Statutory interpretation; Case brief
In the case of Pringle v. Valdes it was said that after leaving a bar, both Pringle and Valdes got into a car in which Pringle was the driver and Valdes was in the front passenger’s seat. After a short drive Pringle allegedly drove into a concrete barrier and Valdes who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time was thrown out through the windshield sustaining serious injuries that caused lacerations to his face and damage to his nerve endings. Consequently Valdes sued Pringle for negligence and thirty days before the trial Pringle filed for two motions, one, she wanted to amend her answer to include affirmative defense of comparative negligence and the other for a continuance. Both motions were denied.
When the case went for trial Valdes requested for damages for non-economic losses that included disfigurement, emotional stress, physical impairment, impairment to quality of life and inconvenience. Pringle however requested the jury to be instructed on the seatbelt defense because of the phrase, “pain and suffering” in accordance with Colorado’s Seatbelt Statute. The trial court rejected this proposal because Valdes hadn’t requested for damages for “pain and suffering.” Valdes was awarded $400,000 for damages for physical impairment and $100,000 for non-economic losses (CBA, 2007, para 1).
Statutory interpretation; Justice Coat’s dissenting opinion
After the decision by the trial court to award the plaintiff, Mark Valdez $400,000 for damages and $100,000 for non-economic losses, the defendant, Debbie Jo Pringle felt as if justice wasn’t served and she moved to the court of appeal. This court however affirmed the decision of the trial court of refusal to instruct the seat belt provision. The court of appeal also affirmed the award given to Valdes of $100,000 for non-economic losses ruling that the term “pain and suffering” as it is in the seatbelt defense provision only referred to a limited subset of non-economic damages that bear that label. Pringle still was not satisfied with that ruling and she went on to the Supreme Court of Colorado where the case was presided over by Justice Coat and Justice Eid. In their review of the decision of both the trial court and the court of appeals, the two justices concurred in part and dissented in part. In their concurrence they affirmed the award of $400,000 for disfigurement and physical impairment but reversed the court of appeals award of $100,000 for non-economic damages interpreting “pain and suffering” as encompassing all non-economic damages. I think the dissenting opinion is better than the majority opinion as it went ahead to give the true meaning of the term “pain and suffering” as was intended by the General Assembly in the statute. (CBA, 2007, para 5)
Chapter 2, Problem 6: What courses of action may Tyson Pursue?
In the case of Jerrie Gray v. Tyson Foods, Jerrie sued Tyson Foods for sexual harassment in the course of her work in the form of comments, gestures and physical contact. Tyson in his defense stated that the conduct complained about wasn’t sex, the conduct wasn’t unwelcome and it didn’t violate the terms and conditions of employment and that proper action was taken concerning any complaint. The court went ahead to award Gray $185,000 in compensatory and $800,000 in punitive damages. According to Tyson the damages were excessive and there was no supportive evidence that made him liable. The course of action that Tyson could pursue is seeking legal redress through filing for an appeal in less than 15 days after the court’s decision.
As a justice theorist I would exempt the grandson of one of my major client’s to become an employee within my firm despite our strict no-drugs policy because the man has proven that he has changed for the better by going to one of the best schools and coming out with exemplary knowledge, skills and qualifications that suggest he has turned over a new leaf and at the age of 31 years, he now seems serious and focused with life. For profit maximization I would make the same decision because failure to do it might affect my business with the major client from now onwards and possibly lead to less revenue.
Ethical Issues and Decision Making
As an employee of Jay-Mart Corporation having dealings in China to oversee the construction of ten new retail superstores and the Chinese government having set up new standards for the construction industry that require building to have the ability to withstand earthquakes which are so common in that country, I would prefer to adhere to these new standards even though they will increase the costs by 20%. The key thing is to look after the interests of my employer and in following these guidelines set by the government. This would mean profit maximization in the long run because of good publicity which will bring in more business that will increase our revenues.
CBA (2007). The Colorado Lawyer. Colorado Bar Association. Retrieved from