Essay Question 1:
Manny Ramirez is a professional baseball player. He is a great hitter, but is also somewhat quirky and controversial. Because of his quirkiness, the Boston Red Sox decided to trade him to another team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Boston print and radio media has been very hard on Ramirez. Two radio talk show hosts, John and Gerry have been repeatedly very critical of Manny, with John states “good riddance” and Gerry states “who needs him” and “he’s a lousy ballplayer” on the air. Manny heard these comments while listening to the radio on the team bus, which was transporting the entire team to a game.
After the trade, the Dodgers and the Red Sox played at Spring Training in Ft. Myers, Florida. As Manny was walking on the field, he saw John and Gerry are conducting their radio show from a location next to the Red Sox dugout. Manny ran towards John and Gerry in a rage and stopped just 10 feet away from them. Manny reached down and took off his cleat and threw it at them as he yelled “here’s something for you guys, you jerks” Gerry never saw the cleat coming and it missed him. The cleat flew into the stands and hit a young 25-year-old woman, named Heidi, in the face causing cuts, which required 10 stitches. Heidi saw the cleat coming, but was so stunned at the sight of Manny Ramirez throwing the cleat and yelling that she could not move out of the way enough to avoid getting hit in the fact.
Does Manny have any possible legal action against John and Gerry? Would it be successful?
Answer Question 1 A:
John has a claim action against Manny for assault. The elements of assault include: intent, apprehension of a harmful or offensive contact, and causation. The first element is present because Manny intended to create apprehension. This is evident when he has not only stated “here’s something for you guys, you jerks” but also when he threw the cleat. The second element is present because making such a statement and throwing a cleat created apprehension in John because John knew, just as a reasonable person would, that a cleat could cause harm if it strikes the body. The last element is present because Manny’s actions caused apprehension in John. John would be successful with a claim of assault against Manny. On the other hand, Gerry could consider filing an assault action, but the element of apprehension was not present in Gerry because he did not see Manny throw the cleat. Finally, Heidi could a claim for assault against Manny. The elements were present because the intent toward Gerry and Manny transferred to Heidi, she has seen the cleat coming her way which caused apprehension and Manny’s actions resulted in her apprehension. Heidi could also file a claim for battery against Manny. Manny’s act of the throwing the cleat caused Heidi’s injury. Thus, all elements of battery are present and Heidi would be successful on her claims of assault and battery against Manny.
Answer Question 1 B:
Manny could consider filing a tort claim of slander against John and Gerry. The elements of slander are: a false statement claiming to be a fact, communication to a third party, fault, and damages. The first element is not present because the statements made by John and Gerry were not false statements of fact. They were merely opinions. The second element was present because John and Jerry communicated to a third party when they announced their opinions on the radio. The third and fourth elements were not present because there was no fault or damages caused by John and Gerry’s actions. Therefore, Manny would not be successful on a claim of slander against John and Gerry.
Essay Question 2:
It was a busy night at the “off The Wall Mart” or OTWM as it is known to its customers, a discount department store specializing in festive and amusing costumes and gag gifts. Mike Jackson, the Manager on duty the night of April 1, 2013, was the only person on duty and the following events occurred that night:
It was necessary for Mike to mop the floor in the front entrance way of the store because a customer spilled a can of Pepsi Cola by accident. Because Mike is the only employee working on a busy night in the store he did not have time to place a sign up warning customers that the floor was wet. Larry, a regular customer walked into the store to shop for a costume. Larry slips and breaks his leg on the wet floor. Mike immediately assists Larry and then calls 911 for an ambulance.
Moe, trying to acquire a free costume for a costume part he will soon attend, climbs into an open window in the back of the store, which is the storage area and off limits to customers. Moe, who has brought his own flashlight to illuminate the dark storage area, sees a big box containing a replica Bat Man costume with a price tag of $500 but it is high above the floor on a 15-foot-high shelf. Moe drags a ladder over to the shelf and climbs up to reach the costume. Just as his hands are about to grab the Bat Man costume box Moe slips off of the ladder and falls 10 feet to the ground breaking his leg. Mike hears a big thud in the back of the storage area and runs back to discover Moe in pain. Mike calls the police.
After work Mike goes home and is very tired from such an eventful day. Mike calls his girlfriend Janet on the phone and asks her to come over to this home (which he owns) and make dinner for him. Mike forgets to warn Janet that his front stairs are broken and the wood has rotted making them very weak. As Janet is walking up the front stairs of Mike’s house the front stairs give way and break and Janet tumbles to the ground and breaks her leg.
Question A. Evaluate any legal claims that Larry may have against OTWM
Question B. Evaluate any legal claims that Moe may have against OTWM
Question C. Evaluate any claim that Janet may have against Mike
Identify the tort, the elements of the tort and apply all facts to the elements and describe the likely outcome of any potential lawsuit. Fully explain your answer.
Answer Question 2 A
Larry may have a legal claim of negligence against OTWM. The elements of negligence are: duty, breach of duty, cause in fact, proximate cause and damages. OTWM owed a duty to Larry as a business toward public invitees. This duty was to protect Larry from known dangerous conditions present on the premises. Mike, as an employee, breached this duty because he was aware of the slippery floor and failed to place a wet floor sign, which would have protected Larry from injuries. Mike’s actions were the cause in fact and proximate cause of Larry’s injuries. Mike’s failure to place the sign caused Mike’s injury. Had the sign been present, Mike would not have slipped. The slip and fall were also a foreseeable risk created by Mike’s failure to place the wet floor sign. Larry was injured with a broken leg as a result. Larry. Since all negligence elements are present, Larry would be successful in an action against OTWM for negligence.
Answer Question 2 B
Moe may consider filing a negligence claim against OTWM, but the first element, duty, was not present because a duty of care is not owed to trespassers.
Answer Question 2 C
Janet could file a claim of negligence against Mike. Negligence elements include: duty, breach of duty, cause in fact, proximate cause and damages. Janet was an invitee upon Mike’s property because he invited her to make dinner. Mike, therefore, owed Janet a duty to warn her of dangerous conditions that may be present on his property. Mike had the duty and breached it because he was aware of the dangerous condition of the broken stairs and he forgot to tell Janet about it. The other elements of negligence are present because the broken stairs caused Janet’s injuries, the injuries she sustained were foreseeable as a result of the broken stairs and, Janet did suffer a broken leg. Therefore, Janet would succeed on a claim of negligence against Mike.