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Law 322 Chapters 6 and 7 Notes

by: Stephanie Notetaker

Law 322 Chapters 6 and 7 Notes LAW 3220

Marketplace > Clemson University > Law and Legal Studies > LAW 3220 > Law 322 Chapters 6 and 7 Notes
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These notes cover the first two chapters on Exam 2.
Legal Environment of Business
Edward R. Claggett
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Stephanie Notetaker on Tuesday February 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to LAW 3220 at Clemson University taught by Edward R. Claggett in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 37 views. For similar materials see Legal Environment of Business in Law and Legal Studies at Clemson University.

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Date Created: 02/09/16
Law  322   Chapter  6  &  7   Chapter  6     I. Definition  of  Tort   a. A  breach  of  duty  of  care  to  harm  someone   b. Not  acting  as  a  reasonable  person  would   c. Tort  law  is  considered  civil  law  or  private  law  not  criminal  law   d. You  can  bring  the  lawsuit  against  the  other  person   e. Designed  to  put  the  injured  party  back  into  the  same  economic   position  as  you  were  in  before  the  tort  happened   i. Some  injuries  result  in  psychological  damage,  so  physically  you   might  not  be  able  to,  but  economically  you  can  get  them  fully   compensated   f. Businesses  can  be  involved  in  torts   i. A  person  can  be  harmed  by  the  business  or  by  one  of  its   employees   ii. If  a  person  is  hurt  by  a  business  product,  or  a  service  rendered   iii. If  one  business  harms  another  business   II. Types  of  Torts   a. Negligence   i. You  have  to  show  4  things:   1. The  person  who  committed  it  had  to  show  a  duty  of  care   a. You  look  at  the  tort  law   2. The  person  breached  that  duty  of  care   3. There  is  a  causal  connection  from  that  negligent  action   and  the  injured  party   4. The  injured  party  suffered  harm  or  damage  that  is   recognized  as  actionable  by  the  law   a. The  law  says  you  can  sue  me  for  damages   ii. Your  conduct  was  not  that  of  a  reasonable  person   b. Res  Ipsa  Loquitur   1. The  facts  speak  for  themselves   2. There  are  certain  fact  patterns  that  demonstrate   somebody’s  conduct  was  negligent,  lets  just  talk  about   damages   3. Someone  gets  stabbed  in  the  operating  room,  doesn’t   matter  who  pays  what,  they  just  have  to  figure  out  the   damages   4. The  facts  clearly  show  someone  was  negligent   c. Danger  Invites  Rescue  Doctrine   i. If  your  negligence  puts  someone  in  danger  and  a  3  party   comes  to  assist  them  and  gets  injured,  you  are  liable  for  both   parties  injuries   ii. The  law  wants  someone  to  come  in  and  rescue   d. Intentional   1. If  the  person  knew  the  consequences  of  their  actions   but  they  did  it  anyway  and  someone  gets  hurt   2. Motive  is  not  important   3. Example:  Firing  a  shotgun  into  a  crowd  of  people   4. Greater  degree  of  care  and  liability     e. Strict  Liability   f. Specific  to  Property   III. Definition  of  Negligence-­‐refer  to  above   IV. Causation-­‐Actual  and  Proximate   1. Two  types   a. Actual-­‐cause  and  fact   i. If  someone  hits  you  in  the  face  and  knocks   your  teeth  out   b. Proximate  cause   i. If  there  is  a  chain  of  events  that  happens   and  someone  gets  injured  the  outcome   has  to  be  reasonable  foreseeable   1. Dig  a  trench  and  don’t  put  lights   around  it  and  someone  falls  into  it   and  breaks  their  leg,  the  law  says   that  their  negligent  act  is  the   proximate  cause  and  this  create   liability     V. Superseding  Cause/Intervening  Conduct   a. If  there  is  intervening  conduct   b. Someone  pushes  someone  into  the  trench  and  they  break  their  leg   VI. Defenses   a. Assumption  of  risk   i. If  you  go  to  a  sporting  event,  the  law  says  its  reasonable  that  a   ball  or  puck  could  hit  someone  in  the  stands   1. You  can’t  sue  the  player  or  the  team   b. Comparative  Negligence   c. Liability  waver   i. To  be  effective  under  law,  has  to  be  in  writing,  the  language  has   to  be  clear,  and  the  person  you  are  trying  to  force  the  waver   against  has  to  have  signed  it   ii. Only  against  negligence  torts   1. If  you  go  paint  balling,  sign  a  waiver  to  be  reliable  for   whatever  happens  to  you,  and  during  it  she  got  her  eye   shot  out,  she  tried  to  sue  the  company,  it  didn’t  work   d. If  you  are  verbally  told  that  they  