✪✪✪ Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V.

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Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V.

All Right reserved. An officer cannot take affidavits outside of the particular jurisdiction in Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. he or she exercises authority. Deadline for filing of Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. dispositive motions in U. British Celanese Ltd. Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. Section and the plaintiff class appealed from the district court's order relating to new Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V.

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Three circuits hold that as the judge is the trier of the facts in such a situation his function is not the same as on a motion to direct a verdict, where the jury is the trier of the facts, and that the judge in deciding such a motion in a non-jury case may pass on conflicts of evidence and credibility, and if he performs that function of evaluating the testimony and grants the motion on the merits, findings are required. Young v. United States C.

Columbia Pictures Corporation C. Friden Calculating Machine Co. Mateas v. Fred Harvey, a Corporation C. The Third Circuit has held that on such a motion the function of the court is the same as on a motion to direct in a jury case, and that the court should only decide whether there is evidence which would support a judgment for the plaintiff, and, therefore, findings are not required by Rule Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Mason C. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. See also 3 Moore's Federal Practice Cum. Rules Serv. Under the present text of the second sentence of this subdivision, the motion for dismissal at the close of the plaintiff's evidence may be made in a case tried to a jury as well as in a case tried without a jury. But, when made in a jury-tried case, this motion overlaps the motion for a directed verdict under Rule 50 a , which is also available in the same situation. It has been held that the standard to be applied in deciding the Rule 41 b motion at the close of the plaintiff's evidence in a jury-tried case is the same as that used upon a motion for a directed verdict made at the same stage; and, just as the court need not make findings pursuant to Rule 52 a when it directs a verdict, so in a jury-tried case it may omit these findings in granting the Rule 41 b motion.

See generally O'Brien v. Westinghouse Electric Corp. As indicated by the discussion in the O'Brien case, the overlap has caused confusion. Accordingly, the second and third sentences of Rule 41 b are amended to provide that the motion for dismissal at the close of the plaintiff's evidence shall apply only to nonjury cases including cases tried with an advisory jury. Hereafter the correct motion in jury-tried cases will be the motion for a directed verdict. This involves no change of substance. It should be noted that the court upon a motion for a directed verdict may in appropriate circumstances deny that motion and grant instead a new trial, or a voluntary dismissal without prejudice under Rule 41 a 2.

Cone v. The first sentence of Rule 41 b , providing for dismissal for failure to prosecute or to comply with the Rules or any order of court, and the general provisions of the last sentence remain applicable in jury as well as nonjury cases. The amendment of the last sentence of Rule 41 b indicates that a dismissal for lack of an indispensable party does not operate as an adjudication on the merits. United States , U. Hinde , 12 Wheat. The terminology is changed to accord with the amendment of Rule See that amended rule and the Advisory Committee's Note thereto.

The amendment corrects an inadvertent error in the reference to amended Rule Language is deleted that authorized the use of this rule as a means of terminating a non-jury action on the merits when the plaintiff has failed to carry a burden of proof in presenting the plaintiff's case. The device is replaced by the new provisions of Rule 52 c , which authorize entry of judgment against the defendant as well as the plaintiff, and earlier than the close of the case of the party against whom judgment is rendered. A motion to dismiss under Rule 41 on the ground that a plaintiff's evidence is legally insufficient should now be treated as a motion for judgment on partial findings as provided in Rule 52 c. The language of Rule 41 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Civil Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.

These changes are intended to be stylistic only. When Rule 23 was amended in , Rules Rule 41 a 1 was not then amended to reflect the Rule 23 changes. In Rule 41 a 1 was amended to correct the cross-reference to what had become Rule 23 e , but Rules Rules This change does not affect established meaning. Rule Please help us improve our site! No thank you. Skid marks can establish the speed a car was traveling prior to a collision, a person's appearance can circumstantially prove his or her age, etc. Sometimes a plaintiff in a negligence lawsuit must prove his entire case by circumstantial evidence.

