Business Law

Business Law

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Prepare answers to the following chapter-end Critical Legal Thinking Cases from this week’s reading.

  • Case 5.2: Negligence on page 101
  • Case 6.1: Strict Liability on page 117
  • Your responses should be well-rounded and analytical, and should not just provide a conclusion or an opinion without explaining the reason for the choice.
  • It is important that you incorporate the question into your response (i.e., restate the question in your introduction) and explain the legal principle(s) or concept(s) from the text that underlies your judgment.

For each question, you should provide at least one reference in APA format (in-text citations and references as described in detail in the Syllabus). Each answer should be double-spaced in 12-point font, and your response to each question should be between 300 and 1,000 words in length. Submit this assignment as a single Word document covering both cases.

  • Case 5.2: Negligence on page 101

5.2 Negligence Curtis R. Wilhelm owned beehives and kept the hives on property he owned. John Black, who operated a honeybee business, contracted to purchase some beehives from Wilhelm. Black employed Santos Flores, Sr. to help him pick up the beehives from Wilhelm. Black provided Flores with a protective suit to wear while picking up the beehives. Neither Wilhelm nor Black informed Flores of the danger of working with bees. After picking up beehives from Wilhelm’s home, Black and Flores drove to remote property owned by Wilhelm to pick up other beehives. Flores opened the veil on his protective suit. After loading one beehive onto the truck, Flores started staggering and yelling for help. Flores sustained several bee stings, suffered anaphylactic shock reaction, and died before an ambulance could reach him. Flores’s wife and children sued Wilhelm and Black for negligence for failing to warn Flores of the dangers of working with beehives and the possibility of dying of anaphylactic shock if stung by a bee. Did Wilhelm act negligently by failing to warn Flores of the dangers of working with beehives? Wilhelm v. Flores, 133 S.W.3d 726, Web 2003 Tex. App. Lexis 9335 (Court of Appeals of Texas)

5.3 Negligence Seventeen-year-olds Adam C. Jacobs and David Messer made the acquaintance of 17-year-old waitress Sarah Mitchell at a pizza restaurant in Indianapolis, Indiana. Jacobs and Messer returned to the restaurant when Mitchell’s shift ended at midnight, and the trio went to Messer’s home. At approximately 2:30 A.M., Mitchell drove her Honda Accord with Jacobs in the front seat and Messer in the back seat. Jacobs suggested that they “jump the hills” on Edgewood Avenue, which he had done at least 20 times before. The speed limit for Edgewood Avenue, a two-lane road, was 40 miles per hour. Mitchell accelerated to approximately 80 miles per hour to jump the “big hill” on Edgewood Avenue near its crossroad at Emerson Avenue. The car crested the hill at 80 miles per hour, went airborne for a considerable distance, and landed in the middle of the road. Mitchell lost control of the car and over-steered to the right. The car sideswiped an Indiana Bell Telephone Company, Inc., utility pole (pole 65), and spun clockwise several times. The car then slammed broadside into an Indianapolis Power & Light Company utility pole (pole 66) and caught on fire. The two utility poles were located approximately 25 feet from Edgewood Avenue at the edge of the utility companies’ right of way. Messer escaped from the burning wreckage but was unable to rescue the unconscious Mitchell and Jacobs, both of whom died.

Susan J. Carter, the personal representative of the estate of Adam C. Jacobs, sued Indiana Bell and Indianapolis Power, alleging that the companies were negligent in the placement of their utility poles along Edgewood Avenue. Did Indiana Bell or Indianapolis Power breach their duty of care to Jacobs and proximately cause his death? Carter v. Indianapolis Power & Light Company and Indiana Bell Telephone Company, Inc., 837 N.E.2d 509, Web 2005 Ind. App. Lexis 2129 (Court of Appeals of Indiana)

  • Case 6.1: Strict Liability on page 117

 

  • 1 Strict LiabilitySenco Products, Inc. (Senco), manufactures and markets a variety of pneumatic nail guns, including the SN325 nail gun, which discharges 3.25-inch nails. The SN325 uses special nails designed and sold by Senco. The SN325 will discharge a nail only if two trigger mechanisms are activated; that is, the user must both squeeze the nail gun’s finger trigger and press the nail gun’s muzzle against a surface, activating the bottom trigger, or safety. The SN325 can fire up to nine nails per second if the trigger is continuously depressed and the gun is bounced along the work surface, constantly reactivating the muzzle safety/trigger.
  • The evidence disclosed that the SN325 double-fired once in every 15 firings. Senco rushed the SN325’s production in order to maintain its position in the market, modifying an existing nail gun model so that the SN325 could shoot longer nails, without engaging in additional testing to determine whether the use of longer nails in that model would increase the prevalence of double-fire.
  • John Lakin was using a Senco SN325 nail gun to help build a new home. When attempting to nail two-by-fours under the eaves of his garage, Lakin stood on tiptoe and raised a two-by-four over his head. As he held the board in position with his left hand and the nail gun in his right hand, he pressed the nose of the SN325 up against the board, depressed the safety, and pulled the finger trigger to fire the nail into the board. The gun fired the first nail and then double-fired, immediately discharging an unintended second nail that struck the first nail. The gun recoiled violently backward toward Lakin and, with Lakin’s finger still on the trigger, came into contact with his cheek. That contact activated the safety/trigger, causing the nail gun to fire a third nail. This third nail went through Lakin’s cheekbone and into his brain.
  • The nail penetrated the frontal lobe of the right hemisphere of Lakin’s brain, blocked a major artery, and caused extensive tissue damage. Lakin was unconscious for several days and ultimately underwent multiple surgeries. He suffers permanent brain damage and is unable to perceive information from the left hemisphere of the brain. He also suffers partial paralysis of the left side of his body. Lakin has undergone a radical personality change and is prone to violent outbursts. He is unable to obtain employment. Lakin’s previously warm and loving relationship with his wife and four children has been permanently altered. He can no longer live with his family and instead resides in a supervised group home for brain-injured persons. Lakin and his wife sued Senco for strict liability based on design defect. Is Senco liable to Lakin for strict liability based on a design defect in the SN325 that allowed it to double-fire? Lakin v. Senco Products, Inc., 144 Ore.App. 52, 925 P.2d 107, Web1996 Ore. App. Lexis 1466 (Court of Appeals of Oregon)

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Last Updated on April 25, 2020 by