Elaine Smythe v. American Red Cross Services and Albany Medical Center Hospital: Key Terms
- Intentional: uninvited intentional touching; ex) sexual assault; ex) false imprisonment
- Negligence: common; act recklessly; 1. injury, 2. cause, 3. breach of duty(toughest to prove)
- Strict Liability: plaintiff has to show item used as intended and was injured; defendant has to show "not my fault"
- Torts: a three year period to sue; medical malpractice is 2.5 yrs
- Judgment as a matter of law: motion made before a case is submitted to the jury, and argues that no reasonable jury could find for the opposing party
- Duty of Care: a requirement that a person act towards others and the public with watchfulness, attention, caution, and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would; if not = lawsuit for negligence
- Prima Facie: the presentation of sufficient evidence by a civil claimant to support the legal claim, or the piece of evidence itself; plaintiff must produce enough evidence on all elements of the claim to support the claim and shift the burden of evidence production to the respondent
Elaine Smythe v. American Red Cross Services and Albany Medical Center Hospital
- Facts: plaintiff received a blood transfusion after her emergency surgery; later tested for HIV and she was positive; Red Cross blood drive, give pamphlet and sign that you read it, answer 20 oral Q's and sign, brief check up, donate blood; donated blood is tested with FDA licensed test that was the best at the time; test was negative; came back later to donate and tested positive due to the open window period; hospital was notified; the hospital is not required to test the blood
- Issue: Whether the Red Cross and the hospital met their duty of care regarding protection of patients who must receive blood transfusions.
- Rationale: Negligence claim- neither defendant failed to meet the applicable standard; no breach of duty; defendants entitlted to judgment as a matter of law; DEFENDANTS are granted summary judgment.
Ellena B. Michnik-Zilberman, Individually and as Administratix, v. Gordon's Liquor, Inc.: Key Terms
- Elements of Actionable Negligence: 1) a duty to exercise reasonable care, 2) breach of dutyto exercise reasonable care, 3) proximate (or legal) cause, 4) actual harm; an individual has the duty to all persons to act in a way so as not to subject others to an unreasonable risk of harm
- Common-Law Duty of Care: consideration will focus on whether the defendants conduct would create a forseeable risk of harm to another in that situation
- 3rd Party Liability: a duty to protect a 3rd party; pertaining to alcohol- "social host liability"- provider has duty to the public not to create forseeable, unreasonable risks by this activity
Ellena B. Michnik-Zilberman, Individually and as Administratix, v. Gordon's Liquor, Inc.
- Facts: Thoele bought 6 pack at Gordon's Liquor; he was 17 and not asked for ID; he drank 3-4 beers and hit a cyclist with his car and he died from his injuries
- Issue: Whether Gordon's Liquor had a duty to Zilberman as a 3rd party to protect them from the consequences of conduct by Theole, a minor, who the liquor was sold to.
- Holding: Jury found for the plaintiff and it was affirmed by the appeals court due to the forseeable consequences of the negligent sale to a minor.
- Rationale: negligence on part of Gordon's Liquors due to selling to a minor; if a vendor fails to exercise due care and sells liquor to a minor, it is responsible for all proximately caused injuries; forseeable risk that the minor may drive and cause harm to the third party while intoxicated; since the accident occurred within the scope of the risk of negligence sale, the plaintiff need not prove the store's liability to forsee the actual manner in which the harm would occur. AFFIRMED.
Gloria Jean Hosein v. Checker Taxi Company, Inc.: Key Terms
- Interlocutory Appeal: 1)the order must have conclusively determined the disputed question, 2)the order must “resolve an issue completely separate from the merits of the action”, 3)the order must be “effectively unreviewable on appeal from a final judgment.”
- Unconstitutionally Vague: no criminal or civil liability
- Special Relationship: employee/employer; doctor/patient; common carrier/passenger; anyone you pay for transportation; Hotel/guests
- Learned Hands: magnitude of a loss; probability of it happening vs. cost of prevention
Gloria Jean Hosein v. Checker Taxi Company, Inc.
- Facts: Hosein leased taxi cab from Checker Taxi; 1 or 2 passengers shot him; no partition
- Issues: Whether Checker owes a duty of care because there was a forseeable harm.
- Holding: Checkers motion to dismiss was denied; allowed Checkers interlocutory appeal
- Rationale: "bullet proof shield" is unconstitutionally vague(no criminal or civil liability); common law- no duty imposed upon a defendant to protect an injured party against the criminal acts of a third party; no special relationship; REVERSED.
