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TORTS Homework help

TORTS Homework help

Alice was on a bicycle ride along Main Street. To get maximum speed and exercise, she would keep her head down much of the time, only looking up every so often to check ahead of her for other cyclists, joggers, and parked cars. This is a common way for cyclists to ride. At one point, she looked up, and seeing no parked cars, bicycles, or joggers, lowered her head again. Less than 10 seconds later, Pete, a rollerblader, emerged from a side street and turned onto Main Street about a hundred feet in front of Alice. Pete began rollerblading along the side of the street, a couple of feet from the curb. Alice was traveling much faster than Pete, and caught up to him quickly. Alice never saw Pete and Pete did not know Alice was coming from behind. Alice’s bike struck Pete, causing him injury when he fell, and further injury when he was struck almost immediately by a car.

1. Pete sues Alice for negligence. In response, Alice has asserted the doctrine of assumption of risk. Which of the following statements is most likely correct?

A. Because being struck by a cyclist is an inherent risk of rollerblading, Alice owed no duty of reasonable care toward Pete to take precautions to avoid that risk. Pete will therefore recover nothing.

B. Because being struck by a cyclist is an inherent risk of rollerblading, Alice owed no duty of reasonable care toward Pete to take precautions to avoid that risk. However, Alice has violated her duty not to act willfully or recklessly. Therefore, Alice will be fully liable for the harm she caused.

C. Even if Alice negligently struck Pete, Pete assumed the risk because being struck by a cyclist is an inherent risk of rollerblading. Pete’s recovery will therefore be reduced by the degree to which Pete’s assumption of risk overcomes Alice’s negligence.

D. Pete did not assume the risk.

2. Which of the following statements about assumption of risk is LEAST accurate?

A. It must be voluntary.

B. The majority of jurisdictions now regard it, in its implied form, as comparable to comparative negligence.

C. It must be manifested to the defendant.

D. The plaintiff must have understood the risk.

Paula was a nurse’s aide at a hospital that treated many Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s sufferers are often violent, and Paula knew that her job involved working with violent, combative patients. Paula also knew about past incidents in which patients attacked aides, but she and other aides received training in handling violent patients. Dave was such a patient. On previous occasions, he had hit hospital employees, and his admitting diagnosis noted his aggressiveness and a high risk that he would cause injury. One day, Paula saw that Dave was being aggressive with another aide who was trying to move him from a chair into bed. Paula entered the room to help because she was afraid Dave would fall. While she was helping, Dave hit Paula several times on the head, causing serious injuries. Dave died shortly thereafter of natural causes. Paula sues Dave’s estate for negligence, and the estate raises the defense of comparative fault.

3. Which of the following statements is most likely correct, assuming that the jurisdiction maintains a pure comparative fault system?

A. If a reasonable person with Paula’s training in dealing with mentally ill patients would not have intervened, Paula’s recovery should be reduced by the doctrine of comparative fault.

B. If a reasonable person without Paula’s training in dealing with mentally ill patients would not have intervened, Paula’s recovery should be reduced by the doctrine of comparative fault.

C. Because it was unreasonable for Paula to approach Dave while he was combative, Paula cannot recover against Dave’s estate.

D. If no harm would have occurred had Paula not approached Dave, Paula cannot recover against Dave’s estate.

While shopping in Dan’s Grocery Store (Dan’s), Pat approached a display of glass jars of jam. The jars were stacked from waist height to six or seven feet from the ground, and the rows were separated by corrugated cardboard. The display was unreasonably dangerous, being both too high and too precariously constructed. Pat decided to buy a few jars. Realizing that she needed to be careful in order not to knock over the display, Pat slowly began to pull the first jar out. Just before the jar was completely out, the display began to shake, and Pat stopped pulling out the jar. She was about to push it back into the stack when Bob, another shopper, accidentally bumped his cart into Pat. This caused her hand to jolt forward, and the entire display fell over. Both Pat and Bob were knocked down and suffered glass cuts. Pat sues Dan’s for negligence in designing and constructing the display. Pat has also named Bob as a defendant.

4. If Dan’s claims Pat was comparatively negligent, and the jurisdiction maintains a rule of pure comparative fault, which of the following statements is accurate?

