Business Law Study Set 13

Business

Quiz 9 :

Torts

Quiz 9 :

Torts

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Defendant no. 1 parked his truck in the street near the bottom of a ditch on a dark, foggy night. Iron pipes carried in the truck projected nine feet beyond the truck in back. Neither the truck nor the pipes carried any warning light or flag, in violation of both a city ordinance and a state statute. Defendant no. 2 was a taxicab owner whose taxicab was negligently driven at an excessive speed. Defendant no. 2 ran into the pipes, thereby killing the passenger in the taxicab. The plaintiff brought an action for the passenger's death against both defendants. Defendant no. 1 claimed he was not liable because it was Defendant no. 2's negligence that had caused the harm. Was this defense valid? [Bumbardner v Allison, 78 SE2d 752 (NC)]
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defendant 1 parked his truck at a dark street. Several iron pipes were protruding from the back of the truck. he violated city ordinance which required parked cars to be lighted, and a red light to display at the end of the pipes protruding from the truck. defendant 2, a taxicab driver, was driving passengers at excessive speed and crashed into the pipes killing the passenger. The passenger's family sued both for liability, trial court held for passengers.
Comparative negligence:
In cases in which both the plaintiff and defendant are negligent then it is referred to as comparative negligence. It is a defense which permits negligent parties to recover the damages but in proportions based on the degree of fault.
Here in this case scenario both the defendant 1 and defendant 2 are negligent, defendant 1 violated the city ordinance which requires parked cars to be lighted and defendant 2 is negligent as he drove the car with excessive speed.
Hence, both defendant 1 and defendant 2 are liable for the harm caused. Therefore, the defense was valid.

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Barberton Glass Co. truck was transporting large sheets of glass down the highway. Elliot Schultz was driving his automobile some distance behind the truck. Because of the negligent way that the sheets of glass were fastened in the truck, a large sheet fell off the truck, shattered on hitting the highway, and then bounced up and broke the windshield of Shultz's car. He was not injured but suffered great emotional shock. He sued Barberton to recover damages for this shock. Barberton denied liability on the ground that Schultz had not sustained any physical injury at the time or as the result of the shock. Should he be able to recover? [Schultz v Barberton Glass Co., 447 NE2d 109 (Ohio)]
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Company BGC was transporting large glass sheets on the highway. A passenger ES was driving his car at a distance away from the truck. The glass sheets are not properly fastened and as a result a sheet fell from the truck and shattered on road and got bounced and hit the windshield of ES car. ES was not injured but suffered great emotional shock.
ES sued BGC to recover the damages. BGC denies the liability on the ground that ES is not physically injured.
The above act constitutes a tort under Infliction of emotional distress. Those injured by the negligent infliction of serious emotional distress have the opportunity to recover damages.
For these reasons, we hold that a cause of action may be stated for the negligent infliction of serious emotional distress without a contemporaneous physical injury.
Applying these principles to the case that appellant has such a cause of action. Due to BGC's negligence, a large sheet of glass fell off the truck onto the highway and crashed into the windshield of appellant's vehicle. The validity of ES claim of serious emotional distress as a result of the accident is supported by the expert testimony and the negligence of duty care by BGC. Therefore ES could recover the damages for emotional distress.

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Kendra Knight took part in a friendly game of touch football. She had played before and was familiar with football. Michael Jewett was on her team. In the course of play, Michael bumped into Kendra and knocked her to the ground. He stepped on her hand, causing injury to a little finger that later required its amputation. She sued Michael for damages. He defended on the ground that she had assumed the risk. Kendra claimed that assumption of risk could not be raised as a defense because the state legislature had adopted the standard of comparative negligence. What happens if contributory negligence applies? What happens if the defense of comparative negligence applies?
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Refer to the case Knight v Jewett (834 P.2d 696)
Facts:
Mrs. K (plaintiff) and Mr. J (defendant) were playing a game of touch football with several people. They were on the same team. During the game Mr. J bumped into Mrs. K and stepped on her hand. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Mr. J , appeals court affirmed on grounds of assumption of risk, plaintiff voluntarily played a game which she know to have potential harm. Plaintiff appealed
The Supreme Court of California affirmed.
Opinion:
On discussion, the court recognized that under comparative liability, plaintiff will be able to receive damages from defendant, granted if defendant had a duty of care to plaintiff. However, under contributory negligence plaintiff's own inability to provide duty of care to herself voids any damages owed by defendant. The court took the trial court's opinion, in order for defendant to have liability of a potentially dangerous game, the defendant must have acted in a way that is intentional or reckless or out of scope of the game that it increases harm to others. In this case, it was neither.