are  not  responsible  for  something,  if   a  waiver  has  not  been  signed  then  it  is  not  effective             VII. Major  Categories  of  Torts   a. Assault   i. Somebody’s  words  or  actions  that  put  you  in  fear  of  immediate   bodily  harm,  the  words  or  a  threat   ii. Reasonable  fear  of  bodily  harm  (not  from  an  old  person)   1. Walking  across  campus  and  a  football  player  says  they   are  going  to  knock  you  out   b. Battery   i. Any  unauthorized  physical  contact  with  that  person   1. If  the  football  player  does  hit  you  upside  the  head   c. Assault  and  Battery   i. If  someone  threats  you  and  has  physical  contact   ii. Defenses:   1. Consent     a. If  someone  tackles  you  in  football  you  can’t  sue   them  because  you  have  consented  to  that  type  of   contact   b. If  you’re  boxing  and  someone  bites  your  ear  off,   you  can  sue  because  that  is  not  normal   2. Privilege   a. Relates  to  emergency  situations   b. If  you  go  behind  someone  and  do  the  Heimlich  to   stop  them  from  choking,  they  can’t  sue  you  for   battery  because  you  are  helping  someone   3. Self-­‐defense   a. You  can  punch  back  if  someone  is  punching  you   b. You  can  use  reasonable  force  to  protect  yourself   d. False  Imprisonment/False  arrest   i. Intentionally  detaining  someone  without  their  consent   ii. Restricting  their  freedom  of  movement   iii. Usually  suspected  shoplifters   iv. States  have  done  these  two  things  to  protect  merchants:   1. Passed  laws  for  a  merchant  to  detain  a  suspected   shoplifter  for  a  reasonable  matter  within  a  reasonable   period  of  time   2. Passed  a  law  that  says  if  the  merchants  actions  are  fairly   reasonable  they  are  going  to  put  a  cap  on  the  damages   you  can  get   v. False  arrest-­‐  if  the  police  are  involved   e. Infliction  of  Emotional  Distress   i. High  burden  of  proof   ii. Requires  that  you  show  outrageous  conduct  that’s  creating   severe  emotional  distress   iii. If  you  are  in  a  store  shopping  and  you  present  your  card  and  it   gets  rejected  and  he  announces  it  to  the  store  (not  emotional   distress)   iv. Cases  usually  deal  with  bill  collectors,  they  hound  you  and   show  up  at  your  work     v. Not  an  easy  tort  to  prove   f. Invasion  of  Privacy   i. If  anyone  publishes  private  information  about  you  without   your  consent     ii. Not  invasion  of  privacy   1. If  someone  makes  information  about  you  public  that  is   already  out  there  somewhere  like  being  convicted  of  a   crime,  that  is  already  out  there  in  the  public   2. If  you  are  a  public  figure  like  a  movie  star,  or  a  well   known  politician,  the  law  says  it  is  much  harder  to  bring   a  lawsuit  for  this  because  their  life  is  public   g. Defamation-­‐Slander,  Libel,  Defamation  Per  Se   i. Intentionally  communicating  false  information  about  a  person   to  a  3  party  that  injures  that  persons  reputation  or  goodwill   1. Slander   a. Verbal  defamation   i. Tell  someone  you  are  a  child  molester  and   you’re  not   2. Libel   a. Written  defamation   3. Defamation  Per  Se   a. Court  concept  that  says  certain  statements  about   another  person  are  false  so  lets  just  move  on  and   deal  with  damages   i. Those  statements  are  so  negative  and  so   designed  to  hurt  their  goodwill   4. Work  Place  defamation   a. An  employer  against  an  employee  or  vice  versa   b. In  the  work  place  environment   ii. 3  elements  to  convict  someone  of  defamation:   rd 1. You  have  to  make  a  false  statement  to  a  3  person   2. Causes  harm  to  someone  else   iii. Defenses:   1. Truth   a. If  what  you  said  about  the  other  person  is  true   and  can  prove  it   2. Privilege   a. Absolute  Privilege   i. Politicians   ii. We  want  politicians  in  session  to  openly   and  freely  discuss  anything,  they  can  call   each  other  anything  they  want   1. Not  to  the  public   b. Constitutional  Privilege   i. Relates  to  the  press   ii. The  press  can  say  or  print  anything  it   wants  and  not  be  guilty     1. Except:  the  press  is  not  allowed  to   publish  false  information   maliciously  (doing  it  on  purpose)   2. Very  hard  to  sue  the  press  in  the   United  States,  not  so  hard  outside   the  U.S  (not  a  constitutional   protection  outside)   c. Conditional  Privilege   i. Rare  to  see   ii. If  the  false  statement  was  published  in   good  faith  and  with  proper  motives   3. You  can  commit  on  the  Internet  like  emailing   a. What  about  the  company  who  hosts  and   operates  the  website?   