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DISCUSSION QUESTION

Please carefully read the following story and identify and explain all the tort liabilities that may exist for all involved parties. For each, be sure to identify the tort, the plaintiff and defendant and say how likely it is that each could be won or lost.

Titan Fireworks, LLC is owned by Bill Smith. It operates a retail location just off a busy expressway and has by its own advertising “The Largest Assortment of the Most-Powerful Consumer-Legal Pyrotechnics East of the Mississippi”. On April 1 at noon there are 3 people in the store, Smith, and a young newlywed couple, John and Tina Brown, who are shopping for fireworks to use for a prank they plan to play on their neighbor later that day. A few minutes later, they are joined by Smith’s ex-wife, Lucinda, who is carrying a baseball bat and who walks directly up to Bill and tells him that she will “wreck the entire store, and his life” if Smith doesn’t immediately give her $1000 out of the cash register. Bill Smith has a restraining order against Lucinda that precludes her from coming to the store. Bill tells Lucinda to leave or he will call the police. In a fit of rage, she swings the bat wildly at Bill, which he manages to block with his arm, the act of which dislocates the bat from Lucinda’s grip and sends the bat flying through the air. The airborne bat hits John Brown in the back of the head and he falls to the floor, unconscious. Tina Brown suffers from a diagnosed emotional imbalance and falls to the floor in a silent fetal position at the sight of her unconscious husband. Bill Smith grabs Lucinda and drags her back to the office and locks her inside and calls 911 for both police and medical aid. in the meantime, John Brown regains consciousness and tries to console his young wife. Upon getting Tina back to her feet, John begins to walk her out to their car. Bill Smith runs to the doorway and physically blocks their exit, telling them they must wait for the police to arrive and lifts his shirt to show a handgun in his waistband. The police and ambulance arrive within 15 minutes. The police take statements, haul Lucinda to jail, and render care on site to Bill, John and Tina. Over the next few weeks, Tina needs extra psychiatric counseling and John writes a letter to the editor of the local paper saying that Bill Smith deliberately injured the Browns and that he shouldn’t be allowed to operate his business in the community. Immediately after the letter is published, Smith’s landlord terminates his lease contract for the Titan Fireworks location and his membership in the local Chamber of Commerce is suspended.

MY ANSWER

A tort is a civil wrong by the defendant that causes injury or harm to the plaintiff resulting in courts imposing legal liability (Beatty et al., 2013). The first tort is trespass committed by Lucinda (defendant), who enters Bill’s (plaintiff) fireworks store with a baseball bat, whereas she has a restraining order that prohibits her from entering the store. The remedy for this would be a court injunction Lucinda not to set foot in the store. It would be the last warning. Lucinda’s (defendant) intention was to hit Bill, who blocks the swing, making her lose grip of the baseball bat, which flies in the air and hits John (plaintiff), who falls unconscious. She commits a contributory negligent tort due to her carelessness of not holding a proper grip of the bat. In this case, the court should order Lucinda to compensate for the injury caused to John. Finally, the tort of strict liability is evident where Tina’s (plaintiff) emotional imbalance is triggered by seeing her husband fall unconscious after being hit by Lucinda’s (defendant) baseball bat. Even though it was not Lucinda’s intention to cause harm to the Browns, she committed contributory negligence and strict liability torts and is liable for compensation.

DIRECTIONS;RESPOND TO 4 CLASSMATES AND ASK A FOLLOW UP QUESTION THAT RELATES TO THE TOPIC. 100-150

RESPONSE ONE

Is there a difference between tort law and contractual law?

Our book mentions three types of tort cases that would fall under strict liability. These involve people who “engages in ultrahazardous (or sometimes, abnormally dangerous) activities”, people who have an “animal that escapes from their pastures of homes”, and from defective products. From my interpretation, these kinds of torts are reserved for people who have made every action to make their product or services as safe as they can (thus no fault), but due to the nature of the product, the hazard of the business, or the nature of the beast, a person has taken damage and needs this wrong (trot) corrected. Do you agree with my assessment? Do you find that Lucinda’s actions reflect this kind of wrong that resulted in Tina’s condition? Did Lucinda do everything in her power to minimize the dangers of the products and or activities she participates in or produces?

A very thought provoking post Eryn, I hope you weekend is eventful and productive.