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Carrigan, a district manager of Simples Time Recorder Co., was investigating complaints of He called at the home of Hooks, the secretary of that office, who expressed the opinion that part of the trouble was caused by the theft of parts and equipment by McCall, another employee. McCall was later discharged and sued Hooks for slander. Was she liable? [Hooks v McCall, 272 So 2d 925 (Miss)]
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Hegyes was driving her car when it was negligently struck by a Unjian Enterprises truck. She was injured, and an implant was placed in her body to counteract the injuries. She sued Unjian, and the case was settled. Two years later Hegyes became pregnant. The growing fetus pressed against the implant, making it necessary for her doctor to deliver the child 51 days prematurely by Cesarean section. Because of its premature birth, the child had a breathing handicap. Suit was brought against Unjian Enterprises for the harm sustained by the child. Was the defendant liable? [Hegyes v Unjian Enterprises, Inc., 286 Cal Rptr 85 (Cal App)]
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Christensen Shipyards built a 155-foot yacht for Tiger Woods at its Vancouver, Washington, facilities. It used Tiger's name and photographs relating to the building of the yacht in promotional materials for the shipyard without seeking his permission. Was this a right of publicity tort because Tiger could assert that his name and photos were used to attract attention to the shipyard to obtain commercial advantage? Did the shipyard have a First Amendment right to present the truthful facts regarding their building of the yacht and the owner's identity as promotional materials? Does the fact that the yacht was named Privacy have an impact on this case? Would it make a difference as to the outcome of this case if the contract for building the yacht had a clause prohibiting the use of Tiger's name or photo without his permission?
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Blaylock was a voluntary psychiatric outpatient treated by Dr. Burglass, who became aware that Blaylock was violence prone. Blaylock told Dr. Burglass that he intended to do serious harm to Wayne Boynton, Jr., and shortly thereafter he killed Wayne. Wayne's parents then sued Dr. Burglass on grounds that he was liable for the death of their son because he failed to give warning or to notify the police of Blaylock's threat and nature. Was a duty breached here? Should Dr. Burglass be held liable? [Boynton v Burglass, 590 So 2d 446 (Fla App)]
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Kindrich's father, a member of the Long Beach Yacht Club before he died, expressed a wish to be "buried at sea." The Yacht Club permitted the Kindrich family the use of one of its boats, without charge, for the ceremony, and Mr. Fuller -a good friend of Carl's father-piloted the boat. Portable stairs on the dock assisted the attendees in boarding. Upon returning, Fuller asked for help to tie up the boat. The steps were not there, and Carl broke his leg while disembarking to help tie up the boat. Carl sued the Yacht Club for negligence in failing to have someone on the dock to ensure that the portable steps were available. The Yacht Club contended that it was not liable because Carl made the conscious decision to jump from the moving vessel to the dock, a primary assumption of risk in the sport of boating. The plaintiff contended that he was not involved in the sport of boating, and at most his actions constituted minimal comparative negligence, the type which a jury could weigh in conjunction with the defendant's negligence in assessing damages. Decide. [Kindrich v Long Beach Yacht Club, 84 Cal Rptr 3d 824 (Cal App 2008).]
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held its Action Sports and Music Awards ceremony in April, at which celebrities in the fields of extreme sports and popular music such as rap and heavy metal converged. Well-known musicians Ben Harper and James Hetfield were there, as were popular rappers Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J. Famed motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel, who is commonly thought of as the "father of extreme sports," and his wife Krystal were photographed. The photograph depicted Evel, who was wearing a motorcycle jacket and rose-tinted sunglasses, with his right arm around Krystal and his left arm around another young woman. ESPN published the photograph on its "extreme sports" Web site with a caption that read "Evel Knievel proves that you're never too old to be a pimp." The Knievels brought suit against ESPN, contending that the photograph and caption were defamatory because they accused Evel of soliciting prostitution and implied that Krystal was a prostitute. ESPN contends that the caption was a figurative and slang usage and was not defamatory as a matter of law. Decide. [Knievel v ESPN, 393 F3d 1068 (9th Cir)]
