1. Assault and Battery
Under what theory can an employee sue her employer for merely touching her? Explain.
2. Intentional Infliction of Mental Distress
In business the intentional infliction of mental distress tort has most often involved what type
3. Invasion of Privacy
Explain the three principal invasions of personal interest that make up invasion of privacy.
4. False Imprisonment and Malicious Prosecution
Explain the difference between false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. In what business
situation does false imprisonment most frequently arise?
In recent months, homeowners downwind from International Cement Company have had clouds
of cement dust settle on their property. Trees, shrubbery, and flowers have all been killed. The paint
on houses has also been affected. Explain what tort cause of action these homeowners might pursue
Bartley signs a storage contract with Universal Warehouses. The contract specifies that Bartley’s
household goods will be stored at Universal’s midtown storage facility while he is out of the
country on business. Later, without contacting Bartley, Universal transfers his goods to a suburban
warehouse. Two days after the move, a freak flood wipes out the suburban warehouse and
Bartley’s goods. Is Universal liable to Bartley? Explain.
Acme Airlines attempts to get control of Free Fall Airways by making a public offer to buy its
stock from shareholders. Free Fall’s president, Joan, advises the shareholders in a letter that
Acme’s president, Richard, is “little better than a crook” and “can’t even control his own
company.” Analyze the potential liability of Free Fall’s president for these remarks.
Fraud can be used to void a contract and as a basis for intentional tort. What is the advantage
to a plaintiff of suing for the tort of fraud as opposed to using fraud merely as a contractual
9. Common Law Business Torts
You are concerned because several of your employees have recently broken their employment
contracts and left town. Investigation reveals that Sly and Company, your competitor in a
nearby city, has paid bonuses to your former employees to persuade them to break their
contracts. Discuss what legal steps you can take against Sly.
10. Duty of Care
(a) Do you have a duty of care to warn a stranger on the street of the potential danger of
broken glass ahead?
Invasion of privacy 293
Malicious prosecution 294
Production defect 309
Proximate cause 306
Punitive damages 315
Statute of repose 310
Strict liability 308
Strict products liability 309
Willful and wanton
(b) Do you have a duty to warn an employee of similar danger at a place of employment?
11. Unreasonable Behavior—Breach of Duty
In litigation who usually determines if the defendant’s behavior is unreasonable?
12. Causation in Fact
(a) What does it mean to say that “chains of causation stretch out endlessly”?
(b) What is the standard used by the judge in instructing the jury about causation?
13. Proximate Causation
Explain the difference between proximate causation and causation in fact.
14. Defenses to Negligence
A jury finds Lee, the defendant, liable in a tort case. It determines that José, the plaintiff, has
suffered $200,000 in damages. The jury also finds that José’s own fault contributed 25% to
his injuries. Under a comparative negligence instruction, what amount of damages will the jury
award the plaintiff?
Strict Liability in Tort
15. Strict Products Liability
While driving under the influence of alcohol, Joe runs off the road and wrecks his car. As the
car turns over, the protruding door latch hits the ground and the door flies open. Joe, who is
not wearing his seat belt, is thrown from the car and badly hurt. Joe sues the car manufacturer,
asserting that the door latch was defectively designed. Discuss the legal issues raised by these
16. Ultrahazardous Activity
Through no one’s fault, a sludge dam of the Phillips Phosphate Company breaks. Millions of
gallons of sludge run off into a nearby river that empties into Pico Bay. The fishing industry in
the bay area is ruined. Is Phillips Phosphate liable to the fishing industry? Explain.
17. Other Strict Liability Torts
Explain when common carriers are not strictly liable for damage to transported goods.
18. Compensatory Damages
Explain the three types of loss that give rise to compensatory damages.
19. Punitive Damages
During a business lunch, Bob eats salad dressing that contains almond extract. He is very allergic
to nuts and suffers a severe allergic reaction. There are complications and Bob becomes
almost totally paralyzed. Because Bob had instructed the restaurant waiter and the chef that he
might die if he ate any nuts, he sues the restaurant for negligence. Discuss the types of damages
Bob may recover.
1. You own University Heights Apartments, a business that rents primarily to students.
One evening, your tenant Sharon is attacked by an intruder who forces the
lock on the sliding glass door of her ground-floor apartment. Sharon’s screams
attract the attention of Darryl, your resident manager, who comes to Sharon’s aid.
Together, he and Sharon drive the intruder off, but not before they both are badly
cut by the intruder.
Is the intruder liable for what he has done?
Do you have legal responsibilities to Sharon and Darryl?
What should you consider doing at your apartments?
2. You manufacture trunk locks and your major account is a large car company.
When an important piece of your equipment unexpectedly breaks, you contact
Mayfair, Inc., the only manufacturer of such equipment, and contract to replace it.
The Mayfair sales representative assures you orally and in writing that the prepaid
equipment will arrive by October 1, in time for you to complete your production for
the car company. Instead, there is a union strike in the Mayfair trucking division,
and the equipment does not arrive until December 1.
By December 1 the car company has made an agreement with another lock
manufacturer. You threaten to sue Mayfair for their failure to deliver on time, but
Mayfair reminds you of a contract term that relieves them of contractual liability
because of “labor difficulties.” Then you learn from a former secretary to the Mayfair
sales representative that Mayfair knew that its trucking division was likely to
strike. In fact the sales representative and the sales vice president had discussed
whether or not to tell you of this fact and decided not to out of concern that you
would not place your order.
Has Mayfair done anything legally wrong?
Is your legal remedy against Mayfair limited to breach of contract?
Will you be able to get damages from Mayfair other than a refund of your prepayment?
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