Suppose a plaintiff's shoulder is severely injured during an operation to remove his tonsils. The plaintiff, who was unconscious during the operation, sues the doctor in charge of the operation for negligence, even though he has no idea how the injury actually occurred. The doctor refuses to say how the injury occurred, so the plaintiff will have to prove his case by circumstantial evidence. In cases such as this, the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur the thing speaks for itself is invoked.

Res ipsa loquitor allows a plaintiff to prove negligence on the theory that his injury could not have occurred in the absence of the defendant's negligence. The plaintiff must establish that the injury was caused by an instrumentality or condition that was under the defendant's exclusive management or control and that the plaintiff's injury would not have occurred if the defendant had acted with reasonable care. Thus, in the above example, the plaintiff can use res ipsa loquitor to prove that the doctor negligently injured his shoulder.

A defendant is not liable in negligence, even if she did not act with reasonable care, if she did not owe a duty to the plaintiff. In general, a person is under a duty to all persons at all times to exercise reasonable care for their physical safety and the safety of their property. This general standard of duty may lead to seemingly unjust results.

For example, if a property owner leaves a deep hole in her backyard with no warnings or barriers around the hole, she should be liable if her guest falls into the hole. But what if a trespasser enters the backyard at night and falls into the hole? Although the property owner was negligent in failing to guard against someone falling into the hole, it would be unfair to require the property owner to compensate the trespasser for his injury. Therefore, the law states that a property owner does not have a duty to protect a trespasser from harm. The law uses the concept of duty to limit the situations where a defendant is liable for a plaintiff's injury. Whether a defendant has a duty to protect the plaintiff from harm is a question decided by the court, not the jury.

Over time, courts have developed numerous rules creating and limiting a person's duty to others, and sometimes duties are established or limited by statute. Whether the defendant owes the plaintiff a duty depends upon the relationship between the defendant and the plaintiff. A preexisting relationship can create an affirmative duty to exercise reasonable care to protect another person from harm. For example, an inn has an affirmative duty to protect its guests, a school has a duty to its pupils, a store has a duty to its customers, and a lifeguard has a duty to swimmers.

One always has a duty to refrain from taking actions that endanger the safety of others, but usually one does not have a duty to render aid or prevent harm to a person from an independent cause. A common example of this limitation on duty is the lack of a duty to go to the aid of a person in peril. An expert swimmer with a boat and a rope has no duty to attempt to rescue a person who is drowning although a hired lifeguard would. A physician who witnesses an automobile accident has no duty to offer emergency medical assistance to the accident victims. Sometimes a person can voluntarily assume a duty where it would not otherwise exist.

If the doctor who encounters an automobile accident decides to render aid to the victims, she is under a duty to exercise reasonable care in rendering that aid. As a result, doctors who have stopped along the highway to render medical assistance to accident victims have been sued for negligence. Many states have adopted "good samaritan" statutes to relieve individuals who render emergency assistance from negligence liability. Even if a plaintiff establishes that the defendant had a duty to protect the plaintiff from harm and breached that duty by failing to use reasonable care, the plaintiff must still prove that the defendant's negligence was the proximate cause of her injury. Perhaps no issue in negligence law has caused more confusion than the issue of proximate cause.

The concept of proximate cause limits a defendant's liability for his negligence to consequences reasonably related to the negligent conduct. Although it might seem obvious whether a defendant's negligence has caused injury to the plaintiff, issues of causation are often very difficult. Suppose, for example, that a defendant negligently causes an automobile accident, injuring another driver. The colliding cars also knock down a utility pole, resulting in a power outage. Clearly the defendant's negligence has in fact caused both the accident and power outage. Most people would agree that the negligent defendant should be liable for the other driver's injuries, but should he also be liable to an employee who, due to the failure of her electric alarm clock, arrives late for work and is fired?

