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|1||Show/Hide More||Conboy v. Mogeloff|
A mother falls asleep at the wheel after taking medication prescribed by her doctor. Her children are injured in a subsequent car accident. Prior to the accident, the doctor had told her that she could drive after taking the medication, despite him knowing the drug was a sedative.
Should giving advice to others be regarded as equivalent to control over them? Should courts expect individuals to control the actions of others, even if they lack the ability to do so?
|2||Show/Hide More||Kline v. 1500 Massachusetts Avenue Apartment Corp.|
Kline was seriously injured when she was assaulted and robbed in the hallway of the apartment building where she lived. The incident occurred two months after another female tenant was attacked in the same hallway. Kline sued the landlord, alleging it had a duty to protect tenants from foreseeable harm by third parties on the premises.
Should landlords have a duty to keep the common areas of their premises safe?
|3||Show/Hide More||Barmore v. Elmore|
Plaintiff visited the defendants at their home to discuss Freemason business. During the visit, the defendants’ 47-year-old, mentally ill son stabbed the plaintiff several times after the father unsuccessfully attempted to restrain him. Before the visit, defendants did not warn the plaintiff of any danger that their son might pose. Although the defendants were aware that their son was an outpatient at a mental health treatment facility, they believed he was taking his medication. In addition, he had not threatened anyone or been involved in any violent incidents for almost ten years.
Should homeowners be responsible for the safety of those they allow or invite onto their property? Notice how the court seems to adjust the defendants’ duty based on the plaintiff’s purpose in entering the property, and the extent to which the defendants could “know” that their son would react violently to the plaintiff.
|4||Show/Hide More||Jacobsma v. Goldberg's Fashion Forum|
Plaintiff tried to restrain a fleeing shoplifter after a store manager yelled “Stop thief”, and pointed in the plaintiff’s direction. The plaintiff suffered a dislocated shoulder while struggling with the shoplifter, who ultimately escaped. The shoplifter had attempted to steal from the store three days earlier. However, the store did not attempt to increase security measures between the two incidents. A lawsuit was filed against the store to recover plaintiff’s medical bills and lost earnings due to his injury.
If a customer is hurt while trying to assist the employees of a store, should the store compensate him for his injuries? This case also illustrates what kind of knowledge charges a property owner with the responsibility to protect its invitees from criminal acts. The court also touches upon whether an invitee’s voluntary conduct can alter his or her invitee status, and thereby change the duty owed by the owner.
|5||Show/Hide More||Hegel v. Lansam|
A seventeen-year-old college student enrolls in university and becomes involved with criminals and drugs. State law required the university to maintain “law and order” on campus, and made it a crime to “contribute to the delinquency of a child”.
Do institutions like universities have a duty to regulate the private lives of their students?
|6||Show/Hide More||J.S. and M.S. v. R.T.H.|
Plaintiffs’ children were sexually abused by a neighbor for more than a year. The plaintiffs sue the neighbor’s wife, based on the argument that if she had suspected or should have suspected the abuse, she owed a duty of care to prevent it.
In this case, the court debates whether a spouse has a duty to prevent his or her partner’s abuse of children, based solely on suspicion of abuse, or circumstances which should have led to that suspicion. To settle the debate, the court engages in a complex analysis that weighs and balances several, related factors.
|7||Show/Hide More||Brosnahan v. Western Air Lines|
Defendant airlines failed to supervise and assist a passenger stowing his carry-on luggage in an overhead compartment. Consequently, the passenger dropped his bag on plaintiff’s head.
Some courts hold that defendants will not be liable if their negligence merely creates a “condition” which makes it possible for an accident to occur. In this case, the court considers this distinction against the backdrop of the special relationship between the airlines and its passengers.
September 25, 2013
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