Business Law, Tort Law

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Business Law 1 Mid Term
Teshvinder Singh Chopra
SEGi University College: American Degree Program
2 July 2010

Accordingly, as with the situation, Tim has sustained injuries from the incident. The person at fault for Tim's condition is surely Danny, as he had parked his car illegally, which definitely breaking the rules, and he as well forgotten to engage the parking brake. This caused the car to roll back and eventually hits an electric wire and the sparks from the ignition of the electric wire spreads to a nearby car. The car then explodes and a piece of it injures Tim, a pedestrian, like any other, who coincidentally was passing by.

In this case, Tim can definitely claim against Danny as Danny has surely commit a tortuous action towards Tim. Tort is a French word for wrong and tort has three categories namely intentional torts, unintentional torts (negligence), and strict liability (Cheeseman, 2010). This case is specifically classified as unintentional tort or negligence. The victim could claim damages sought from the offending party (Cheeseman, 2010). Since Tim was injured, he could bring a civil lawsuit against Danny. This is possible as there are criteria concerning the conduct of negligence.

Firstly, Danny owed Tim the duty of care. Meaning of duty of care is the obligation people owe each other not to cause any unreasonable harm or risk to them (Cheeseman, 2010). Danny has the obligation to make sure that his car did not cause any harm or injury towards others or the environment, which is definitely not the case as he had forgotten to put on his handbrake. A perfect case example is of the Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants(1994), where the plaintiff were awarded $200000 compensatory damages(reduced by $40000 for her own negligence) because of McDonald's negligence. Liebeck was injured in her thighs,legs,groin and buttocks, as she opened the lid of the coffee cup she bought from McDonald's, which she put it on her lap. The contents in the cup spilled all over her legs and she sustained 3rd degree burn injuries. The jury concluded that McDonald's were reckless and favored Liebeck (Cheeseman, 2010). This is a perfect example of business premises owing a duty to make safe products. Another case that could be related to this is the case of Tedla v. Ellman(1939). The plaintiffs, Ann Tedla and her brother, John Bachek were walking along a road to the right of the center-line in violation of a traffic statute, when they were hit by a passing automobile, operated by Ellman, the defendant. A jury found that the accident was due entirely to the negligence of the defendant. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment when plaintiffs’ failure to observe a statutory rule of the road did not constitute contributory negligence as a matter of law (Casebriefs, 2010). This case is important to the welfare of pedestrians. Hence, it is important to understand that Danny has a responsibility towards the safety of others as constituted by the law. Tim may sue Danny in terms of pedestrian law protection.

Secondly, Danny breached the duty of care towards the environment or Tim. A breach of duty care is defined as a failure to exercise care or to act as a reasonable person would act (Cheeseman, 2010). Danny did not act reasonably, and as a result, caused the accident and injury to Tim. A reasonable person would always be reminded and would always be aware that he must engage his vehicle's handbrake. Case related to the breach of duty is the case of Donoghue v. Stevenson(1932). Donoghue went to a cafe and consumed the drink. While pouring out the rest, she found out that the drink contained decomposed remains of a dead snail. She became unwell and brought a claim of tort negligence against the manufacturer. The House of Lords did decide that the manufacturer could be liable in certain circumstances. One of the Judges, Lord Atkins commented that “you must not injure your neighbor” (Jepson, 2010). this is the attitude Danny should...
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