(case on page 317)
Legal issues in the workplace
July 20, 2012
ISSUE: Is the GTE South, Inc. guilty of negligance per se towards Laura Baldwin on the grounds of unlawful telephone booth placement in rights-of-way ?
RULE : Negligence per se may occur if any individual violates a statute or an ordinance providing for a criminal penalty and that violation causes another to be injured. The injured person must prove :
1. that statute clearly sets out the standard frame in sense of what conduct is expected, when, where and of whom is expected 2. that he or she falls into class inteded to be protected by the statute 3. the statute serves as an protection to prevent the type of injury the plaintiff suffered
APPLICATION: Generally speaking, despite the North Carolina Department of Transportation legislation, the GTE South, Inc. installed a telephone booth near the intersection and failed to live up to standard of duty of care by endangering prospective pedestrians and others being close to this site. Since the act was performed in the reckless manner representing the threat to anybody near the site, this behavior was very heedless and unreasonable creating a foreseeable risk of serious injury. Because of inattentive acting, the connection between an act and injury is strong enough to justify imposing liability (proximate cause). In light of above stated rules, we can readily assume that Laura Baldwin belongs to the scope of protected class as well as she perfectly fits into definition of "acts" designed by statute that protects individuals against the type of harm she suffered.
CONCLUSION: This being stated, the GTE South, Inc. act constitutes negligence per se because of jeopardizing the traveling public being represented here by Laura Baldwin, the victim.