  If one uses due care[,] then an injured party cannot prove negligence.” Lawyers.com further stipulates that the exercise of due diligence involves “use of reasonable but not necessarily exhaustive efforts.”  The key determinant in what constitutes due diligence lies in what constitutes “reasonable.”   “Care or attention to a matter that is sufficient enough to avoid a claim of negligence, though not necessarily exhaustive,” given by Nolo Law.

Example Sentence

Parents are at fault as well for not doing due diligence.

Case Study

Due diligence is best exemplified in routine inspections, whether required by law or carried out as a matter of course on a narrower level.  In many places, risks are not inherent; they crop up unexpectedly:  A bag of beans may tear open in a grocery store, a carafe may fall at a restaurant, the otters at the zoo may break free, etc.  Beans, water, and otters do not necessarily throng the walking space of an establishment, but part of that establishment’s responsibility involves making sure it stays that way.  Where risks are inherent, as in construction jobs, dangerous places and equipment should still be examined frequently to make sure that everything is working as well as can be expected.

Other Important Information

Because reasonability is the moot point here, its precise application is steeped in previous rulings on similar cases.  In keeping with traditionally accepted standards of reasonability, certain organizations have created explicit, easy-to-follow guidelines to adhere to—OSHA, for instance,  has established guidelines to govern standards of safety and hygiene of work environments generally.  Ideally, if a person has paid attention to legal guidelines and given due thought to the hazards in their specific environment, avoiding injury should be perfectly possible.

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