The elements of a valid cause of action in negligence are specifically enumerated by Justice Holmes of the Tennessee Supreme Court in the case of Ruth v. Ruth:
1. A duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff.
2. A failure on the part of the defendant to perform that duty.
3. An injury to the plaintiff resulting proximately from the defendant's breach of that duty of care.
This outline will be used for the treatment of general questions of negligence, and particular fact situations will then be subsequently treated.
John W. Wade,
Torts -- 1963 Tennessee Survey,
17 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol17/iss3/27