i. They  are  not  guilty  but  if  they  are  made   aware  that  it  is  false,  then  they  have  to  do   whatever  they  can  to  take  it  down,  if  they   don’t  then  they  can  be  guilty  of   defamation   Questions  at  the  end  of  chapter   • Person  having  surgery  would  use  negligence  to  sue  the  court   o Res  Ipsa  Loquitur   • Punitive  damages   o There  to  damage  you  as  a  person                             Chapter  7     1. Three  business  torts-­‐these  are  important  to  U.S  businesses,  costs  about  250   billion  dollars  for  businesses  a  year  in  tort  damages,  businesses  need  to  do   whatever  they  can  to  minimize  this  from  happening   a. Fraud  and  elements  to  establish  including  “Scienter”   i. A  statement  of  material  fact   ii. Someone  knowingly  makes  a  false  statement  (Scienter)   iii. Someone  justifiably  relied  on  this  information   1. Privity  of  relationship   a. Real  Estate   b. Business  relationships   c. It  is  reasonable  for  you  to  rely  on  this   information   iv. It  was  the  proximate  cause  of  your  damages   v. If  someone  wants  more  of  your  business,  they  might  lie  to  you   about  competitors,  etc.   b. Interference  with  contractual  relations   i. Large  percentage  of  every  deal,  transaction  or  relationship  is   reduced  to  a  contract  whether  it  is  in  writing  or  verbal   ii. A  contract  is  enforceable  whether  it  is  in  writing  or  verbal   iii. Anytime  two  parties  have  an  existing  contract  and  a  third  party   tries  to  interfere  with  it,  you  can  sue  that  party  if  they  cause   you  damages  and  you  want  the  court  to  issue  an  injunction  to   tell  them  to  stop  interfering  with  that  contract   c. Interference  with  prospective  advantage   i. Any  business  relationship,  asset  that  you  have  that  gives  you   competitive  advantage  that  does  not  have  a  contract   1. Examples:  Your  customer  list,  you  can  sue  them  if   someone  tries  to  steal  it   a. Trained  workforce,  if  someone  tries  to  steal   people  of  your  workforce   2. Product  Liability-­‐consumer  product  liability   a. Suing  for  compensatory  damages   b. Tort  cause  of  action   c. Law  says:  If  it  becomes  of  any  dangers  or  defects  you  have  to  warn   consumers  of  these  like  “Turn  mower  off  before  cleaning”   i. If  they  don’t,  more  liability  will  attach   d. If  a  product  is  too  dangerous  for  consumers  to  have,  the  manufacturer   has  to  get  those  products  off  the  market   i. Product  recall  in  food  typically  means  getting  the  products   back  from  stores  and  getting  rid  of  them   e. Joint  liability-­‐if  you  have  been  injured  by  asbestos  or  lead  based  paint,   if  you  can’t  show  who  made  that  product  and  that  product  is  standard   across  the  industry  and  contains  similar  effects  (asbestos  no  matter   who  makes  it  still  contains  the  same  cancer  effects)  you  can  get   damages  and  they  will  asses  it  against  every  company  that  deals  with   asbestos  or  lead  based  paint  based  on  market  share   f. Product  liability  insurance-­‐there  if  your  product  injures  someone,  it  is   almost  a  necessity     g. Starting  out  as  a  contract  part  of  action   i. Example:  If  you  buy  a  lawnmower  and  bring  it  home  and  the   blade  flies  off  and  cuts  your  leg  off   1. You  can  sue  Home  Depot  for  breach  of  contract  and  get   damages   2. Anybody  who  didn’t  deal  directly  with  the  person   selling  the  product  can’t  get  anything   a. If  someone  who  originally  bought  the   lawnmower     h. Strict  liability  for  consumer  products,  especially  food  products   i. Make  your  product  as  safe  as  you  possibly  can,  but  if  it  injures   someone  and  was  being  used  correctly  we  are  going  to  assume   it  was  defective   ii. Does  not  mean  absolute  liability   iii. Only  applies  if  you  are  using  the  product  for  its  intended  use,   you  can’t  sue  if  you  are  using  it  incorrectly   iv. Start  to  talk  about  damages,  assumed  the  product  is  defective,   manufacturers  can  provide  defenses  (below)   i. Implied  warranty  versus  and  express  warranty   i. Implied-­‐One  that  the  court  creates   1. Started  with  food   2. Implied  warranty  that  this  food  is  fit  for  consumption   3. Consumer  products  are  fit  for  the  purpose  they  are   intended   ii. Express-­‐If  the  person  selling  the  product  made  some   statements  to  you  somewhere  in  writing   j. Defenses  in  product  liability  cases   i. Product  misuse   1. If  you  pick  