A. Because Pat was an invitee to whom Dan’s owed a duty of protection, any carelessness on Pat’s part will not reduce her recovery.

B. Because Pat recognized the danger of pulling out a jar from the stack, she cannot recover whether or not her action was unreasonable.

C. If Pat failed to use reasonable care for her own safety, and her conduct was a substantial factor in causing the display to fall, the jury may reduce her award.

D. If Pat failed to exercise reasonable care for her own safety, and her conduct was a substantial factor in causing the display to fall, Pat can only recover if her fault was less than that of Bob and Dan’s.

5. Same facts as in Question 4. If Dan’s claims Pat assumed the risk of injury, and this is a “secondary” assumption of risk type of case, which of the following statements is accurate?

A. Pat will recover nothing only if the risk was inherent in the activity and Dan’s was merely careless.

B. Pat will recover nothing only if the risk was inherent in the activity and Pat appreciated the risk and voluntarily decided to confront it.

C. Pat will recover nothing only if she appreciated the risk and voluntarily confronted it.

D. Pat’s recovery will be reduced only if she appreciated the risk and voluntarily confronted it.

Pete had never been horseback riding before, but wanted to learn. Pete drove to Sam’s Stables (Sam’s). He approached an employee, mentioned that he’d never ridden a horse before but said he was anxious to learn. The employee handed Pete a form titled “Release,” and told Pete he’d have to sign it before he’d be allowed to ride. In part, the form stated:

I recognize that there are inherent risks in any horseback riding activity. I am also aware of the possible risks and dangers inherent in participating in such activities, including, but not limited to, possible injury or property damage from falling from my horse, collision with other riders, physical strain and injury due to unfamiliar or unexpected movements of the horse, biting or kicking by the horse, and allergic reaction to the horse, saddle and equipment, or vegetation and foliage encountered while riding.

In consideration of Sam’s for making its facilities available to me for my use for horseback riding and activities related thereto, I hereby agree to and do hereby fully release Sam’s and its agents and employees from any and all liability which they may have for injuries, death, or any other damages resulting from any injury which I may sustain while engaging in horseback riding and activities related thereto.

Pete skimmed the form quickly and signed it. He was then placed on a horse and began to ride. After two minutes, the horse suddenly took off at a full gallop and left the trail. The horse then raised up on her hind legs, throwing Pete onto a cactus. He was seriously injured. The horse had never thrown a rider before. Pete sues Sam’s for negligence.

6. If Sam’s defends on the ground that Pete assumed the risk by signing the Release, which of the following statements is most likely correct?

A. Because the document constituted an adhesion contract, it is unenforceable.

B. Because the document did not specifically mention the risk of falling off the horse and landing on a cactus, it is unenforceable.

C. Because Sam’s knew Pete was an inexperienced rider, the release is unenforceable.

D. The release is probably enforceable.

7. Careless is walking down the street not paying attention to his footsteps. He negligently bumps into Edwood knocking him to the pavement. While this fall would normally only cause small bruises, Edwood has a rare form of calcium deficiency in his bones. The fall resulting from the collision shatters Edwood’s hip, bones, and joints. If Edwood brings suit against Charlie for negligence seeking all the damages of the shattered hip, bones, and joints, he will likely:

A. Prevail, because the shattering of Edwood’s hip was reasonably foreseeable.

B. Not prevail, because the extent of the injury was unexpected.

C. Prevail, because the Defendant takes the victim as they are found.

D. Not prevail, because the damages are grossly disproportionate to the Defendant’s fault.

8. Ted and Tom were driving to work in the former’s automobile one morning. As they were traveling at a speed of 20 mph (which was within the posted speed limit), Tom suddenly pointed to an overturned vehicle along the side of the highway and said, “Look at that car upside down.” Ted turned to look at the overturned vehicle. As he was looking toward the side of the road, Ted failed to see an abandoned vehicle with a flat tire in the highway about 200 feet in front of his oncoming auto. Seconds later Ted crashed into the rear of the abandoned auto and was injured. The jurisdiction has a relevant comparative negligence statute in effect. If Ted asserts a claim against the owner of the abandoned auto, the most likely result is that Ted will

