Tort Scenarios Essay
Tort Scenarios BUS/415 Introduction In week three we were provided with two scenarios and were asked to analyze the tort actions found in both. The first scenario involves fans and participants at a football game; including a father and son, and angry fan, stadium workers, and other spectators. Actions that transpire include the spilling of beer on one fan by another, a shove of one fan of anther, a fall, injury, yelling, and repercussions of the stated actions.
The second scenario we analyzed took place in a restaurant where another chain of events occur including a customer biting down on a piece of glass, waiters bumping into each other, smoke inhalation by customers, and injuries caused in one way or another by the described events. In this paper we will identify the tort actions found in both scenarios, identify the potential plaintiffs, and identify the potential defendants and why they are each seen as a defendant. We will also examine the elements of the tort claims that constitute the plaintiff’s claim and the defenses that could be asserted by the defendants.
We will also discuss how we believe the claims will be resolved by stating legal reasons for the answers. Plaintiffs and Defendants: Scenario 1 Each scenario describes a chain of events that one would not typically imagine could happen throughout the course of a usual day, but seems to be possible. In each of these instances, there are acts that would lead to charges being filed in a court of law. The different people involved would have to present their sides of the situation as plaintiff and defendant.
In the first scenario where Daniel and his son are trying to enjoy a day at a football game, there are different twists that lead to different people being the plaintiff and defendant and in separate instances ending up as both. To start, the quarterback is injured thus throwing an errant ball into the stands injuring a fan. The injured fan could file charges as the plaintiff. Instead of the player being the defendant, the league for which the player is involved in would actually be the defendant. This is because the player is acting as an employee of the league.
A fan, who is angered by the call on the field, Malik, spills beer on Daniel’s son; which is not a crime but very unfortunate. As a result, Daniel pushes Malik, which is assault, which is considered a crime making Malik the plaintiff and Daniel the defendant. The misfortune of Malik busting his face is not the direct reaction from Daniel shoving him but because of a faulty railing. This is something that the stadium owner is responsible for the safety of its fans. While the railing was broken from Malik being shoved onto it, the railing was clearly not suitable for use in the stadium.
From this instance, Malik would again be the plaintiff while the stadium owner and management would be the defendants. After this mess had settled and Daniel was escorting his beer bathed son out of the seats to obtain beverages before leaving the stadium, a verbal tussle over the boy’s smelling like beer made a scene in which Daniel’s boss was present to witness. From this situation, Daniel’s boss fired him stating that he does not want someone who gives beer to children working for him which was not the case. Daniel would sue his boss for wrongful termination making Daniel the plaintiff and his boss the defendant (Cheeseman, H.
R. , 2010). After this misfortunate episode, Daniel is then handed two regular sodas instead of the diet ones that were order. After consumption of the beverage Daniel goes into a diabetic coma brought on by the sugar in the sodas. In this part of the puzzle, Daniel would then become the plaintiff again and the stadium would again be the defendant because the person who presented the wrong sodas was an employee acting on their behalf. Each of these examples would fall under Res Ispa Loquitur (Cheeseman, H. R. , 2010). Plaintiffs and Defendants: Scenario 2 In the second scenario, Anna goes into restaurant to enjoy a meal.
While taking a bite of her meal, she cuts her gums on a piece of glass and screams in pain distracting a waiter at a different table starting an unfortunate chain of events. Anna has been injured by a foreign material in her food; she becomes the plaintiff against the restaurant as the defendant. Anna’s scream distracted another waiter who turns with a flaming dish and catches another waiter on fire causing that person to discard their fiery apron setting an area of the restaurant ablaze causes smoke inhalation and burn injuries to some of the other patrons. This makes the patrons the plaintiffs and the restaurant the defendant again.
From this terrible dinner outing, Anna goes to the hospital where she is told she needs surgery for her mouth and while under anesthesia has her leg mistakenly amputated. This makes Anna again the unlucky plaintiff and the doctor and hospital are now the defendants. This example would also fall under Res Ispa Loquitur (Cheeseman, H. R. , 2010). Tort Actions In scenario one, several intentional torts were caused. Battery occurred twice in this scenario. The first battery occurred when the quarterback throws a pass sending the ball into the stands and injuring a fan.
Although there was not a direct physical contact between the victim and the quarterback, an injury resulted from the quarterback (Cheeseman, 2010). An example of an actionable battery occurred, when Daniel shoved Malik causing him to fall which knocked out his two front teeth. Daniel caused an unauthorized and harmful or offensive physical contact to Malik (Cheeseman, 2010). The woman who made a huge scene, accusing Daniel of giving his son beer caused an oral defamation statement that is known as slander. Daniel’s boss overheard the woman’s statement and fires Daniel.