up  your  lawnmower  and  use  it,  you  can’t  sue   because  you’re  not  using  it  for  its  intended  purpose   ii. Comparative  negligence   1. You  were  using  the  lawnmower  correctly,  but   something  happened  when  you  weren’t  using  it  safely   (lawnmower  going  down  a  hill  really  fast)   iii. Assumption  of  risk-­‐(usually  for  medicines,  alcohol,  and   tobacco   1. If  you  are  aware  of  the  certain  side  effects  it  can  create,   tell  the  consumer  about  the  side  effects   2. If  you  make  it  as  safe  as  possible  and  warn  consumers   about  possible  side  effects,  they  can’t  sue  you   3. If  assumption  of  risk  is  a  good  defense,  you  give  up  the   rights  to  sue  for  damages   iv. Bulk  supplier  doctrine   1. If  all  you  do  is  supply  some  material  in  bulk  and  you   correctly  told  the  manufacturer  how  to  correctly  use  the   raw  materials,  you  won’t  be  liable  for  damages,  only  the   manufacturer  will  be   v. Sophisticated  or  professional  user  of  product   1. If  you  are  in  the  trade  of  business  of  using  this  product  a   lot,  the  law  assumes  you  are  going  to  much  more  careful   in  using  it  so  you  are  going  to  be  much  more  careful  in   suing  the  company  for  damages   2. Example:  if  you  are  a  professional  carpenter  and  you   use  a  power  saw  and  get  injured   3. Statutory  limits  on  tort  liability   a. Workers’  compensation,  unless  an  intentional  tort  was  the  cause   of  an  employee’s  injury   i. If  you  are  an  employee  who  got  injured  at  work   ii. State  insurance,  employer  pays  premiums  on  it   iii. If  any  employee  gets  injured  on  a  negligence  based  tort,  they   can’t  bring  a  tort  cause  of  action  to  court   iv. Must  fill  out  the  workers  compensation  claim   1. Focuses  on  getting  you  back  on  the  job  as  quickly  as   possible   v. Does  not  pay  punitive  damages   vi. Every  injury  is  a  fixed  amount  of  compensation   b. Manufacture  product  to  government  specification-­‐no  tort   liability   i. If  the  government  steps  in  and  sets  the  standards  of  safety  for   this  product   ii. If  they  meet  these  standards,  they  are  not  liable  for  injuries  on   this  product   iii. Consumers  can’t  sue  for  damages  if  these  are  met   c. State  laws  may  set  limits  on  tort  damages   i. States  want  to  protect  their  in  state  businesses  because  they   pay  taxes  to  the  state  and  keeps  the  government  going   ii. By  state  law,  we  are  going  to  cap  the  amount  of  damages  you   can  get  in  tort  damages  to  protect  the  businesses   d. If  you  are  a  business  engaged  in  an  alter  hazardous  activity  (high  risk   to  society)  the  law  says  if  you  are  engaged  in  this  you  have  absolute   liability  as  opposed  to  strict  liability,  there  are  no  defenses  against  this   i. If  you  are  a  business  engaged  in  alter  hazardous  activity:   1. You  better  be  as  careful  as  you  can   2. You  better  carry  heavy  insurance   3. Someone  at  some  point  will  get  injured   a. If  it’s  dynamite,  they  will  die   4. If  somebody  is  hurt,  carry  out  the  damages   automatically   e. Interest  in  the  tort  system   i. Consumers   1. These  concern  you  if  you  are  a  consumer,  most   consumers  like  these   ii. Consumer  products  companies  are  also  involved,  most   companies  don’t  like  these  because  they  are  time  consuming,   expensive,  and  highly  risky   iii. Tort  lawyers  are  also  involved   1. Happy  with  the  tort  system   2. They  don’t  like  the  states  that  are  putting  caps  on  the   legal  rewards   f. The  tort  system  is  getting  a  little  bit  more  efficient,  punitive  damages   are  coming  down     Questions  at  the  end  of  chapter   • #5-­‐  Strict  liability   o Does  the  restaurant  have  a  defense  against  this  liability?   ▯ Assumption  of  risk   • The  notice  was  adequate  on  the  menu,  they  should   have  been  well  aware  of  the  risks  they  were  taking   by  consuming  the  oysters   • #8-­‐Was  the  warning  on  the  lighter  sufficient?   o Parents  should  know  you  keep  lighters  out  of  the  reach  of   children   o Assumption  of  risk  was  applied   o No  damages  against  BIC   • #9-­‐  Strict  liability-­‐defective  product   o Court  said  there  was  no  evidence  that  they  couldn’t  smell,  this  is   their  living  so  it  doesn’t  matter  either  way   o They  should  know  better  than  to  smoke  near  that  equipment     o They  are  professional  users  so  there  is  no  liability              


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