Donald Beauchene v. Synanon Foundation, Inc.: Key Terms
- Demurrer: a written response to a complaint filed in a lawsuit which, in effect, pleads for dismissla on the point that even if the facts alleged in the complaint were true, there is no legal basis for a lawsuit
- Actionable negligence: 1) a defendants duty to exercise due care, 2) defendants breach of that duty, 3) breach was actual cause of plaintiff's injury, 4) thhe breach as the proximate or legal cause of plaintiff's injury, 5) damages to plaintiff
- Duty Exists: forseeability of harm to the plaintiff; the degree of certainty that the plaintiff suffered injury; the closeness of the connection between the defendant's conduct and the injury suffered; moral blame attached to the defendants conduct; policy of preventing future harm; extent of burden to defendant and consequences to the community; the availability, cost, and prevalence of insurance for the risk involved
- Public Entity/Employee Immunity: a) any injury resulting from whether to parole or release a prisoner, b) any injury caused by- 1) an escaping/escaped prisoner, 2) an escaping or escaped arrested person, 3) a person resisting arrest
- Soveirgn Immunity: government can do as it pleases; can't sue for certain things
Donald Beauchene v. Synanon Foundation, Inc.
- Facts: Lynn Bentley who was convicted of 1st degree burglary; Synanon program accepted Bentley; five days later, he escaped and went on a crime spree; shot appellant in the arm
- Issue: Whether respondent owed appellant a duty under the special relation.
- Holding: A judgment of dismissal; sustained a demurrer
- Rationale: Appellant believes respondent owes a duty to- 1) refuse admittance to applicants whose records and history = high risk, 2) reject candidates that present a danger to the community, 3) establish blanket policy to refuse admittance to any felony probationer- Bentley a danger to society, forseeable likelyhood that Bentley would commit a crime; special relationship = Bentley in program, respondent had duty to control behavior and to prevent escape and control his behavior; both theories of liabilities fail; sovereign immunity- no legal duty; no duty of care therefore no complaint to state a cause of action; AFFIRMED.
James McMahon and Linda McMahon v. St. Croix Falls School District and Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company: Key Facts
- Proximate Cause: an act from which an injury results as a natural, direct, uninterrupted consequence and without which the injury would not have occurred
- "Sine qua non": "but for" rule; injury would not have occurred but for the defendant's negligent act
- Bright-Line Rule: bring clarity to a law or regulation that could be read 2 or more ways. Often a bright line is established when the need for a simple decision outweighs the need to weigh both sides of a particular case
- Negligence Claim: 1) the defendant had a duty, 2) defendant breached the duty, 3) a casual connection between the conduct and the injury, 4) damage resulted from the injury
- Loco Parentis: an individual assumes parental rights, duties, and obligations without going through the formalities of legal adoption; in the place of a parent
James McMahon and Linda McMahon v. St. Croix Falls School District and Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company
- Facts: the plaintiffs son was dropped off at school and then he left and went to his friends house where his friend found him in her garage dead because he doused himself in gas and lit it; school didn't notify parents of failing grades; counselor warned about Andrew's depressed state
- Issue: Whether plaintiffs wrongful death suit would be held up in court.
- Holding: Circuit court dismissed plaintiffs complaint with prejudice on public policy grounds
- Rationale: the injury was too remote from the negligence because suicide occurred off school grounds; Andrew's death too wholly out of proportion; allowing recovery here would require school districts to respond to every report of truancy or student despondancy; the doctrine of intervening and superceding cause- negligence is too remote from the injury to impose liability; suicide is an intervening and superseding force tht breaks the chain of causation, even if negligence and cause-in-fact have been established; AFFIRMED.
Renee McCracken Williams et al. v. Steves Industries, Inc.: Key Terms
- Forseeability: harm can reasonably be expected to occur as a consequence of a party's conduct but the exact manner in which the harm occurs need not be forseeable
- Punitive Damages: punishment; pay additional money
- Negligence Entrustment: 1) entrustment of a vehicle by the owner, 2) to an unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless driver, 3) the owner should have known to be an unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless driver, 4) the driver was negligent on the occasion, 5) drivers negligence caused accident
- Proximate Cause: cause-in-fact and forseeability
Renee McCracken Williams et al. v. Steves Industries, Inc.
