Bava Kamma 98 - Does Burning the Mortgage Cancel the Loan? (Torts)

If one knocks a coin out of his fellow's hand, and the coin falls into the sea, but it is possible to retrieve it, he can say, "There's your coin, go get it," and not be liable. Similarly, one who burns a loan document of his fellow so that the loan can't be collected is not liable to pay, for he says to his fellow, "I burned a mere paper of yours." In both cases, the damages are not direct but causative, for which one doesn't pay.

However, the final law distinguishes between causing the loss directly or indirectly and makes one liable in the above cases.

Art: Man Seated by a Stream by John Singer Sargent

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