Tort Law Project
Part 1 (10 points)
Uneeda Aircraft company made twin – engine airplanes for the private aviation market. On May 1/X10 Marcus was flying Uneeda Aircraft made in X/02 when one of the engines fell off the aircraft. Marcus had rented the aircraft from FlyingSweet Aircraft Rentals. The loss of the engine caused the plane to crash land . Marcus was not injured but the aircraft was judged to be a total loss . By contract with FlyingSweet, Marcus was responsible for insuring the aircraft for any damage and did so through Aviation Insurance Group for the agreed upon value in the FlyingSweet contract. Upon inspection it was found that the engine bolts had sheared off unexpectedly. Unsheared bolts that remained were tested and also found to be less durable than required by aviation code.
Aviation Insurance Group gave Marcus a reservation of rights letter because it said that the black box had recorded Marcus performing a loop maneuver prior to the accident. Accidents caused by stress from or accidents during such maneuvers are specifically excluded by the policy issued by Aviation Insurance Group. After receiving the reservation of rights letter, Marcus sued Uneeda Aircraft for negligent manufacturing of the airplane, specifically the engine bolts and FlyingSweet for faulty maintenance. Uneeda in turn decided it needed to counter – sue the engine bolt manufacture for faulty bolt manufacturing. However ten bolt companies had been used by Uneeda and Uneeda had no idea which bolt manufacturer provided the bolts for Marcus’ aircraft. FlyingSweet produced maintenance records that met standards for the industry and for this particular aircraft.
Answer these questions:
a) What are the negligence issues in this case?
b) Who are the plaintiffs; who are the defendants?
c) What steps would you take to sort out who might be negligent in this scenario?
d) Given what you have in this case:
i) Discuss who is negligent and to what extent and why you believe that this is the case.
ii) Who would you as judge award damages to?
iii) Would you as judge order AviationInsurance Group to pay for the damaged aircraft?
Part 2 (10 points)
Develop plausible scenarios for these defenses against products liability. Do not use scenarios or cases from the textbook. If you can find actual court cases for one or more of these, cite the case and summarize:
a) State of the art defense
b) Open and obvious danger defense
c) Plaintiff’s knowledge defense d) Alteration of product defense
Part 3 (10 points)
Obtain the BMW v. Gore case: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/94 – 896.ZO.html. Read the case first by yourself and provide answers to these questions (if you want to bring in other sources you must cite these properly according to APA citation standards):
a) Summarize the circumstances of the case in your own words
b) What was the issue that the Supreme Court decided?
c) Explain any dissenting opinions
d) What does this court mean for products liability and/or negligence cases going forward?
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