- Facts: Mrs. Williams was driving her car on interstate 35 in Austin; her car stalled twice due to low gas on a busy highway; Robert Robinson hit the car in the back; injured Mrs. W. and killed her two kids
- Issue: Whether the Williamses can seek to recover punitive damages under a theory of negligent entrustment.
- Holding: Jury found defendent guily of negligent and grossly negligent; $250,000 of punitive damages; trial court limited it to actual damages; court of appeals affirmed trial court in part and reversed and remanded in part
- Rationale: no evidence of being grossly negligent because none of the negligence entrustment criteria fit; Proximate Cause: cause in fact = if Mrs. W. had filled gas tank, the car would not have stalled; foreseeability = Mrs. Williams new that the route she would take was busy and shse should have known she would not have enough gas; AFFIRM the judgment of the court of appeals
Michelle Schiffman v. John Spring and Fred Bright
- Facts: Plaintiff on girls varsity soccer @ Brockport; played game @ Geneseo; field was wet and slippery; Spring and Bright knew of conditions; plaintiff was injured in second period due to muddy conditions
- Issue: Whether Spring and Bright were negligent in electing to hold the soccer game on a field with poor conditions.
- Holding: The court denied the defendants dismissal and the plaintiff won her negligence claim.
- Rationale: plaintiff was aware of potential danger and participated anyway; accident was a "luckless accident arising from the vigorous voluntary participation in sports"; REVERSED on the law without costs, motion granted and complaint dismissed.
Wilson M. Hood v. Ryobi America Corporation: Key Terms
Strict Liability: makes the manufacturer liable whether the defect is the result of negligence, whether it warranted the product, whether the defect could have been said to be covered by some implied warranty or for any other reason; if passes req's, a jury can still say a reasonable manufacturer couold have done something more = a defect; ex) guest attacked on hotel property; as long as using properly and got hurt; defendant try to show plaintiff should have done something different
Wilson M. Hood v. Ryobi America Corporation
- Facts: plaintiff used a miter saw and removed the safety guards and he cut off his thumb and injured his leg; removed guards despite several warnings
- Issue: Whether Ryobi America Corp. failed to adequately warn of the saw's dangers and that the saw was defective.
- Holding: The district court granted summary judgment to defendant on all claims; appeals court affirmed
- Rationale: there were adequate warnings- too many detailed stickers would cause confusion; plaintiff altered saw which led to his injury; not all consequences required; design defect claim- defeated when Hood made alterations to the saw despite warnings; safety warnings were "clear, direct, simple, unequivocal, unmistakable, definite, and easy to understand and obey"; AFFIRMED.
Walmart Stores, Inc. v. Karl W. Cockrell: Key Terms
- Intentional Torts: to person = assault, battery, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress; to property = trespass, conversion, fraud, and nuisance, involving economic harm; also includes libel, slander, defamation, and invasion of privacy; purpose is to compensate the victim for the harm sustained; required intent: defendant intended to do that act(had intent) that caused harm and defendant intended harm that resulted from act; most common defense is consent
- False Imprisonment: 1) a willful detention, 2) performed without consent, 3) without the authority of law; by acts words or both
- Contemporaneous Search: when an employee has probable cause to arrest a person for shoplifting
- Assault: "if he intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another, when he knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative"
- Mental Anguish: "high degree of mental pain and distress" that is "more than mere worry, anxiety, vexation, embarassment, or anger."; must offer "direct evidence of the nature, duration, and severity of their mental anguish, thus establishing a substantial disruption in the plaintiff's daily routine."
Walmart Stores, Inc. v. Karl W. Cockrell
- Facts: Karl Cockrell went to Walmart with his parents; stopped by Navarro and taken to the back b/c he was suspected of stealing; told to pull down pants; told to take off shirt; Navarro took of Cockrell's bandage revealing scar from liver transplant; let go
- Issue: Whether Walmart assaulted and falsely imprisoned Cockrell and if Cockrell is owed for mental anguish.
- Holding: Found Walmart assaulted and falsely imprisoned Cockrell; awarded $300,000 for past mental anguish.
- Rationale: False imprisonment- Cockrell detained without consent, felt trapped; no reasonable belief of Cockrell stealing; search was unreasonable because of no probable cause; Assault- Navarro put hands on Cockrells shoulders and twisted him around leading Cockrell to think he was being robbed; Mental anguish- Cockrell felt stripped of rights, parents say he's not the same; doesn't like to go out anymore; AFFIRMED trial court's decision.
