Law 421/Week Two
What are the elements of negligence? How does an intentional tort differ from negligence? Provide examples. Intentional torts can be described as deliberate acts to harm someone. Negligence can be described to deliberately choose not to act in order to fix a problem which ultimately results in someone being harmed. There are several elements that need to be present in order for a claim to be considered negligence (Melvin, 2011). According to our text these elements need to be present in order to be considered negligence: Duty: Did the tortfeasor owe a duty of care to the injured party? Breach of duty: Did the tortfeasor fail to exercise reasonable care? Cause in fact: Except for the breach of duty by the tortfeasor, would the injured party have suffered damages? Proximate (legal) cause: Was there a legally recognized and close-in-proximity link between the breach of duty and the damages suffered by the injured party? Actual damages: Did the injured party suffer some physical harm that resulted in identifiable losses? (Melvin,2011)
A perfect example would be the case of Stella Liebeck against McDonalds. This is something my wife and I talked about when it first happened. We felt that to sue a company over coffee being hot was absurd. Coffee is typically hot that’s common sense, however after learning how badly Ms Liebeck was injured I have definitely changed my views on this case. Ms Liebeck spilled her coffee on herself which caused her to get burned. She sustained 3rd degree burns because the coffee was brewed at a higher temperature than other restaurants. The case was ruled in favor of Ms. Liebeck. The jury declared McDonald’s negligent because their coffee was found to be 20 degrees hotter than it should have been. McDonald’s had received many complaints about their coffee being too hot and failed to do anything about it. So their actions were considered to be reckless because they did not warn their customers about the temperature of the coffee. This is how the labeling of coffee cups got started. If you look at your coffee cup from McDonald’s now it comes with a warning. Caution Hot. Mcdonald’s was found guilty of negligence because they failed to warn their customers that their coffee was extremely hot. Failure to notify customers caused unintentional injuries to Ms. Liebeck. That’s why it is considered negligence.
The Law Library Retrieved from : http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm Melvin, S.P. (2011). The legal environment of business: A managerial approach: Theory to practice. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
This topic makes me think of the Orange County Choppers situation. Where the son Paul Jr. had to sign a non-compete clause when he left the company. After the time constraints were met he opened his own shop called Paul Jr. Designs. I understand the need for non competes and non-disclosure clauses in the business world. If a person goes to work for a company then quits and opens the same type of business it can become a legal nightmare. I think this type of situation brings a person’s ethics into question. If they worked for a company solely to gain information on the inner workings of that business they should be held accountable for any illegal actions that they commit. That being said, if a person works for a company and decides that they really enjoy what they are doing and open a business for that reason , I think as long as they are not stealing another person’s work or ideas that they should be allowed to conduct business. Post 3
In the business world today organizations have information or secrets that they do not want their competitors to get ahold of. Information that they may want to keep private are things such as marketing plans, client information, product and manufacturing techniques. This type of stuff is often called trade secrets. Companies go to great lengths to keep this type of information away from their competitors. The most common...
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