Sources:

Mayer, D. Warner, D. Siedel, G. Lieberman, J. (2014). Business Law and the Legal Enviroment (Version 1). Washington, DC: Flat World.

RESPONSE TWO

Would Bill Smith have any liability due to not having enough security at his business?

What about the possibility of Bill Smith sueing John Brown due to his letter getting his lease cancelled? This would include damages lost to the store not being open?

Would defamation apply in this suit?

Tina Brown might be able to sue based on intentional inflation of emotional distress due to her husband’s injury happening when she commited a crime?

Would Tina And John Brown be able to sue Bill Smith for negligence?

I saw many possibilities for suits in this case some of them with a very good chance of winning some would require a little more proof development, don’t forget to loo at all the angles

RESPONSE THREE~Sarah

The story of the events that occurred at Titan Fireworks, LLC on April 1st had many torts. The first tort was when Lucinda came to the store although Bill has a restraining order against her. In this case, Bill was the defendant and Lucinda was the plaintiff because Lucinda was in the wrong. Bill would definitely win this case due to having the restraining order against Lucinda. Bill would also be the plaintiff in a lawsuit against Lucinda, the defendant, with the tort that she threatened Bill with a bat while asking for $1,000 from the store’s cash register. During this event, another tort occurred between the two when Lucinda swung the bat at Bill. Bill would win this case as well because Lucinda attempted to rob him and assaulted him when she did not get her way. At this point, I would have to say that Bill becomes the defendant, and the Smiths are the plaintiff. This is because John writes a letter to the editor of the local paper stating that Bill injured the Smiths on purpose. I believe that John would lose this case because it can be proven that the bat flew across the room after Bill protected himself from Lucinda’s attack. Due to John’s letter, Tina may also be the plaintiff in a case against Bill since she needed extra psychiatric counseling after the events that occurring in the store that day. Again, I do not think that this would be an easy win for Tina because Bill did not purposefully endanger the couple. Lucinda could create a case as the plaintiff and Bill as the defendant because he dragged her to the office and locked her inside in the attempt to cause less harm and call the police. This may be difficult for Lucinda to win since she would already have multiple cases against her. Lastly, the Smiths would also create a case against Bill for blocking them from exiting the store and threating them with a gun. The Smiths could win this case since Bill threatened them to stay in the store.

RESPONSE 4 lakeisha

First Case

Torts: Intentional and Negligent

Tort liabilities: Fault, Injury to person – assault, injury to property trespassing, pain and suffering damages

Plaintiffs: Bill Smith, Tina and John Brown.

Defendant: Lucinda (Smith’s ex-girlfriend)

It is likely Bill Smith will win this case. Lucida violated an existing restraining order and was trespassing on the property. There was intentional fault when she entered and demanded $1,000.00 from the register. There was also injury to person – assault when she proceeded to hit John Smith with the bat.

It is also likely the other plaintiffs John and Tina Brown will win their case as well. John was hit in the head with a bat and Tina suffered during the ordeal. Lucinda was a fault for both.

Second Case

Tort: Intentional

Tort Liabilities: Fault, Injury to person – assault, injury to person – metal distress with intentional infliction of emotional distress, pain and suffering damages,

Plaintiffs: Tina and John Brown

Defendant: Bill Smith

Tina and John Brown will likely in this case. Although Bill wanted the plaintiffs to stay until the police arrived, he cannot hold them against their well and raise his shirt to show he has a handgun. This caused address mental stress on Tina, and this was assault, threat with a deadly weapon. Tina and John Brown suffered at the hands of Bill Smith.

Third Case

Tort Strict Liability

Tort Liabilities: Fault – strict liability, compensatory damages, lost wages, expenses,

Plaintiff: John Brown

Defendant: Bill Smith

Bill could likely win or lose this case. He could win because of the impact his business suffered after John writes a letter to the editor of the local paper saying that Bill Smith deliberately injured the Browns, and he should not be allowed to operate. This article cased Bill’s business to loss wages, Bill could argue for compensatory damages. However, I do not believe there is fault with John writing the letter, but the judge may find he acts cause Bill to loss wages.

Bill could also lose this case; he did not permit John to leave the store and he threaten him with a handgun. John suffered by Bills intentional assault. John has the right to express his concern, shop owners should not wave handguns at their customers.

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