- Types of families: mom, dad, 2 kids = minority; single parent; blended family; grandparents raising grandkids; heterosexual couples without kids; gays
- Marriage: a civil arrangement, has a spiritual and economic element
- Broche v. Stahl (1991): gay couple, surviving partner won and got to keep apartment; both families provided support; no blood or marriage ties, but was considered family
- Divorce: was seen as taboo and only if adultery occurred; now includes abandonment, cruel and inhuman treatment, and a form of no fault; is culturally accepted
- Child Custody: men owned family -> women being superior parent -> both parents trying to get custody
- The Best Interest of the Child Standard: 1) interest of the child, 2) parents wishes, 3) connections with community, 4) extended family, 5) mental/physical health
- Fathers have gained more rights over their biological kids
- Surrogacy: not really recognized or upheld in court
Goodridge et al. v. Department of Public Health and Another: Key Terms
- DOMA: Defense Of Marriage Act; no state has to recognize a marriage from another state; passed by President Clinton
- Direct Appellate Review: bypass appeals court; need questions of first impression or novel issues of law, constitutional questions, or questions of great public interest
- Strict Judicial Scrutiny: based on the equal protection clause of 14th amendment; determine whether certain types of government policies are constitutional
- Rational Basis Test: a judicial standard of review that examines whether a legislature had a reasonable and not an arbitrary basis for enacting a particular statute; hard to prove; usually legislature is not changed
- O'brien Case: NYS; wife owns part of husbands medical degree; established marriage is an economic partnership
Goodridge et al. v. Department of Public Health and Another
- Facts: 14 ppl in a homosexual relationship; Massachusetts Const. forbids creation of 2nd class citizens; want to marry partner to publicly affirm their commitments to each other- want benefits of a married couple
- Issue: Whether this categorical marriage exclusion violates the Massachusetts Const.
- Holding: Superior Court ruled for the defendant, dismissed plaintiff's claim; marriage exclusion does not offend the liberty, freedom, equality, or due process provisions of the Mass. Const.
- Rationale: 1) provide a favorable setting for procreation- a marriage license does not require the intention or ability to conceive kids, 2) optimal setting for child rearing- state can't deprive kids for not approving of parents sexual orientation, 3) preserve state and private financial resources- bears no rational relationship to the good of the economy; marriage restrictions are rooted in persistent prejudices against gays; VACATE summary judgment for defendant and REMAND case to the Superior Court
- Purpose of dissenting: show minority
- Spina, J & Cordy, J. dissent: pwr to change legislation lies with the legislature not the courts
In the Matter of Robert O. v. Russel K. et al.
- Facts: Robert O. and Carol A. were in a serious relat.; he left not knowing she was pregnant; met with Russel K. and Joanne K. to discuss adoption; on leave from hospital baby boy given to Russels; 8 months later the adoption was finalized; Robert and Carol married and he tried to vacate adoption
- Issue: Whether the unwed father can vacate a final order approving the adoption of his 18 month old son.
- Holding: Family court rejected petitioners claim; no constitutional right to notice of the adoption proceedings or to veto or consent to the adoption; Appellate division affirmed
- Rationale: Plaintiffs actions were untimely (6 months past adoption = untimely)and state can deny a right of consent; biological link is insufficient to create a constitutional protected interest; no prevented him from finding out about pregnancy besides himself; AFFIRMED with costs.
Smith v. Soligon
- Facts: Smith and child's mother were unwed during birth of boy; father did not sign birth certificate; baby lived with mom since birth; she married Soligon when boy was 5; a year later Soligon served petition to adopt boy; Smith then filed a petition to legitimate the child
- Issue: Whether Smith can petition to legitimate his biological son and if Soligon can petition to adopt the child.
- Holding: Superior court denied petition of legitimation; Smith failed to provide any significant financial or emotional support- no child support; sporadic work history and criminal record; no attempt to legitimize the child until Soligon tried to adopt; did not mantain a relat. or develop one; did not meet parental obligations and duties; allowed adoption by Soligon.
- Rationale: Court found not in the best interest of the child; Smith abandoned his opportunity interest to develop a relat. with the child; Smith lost all rights to the child and can't object to adoption; judgment AFFIRMED.
- If in a legal relat. when pregnant by man, X, the partner in the legal relat. gets to be the legal father even though X is biological father- provide a stable relationship.