Daniel can suffer from intentional infliction of emotional distress or the tort of outrage from the woman’s accusation that caused him to lose his job. The concession worker caused unintentional tort negligence when he or she failed to exercise the duty of care by accidentally serving two sugary soft drinks to Daniel that caused him to slip into a diabetic coma. Scenario two involves unintentional tort of negligence from the waiters and chiefs of the restaurant. The restaurant owner owes the customers to provide safe meals and not caused accidents (Cheeseman, 2010).
The restaurant is liable for negligence because the business failed to exercise the duty of care and caused reasonable harm to Anna and several patrons. Anna and the several patrons injured can recover monetary damages from the restaurants negligence because injury was suffered. Anna suffered injury to her mouth and therefore needed immediate surgery. Several patrons suffered smoke inhalation, burns and will need medical assistance. Actual cause tort can be proven against the restaurant. Everyone who was in the restaurant, who witnesses this event, may later suffer emotional distress.
Negligent infliction of emotional distress involves bystanders who witness this injury but personally was not physically injured; he or she can sue the negligent party for his or her own mental suffering (Cheeseman, 2010). Professional Malpractice applies to Scenario two. In this particular case, Anna could seek tort damages based on professional malpractice. This tort applies to professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, architects, accountants, and others who have a specific standard of duty in providing their services also known as the reasonable professional standard.
Any professional that does not comply with this standard is liable for injuries from their negligence. This is also known as “malpractice” (Cheeseman, 2010). According to (Cheeseman, 2010), “a doctor who amputates a wrong leg is liable for medical malpractice. ” Res lpsa Loquitur applies to both scenarios. In scenario one, Daniel may argue that; 1) the defendant (owner of the concession stand) was in exclusive control of the situation and 2) that Daniel would not have suffered injury from a diabetic coma had it not been for the drinks improperly served from the concession stand worker.
Res lpsa Loquitur is a tort in which presumption of negligence arises because both of the above elements were met (Cheeseman, 2010). This tort also applies to scenario two. Anna could sue for tort damages against the restaurant and the Hospital/Doctor. The restaurant served Anna the food that contained the glass which caused the initial injury to Anna’s Mouth. The hospital and its staff of doctors are responsible for knowing and reading patient charts. This was implied negligence containing both elements used for proving Res lpsa Loquitur by amputating the wrong patient’s leg.
Anna had no control over this situation as she was under anesthesia at the time of the injury. With the torts described for both scenarios, the plaintiffs could sue for tort damages, which include but are not limited to past and future medical expenses, loss of wages or loss of future wages, pain and suffering, and mental and physical distress. Defendants and Defenses Potential Defendants: Scenario 1: 1) Malik 2) Daniel 3) Lady standing in the concession line 4) Daniel’s boss 5) The concession worker and her employers.
Malik may argue that the spillage of the beer was not a deliberate act but an accident. Daniel may argue that he was in fear for the safety of his son because of Malik’s outburst. The lady in the concession line and Daniel’s boss may argue that any reasonable person have reached the same conclusion based on the strong smell of beer on Rueben. The concession worker and her employers may argue that Daniel contributed to his own illness by failing to notice that his drink contained sugar. Daniel had the option of requesting the correct beverage or discarding the sugared soda.
Another defense could be that a mistake was made because of the commotion at the stand. Malik will argue that he only meant to scare Daniel and was not going to shoot him. Potential Defendants: Scenario 2: 1) Restaurant 2) Food Supplier 3) Agency providing employees The actions of the defendants in this case meet the provision of causation in fact of Anna’s injuries. The chef will be a defendant due to negligence in food preparation. But for the glass Anna would not have been injured. Both waiters will be defendants because they were negligent in their actions.
But for their reactions, the fire would not have occurred. The restaurant will be a plaintiff for not providing adequate exits. Had there been an additional exit the patrons would have exited the restaurant faster and may not have been injured. The surgeon who amputated Anna’s leg will be named as a defendant because of his negligence (Cheeseman, 2010). The chef may use the defense that he or she had delegated the final inspection of the food to another member of the kitchen staff. The waiters may claim that Anna contributed to the cause of the fire by screaming.
The building owner may claim that the building was constructed to code and that there was no legal violation. Conclusion Although one would assume that the defendants in each of the above would have a difficult time wining the tort actions brought against them, we have to also assume that the defense attorneys would have an argument (as previously stated). Each scenario leaves too many questions unanswered to adequately assume the resolutions. Local government codes could have been or not been violated.
There could be assumed risk by the fans upon purchasing a ticket to the game. The food with the glass in it could have been the fault of a not mentioned vendor or supplier. In each scenario, the defendant could have reasons for and against settling with the plaintiffs prior to going to court. Regardless, each scenario provides the same conclusion, reaching a settlement will be costly; both financially and personally. Cheeseman, H. (2010). The Legal Environment of Business and Online Commerce (6th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.