A. recover all of his damages, because the defendant created a dangerous condition

B. recover only a portion of damages, because the abandoned auto was in plain view

C. recover nothing, because he had the last clear chance to avoid the collision

D. recover nothing, because Passenger’s act was a supervening cause

9. Surgeon operated on Patient in an operating room at General Hospital. Surgeon was assisted by Intern, who was assigned to the operation by the hospital, and Nurse, who was on the staff of the hospital. During Patient’s convalescence, he complained of pain not explicable as an ordinary post-operative symptom. On investigation, it turned out that Intern and Nurse, who had worked together in bandaging him, had done so in such a way as to constrict certain blood vessels. The faulty bandaging had caused acute pain and retarded Patient’s recovery.

After Patient’s eventual recovery, he sued Intern, claiming $20,000 in damages. Before the case went to trial, Patient and Intern agreed to a settlement in which Intern paid Patient $12,000 and Patient released Intern from all further claims for liability arising out of the incident.

If Intern brings suit against Nurse for contribution, the most likely result is that intern will

A. prevail, because one who settles without judgment can recover contribution

B. prevail, because Nurse’s liability is established under res ipsa loquitur

C. not prevail, because one who settles without judgment cannot recover contribution

D. not prevail, because Intern’s proper remedy is indemnification not contribution

10. Peter worked as a delivery person for Watson’s Drug Store in Bosie. As part of Peter’s duties and responsibilities he would regularly deliver prescriptions and other items (such as toiletries, cosmetics, vitamins and gift products) to customers. One afternoon while Peter was on duty he remembered that it was his girlfriend, Cindy’s, birthday.

He went ahead and bought her a bottle of perfume from the pharmacy’s cosmetic department. Peter paid the full price of $29.99 for the perfume, which he had gift-wrapped. He then drove to Cindy’s house in the company van to personally deliver the birthday present. This trip took place during Peter’s regular working hours. As he was traveling to Cindy’s house, he was in such a hurry that he drove through a red light and collided with a vehicle owned and operated by Wally, who had entered the intersection on the green light, tried unsuccessfully to swerve and stop but was unable to avoid Peter’s vehicle. Wally was injured in the accident, which also caused extensive damage to both vehicles.

Wally was successful in his suit against Watson’s Drug Store and recovered $25,000 in damages. Suppose, too, that this jurisdiction has applicable statutes for contribution and indemnity. In the event that Watson’s now brings suit against Peter to recover for its losses, Watson’s will recover

A. nothing, because the drug store was primarily liable for the entire amount of damages

B. nothing, unless Peter’s delivery to Cindy’s house was unauthorized

C. $25,000, because Peter was at fault in causing the accident

D. $25,000, unless the drug store was fully insured against such losses

Home work #2

Alice operates a daycare center in her home from Monday through Friday for children from ages 6 months to three years old. One Friday, she discovered some mice in her house and called Bob, an exterminator. She told Bob that she runs the daycare center in her home for very young children and needs to get rid of the mice by the following Monday, when the children will return.

On Saturday, Bob placed small plastic packages of poison pellets in the corners of every room in the house. He explained that the mice would gnaw through the plastic packaging to eat the pellets, and then die shortly thereafter. On each package was printed the following warning:
“DANGER: THIS PACKAGE CONTAINS POISION, WHICH MAY BE HARMFUL TO HUMAN HEALTH IF SWALLOWED!”

Before leaving Alice’s house, Bob told her that the mice should ingest the pellets by Monday morning and that she could if she wanted to remove what is left of the packages before the children arrived.

Shortly before the children arrived on Monday morning, Alice removed as many of the packages of poison as she could find. Later that day, nine-month-old Victor, one of the children in Alice’s daycare center, was crawling along the floor of the living room when he found a package that Alice had missed. It had already been gnawed into by a mouse, and Victor reached in and ate some of the pellets. He became seriously ill. Medical tests determined that Victor’s illness was caused by his ingestion of the mouse poison.

Under what theory or theories might Victor’s parents bring an action for damages against Alice? Discuss.

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Category: Sample Questions