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passenger on a cruise ship was injured by a rope thrown while the ship was docking. The passenger was sitting on a lounge chair on the third deck when she was struck by the weighted end of a rope thrown by an employee of Port Everglades, where the boat was docking. These ropes, or heaving lines, were being thrown from the dock to the second deck, and the passenger was injured by a line that was thrown too high. The trial court granted the cruise line's motion for directed verdict on the ground there was no evidence that the cruise line knew or should have known of the danger. The cruise line contended that it had no notice that this "freak accident" could occur. What is the duty of a cruise ship line to its passengers? Is there liability here? Does it matter that an employee of the port city, not the cruise lines, caused the injury? Should the passenger be able to recover? Why or why not? [Kalendareva v Discovery Cruise Line Partnership, 798 So 2d 804 (Fla App)]
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Mallinckrodt produces nuclear and radioactive medical pharmaceuticals and supplies. Maryland Heights Leasing, an adjoining business owner, claimed that low-level radiation emissions from Mallinckrodt damaged its property and caused a loss in earnings. What remedy should Maryland Heights have? What torts are involved here? [Maryland Heights Leasing, Inc. v Mallinckrodt, Inc., 706 SW2d 218 (Mo App)]
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Following a visit to her hometown of Coalinga, Cynthia wrote "An Ode to Coalinga"(Ode) and posted it in her online journal on MySpace.com. Her last name did not appear online. Her page included her picture. The Ode opens with "The older I get, the more I realize how much I despise Coalinga" and then proceeds to make a number of extremely negative comments about Coalinga and its inhabitants. Six days later, Cynthia removed the Ode from her journal. At the time, Cynthia was a student at UC Berkeley, and her parents and sister were living in Coalinga. The Coalinga High School principal, Roger Campbell, submitted the Ode to the local newspaper, the Coalinga Record, and it was published in the Letters to the Editor section, using Cynthia's full name. The community reacted violently to the Ode, forcing the family to close its business and move. Cynthia and her family sued Campbell and the newpaper on the right-of-privacy theory of public disclosure of private facts. What are the essential elements of this theory? Were Cynthia and her family's rights of privacy violated? [Moreno v Hanford Sentinel, Inc., 91 Cal Rptr 3d 858 (Cal App 2009)]
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While snowboarding down a slope at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (Mammoth), 17-year-old David Graham was engaged in a snowball fight with his 14-year-old brother. As he was "preparing to throw a snowball" at his brother, David slammed into Liam Madigan, who was working as a ski school instructor for Mammoth, and injured him. Madigan sued Graham for damages for reckless and dangerous behavior. The defense contended that the claim was barred under the doctrine of assumption of the risk, applicable in the state, arising from the risk inherent in the sport that allows for vigorous participation and frees a participant from a legal duty to act with due care. Decide. [Mammoth Mountain Ski Area v Graham, 38 Cal Rptr 3d 422 (Cal App)]
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JoKatherine Page and her 14-year-old son Jason were robbed at their bank's ATM at 9:30 P.M. one evening by a group of four thugs. The thieves took $300, struck Mrs. Page in the face with a gun, and ran. Mrs. Page and her son filed suit against the bank for its failure to provide adequate security. Should the bank be held liable? [Page v American National Bank Trust Co., 850 SW2d 133 (Tenn)]
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owner abandoned his van in an alley in Chicago. In spite of repeated complaints to the police, the van was allowed to remain in the alley. After several months, it was stripped of most of the parts that could be removed. Jamin Ortiz, age 11, was walking down the alley when the van's gas tank exploded. The flames from the explosion set fire to Jamin's clothing, and he was severely burned. Jamin and his family brought suit brought against the city of Chicago to recover damages for his injuries. Could the city be held responsible for injuries caused by property owned by someone else? Why or why not? [Ortiz v Chicago, 398 NE2d 1007 (Ill App)]
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