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Tort Law Exercise

Instructions

Part 1 (10 points)

In Britain, the House of Lords acts like a supreme court for Britain. Many of the decision in Britain have been foundational to US precedence.

a) Online find the case Donohue v. Stevenson – a British case http://www.leeds.ac.uk/law/hamlyn/donoghue.htm. Summarize the case and what this case determined? Why was this an important case for torts?

b) Contrast Donoh ue v. Stevens with another British case – Bourhill v. Young http://law – uk.info/2012/04/bourhill – v – young – 1943 – ac – 92/. Summarize the case and what this case determined. How is this decision different from Donohue v. Stevenson?

Part 2 (5 Points)

Mike crossed the median accidentally in his Chevy and sideswiped Susan in her Mercedes. The damage caused by Mike’s car amounted to $2000. However, Susan was speeding evidenced by skid marks and data from her car’s black box as she slid towards the median and Mike’s car before the accident and her excess speed caused her to careen into the guardrail causing $30,000 worth of additional damage. Neither was found to have alcohol or drugs in the system and there were no substantial bodily injuries other than scrapes from airbags being deployed in Susan’s car.

Answer these questions:

a) If you were the judge in this case how would you judge negligence? In doing so explain how each of the elements of negligence apply in the case.

b) How would you apply each of the proximate cause rules: but for; substantial factor; and foreseeability in this case?

c) If you were to award damages, how would you do so in each of these situations:

i) Pure comparative negligence

ii) The 50 percent rule

iii) The 49 percent rule

iv) The slight versus gross rule

Part 3 (5 points)

Answer these questions.

The statute of limitations is 2 years. The statute of repose in the community is 10 years.

a) Mary is a pedestrian and Rowena on 2/20/X1 swerves and knocks Mary into the road. Mary remarkably suffers no injuries. Some months later Mary is jogging and feels a pain in her back but takes a few pain pills and it goes away. Mary’s back gets worse over time and she gets it x-rayed on 4/16/X3. The doctor says she has dislodged vertebrae which were caused by some trauma. Mary thinks about the accident with Rowena and sues Rowena. As judge would you permit the case to continue? Why or why not?

b) Able construction began building town homes 2/1/X2. It finished all construction on 4/15/X5. On 3/1/ X14 one of the units begins to collapse. An inspection of the construction shows that there were problems with the way that the walls were connected to the roof, causing the connection to weaken over time. This was considered by the investigator to be not proper construction technique. The owner of the collapsing unit wants to sue Able construction. Explain whether you as judge will permit the case to continue?

Part 4 (10 Points)

In 1996 Oprah Winfrey brought a guest on her show to discuss mad cow disease and whether beef in the US was safe. The result was a significant drop in beef prices. Texas Beef sued for making defamatory statements about the beef industry. The case can be found at: http://www.studentweb.law.ttu.edu/cochran/Cases%20&%20Readings/Business%20Torts/oprah. htm. Analyze the case and report:

a) What was the charge made to the jury?

b) What was the outcome in the case and the rationale for the outcome?

Sample Paper

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