This question raises the issue of proximate cause. Actually, the term proximate cause is somewhat misleading because as a legal concept it has little to do with proximity in time or space or causation. Rather, proximate cause is related to fairness and justice, in the sense that at some point it becomes unfair to hold a defendant responsible for the results of his negligence. For example, Mrs. O'Leary's negligent placement of her lantern may have started the Great Chicago Fire, but it would be unjust to hold her responsible for all the damage done by the fire. In determining whether a defendant's negligence is the proximate cause of a plaintiff's injury, most courts focus on the foreseeability of the harm that resulted from the defendant's negligence.

For example, if a driver negligently drives his automobile, it is foreseeable that he might cause an accident with another vehicle, hit a pedestrian, or crash into a storefront. Thus, the driver would be liable for those damages. But suppose the negligent driver collides with a truck carrying dynamite, causing an explosion that injures a person two blocks away. Assuming that the driver had no idea that the truck was carrying dynamite, it is not foreseeable that his negligent driving could injure a person two blocks away. Therefore the driver would not be liable for that person's injury under this approach. When applying this approach, courts frequently instruct juries to consider whether the harm or injury was the "natural or probable" consequence of the defendant's negligence.

A minority of courts hold the view that the defendant's negligence is the proximate cause of the plaintiff's injury if the injury is the "direct result" of the negligence. Usually a plaintiff's injury is considered to be the direct result of the defendant's negligence if it follows an unbroken, natural sequence from the defendant's act and no intervening, external force acts to cause the injury. Sometimes a plaintiff's injury results from more than one cause. For instance, suppose a defendant negligently injures a pedestrian in an automobile accident. An emergency room doctor negligently treats the plaintiff, aggravating her injury. The doctor's negligence is an "intervening cause" of the plaintiff's injury.

A cause of injury is an Intervening Cause only if it occurs sub-sequent to the defendant's negligent conduct. Just because an intervening cause exists, however, does not mean that the defendant's negligent conduct is not the proximate cause of the plaintiff's injury. The defendant remains liable if he should have foreseen the intervening cause and taken it into account in his conduct. If a defendant negligently spills a large quantity of gasoline and doesn't clean it up, he will not be relieved of liability for a resulting fire merely because another person causes the gasoline to ignite, because it is foreseeable that the gasoline might be accidentally ignited. Also, it is foreseeable that a sudden gust of wind might cause the fire to spread quickly.

Even if an intervening cause is foreseeable, however, in some situations the defendant will still be excused from liability. If the intervening cause is the intentional or criminal conduct of a third person, the defendant is not liable for this person's negligent conduct. In the example where the defendant spilled gasoline and did not clean it up, he is not responsible for the resulting fire if someone intentionally ignites the gas. Also, sometimes a third person will discover the danger that the defendant created by his negligence under circumstances where the third person has some duty to act.

If the third person fails to act, the defendant is not liable. In the gasoline example, suppose the defendant, a customer at a gas station, negligently spills a large quantity of gas near the pumps. The owner of the gas station sees the spilled gasoline but does nothing. The owner of the gas station, not the defendant, would be liable if another customer accidentally ignites the gasoline. Sometimes, however, a completely unforeseeable event or result occurs after a defendant's negligence, resulting in harm to the plaintiff. An abnormal, unpredictable, or highly improbable event that occurs after the defendant's negligence is known as a "superseding cause" and relieves the defendant of liability.

For example, suppose a defendant negligently blocks a road causing the plaintiff to make a detour in her automobile. While on the detour, an airplane hits the plaintiff's car, killing the plaintiff. The airplane was completely unforeseeable to the defendant, and thus he cannot be held liable for the plaintiff's death. The airplane was a superseding cause of the plaintiff's death. Even great jurists have had difficulty articulating exactly what constitutes proximate cause. Although the law provides tests such as "foreseeability" and "natural, direct consequences," ultimately the issue of proximate cause is decided by people's sense of right and wrong.

In the example where the defendant spills gasoline and does not clean it up, most people would agree that the defendant should be liable if a careless smoker accidentally ignites the gasoline, even if they could not articulate that the smoker was a foreseeable, intervening cause of the fire. Even if a plaintiff has established that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff, breached that duty, and proximately caused the defendant's injury, the defendant can still raise defenses that reduce or eliminate his liability. These defenses include contributory negligence, comparative negligence, and Assumption of Risk. Contributory Negligence Frequently, more than one person has acted negligently to create an injury.

Under the common-law rule of contributory negligence, a plaintiff whose own negligence was a contributing cause of her injury was barred from recovering from a negligent defendant. For example, a driver negligently enters an intersection in the path of an oncoming car, resulting in a collision. The other driver was driving at an excessive speed and might have avoided the collision if she had been driving more slowly. Thus, both drivers' negligence contributed to the accident. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence, neither driver would be able to recover from the other, due to her own negligence in causing the accident.

The doctrine of contributory negligence seeks to keep a plaintiff from recovering from the defendant where the plaintiff is also at fault. However, this doctrine often leads to unfair results. For example, even if a defendant's negligence is the overwhelming cause of the plaintiff's injury, even slight negligence on the part of the plaintiff completely bars his recovery. Also, the negligence of many defendants such as corporations, manufacturers, and landowners creates no corresponding risk of injury to themselves. In such cases the doctrine of contributory negligence, which can completely eliminate the liability for their negligence, reduces their incentive to act safely. As a result, courts and statutes have considerably weakened the doctrine of contributory negligence.

Comparative Negligence Most states, either by court decision or statute, have now adopted some form of comparative negligence in place of pure, contributory negligence. Under comparative negligence, or comparative fault as it is sometimes known, a plaintiff's negligence is not a complete bar to her recovery. Instead the plaintiff's damages are reduced by whatever percentage her own fault contributed to the injury. This requires the jury to determine, by percentage, the fault of the plaintiff and defendant in causing the plaintiff's injury.

The jury determines that the plaintiff was 25 percent responsible for the accident and that the defendant was 75 percent responsible. Most states have adopted the "50 percent rule" of comparative negligence. Under this rule the plaintiff cannot recover any damages if her negligence was as great as, or greater than, the negligence of the defendant. This rule partially retains the doctrine of contributory negligence, reflecting the view that a plaintiff who is largely responsible for her own injury is unworthy of compensation.

A minority of states have adopted "pure comparative fault. Assumption of Risk Under the assumption of risk defense, a defendant can avoid liability for his negligence by establishing that the plaintiff voluntarily consented to encounter a known danger created by the defendant's negligence. Assumption of risk may be express or implied.

Under express assumption of risk, persons agree in advance that one person consents to assume the risk of the other's negligence. For example, a skier who purchases a lift ticket at a ski resort usually expressly agrees to assume the risk of any injury that might occur while skiing. Thus, even if the ski resort negligently fails to mark a hazard on a trail resulting in an injury to a skier, the ski resort may invoke the assumption of risk defense in the skier's subsequent lawsuit. Assumption of risk may also be implied from a plaintiff's conduct.

For example, the defendant gives the plaintiff, a painter, a scaffold with a badly frayed rope. The plaintiff, fully aware of the rope's condition, proceeds to use the scaffold and is injured. The defendant can raise the implied assumption of risk defense. This defense is similar to the contributory negligence defense; in the above example, the defendant might also argue that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent for using the scaffold when he knew the rope was frayed. The implied assumption of risk defense has caused a great deal of confusion in the courts because of its similarity to contributory negligence, and with the rise of comparative fault, the defense has diminished in importance and is viable today only in a minority of jurisdictions.

Buswell, Henry F. Littleton, Colo. Cupp, Richard L. Henderson, James A. Buick Motor Co. Fletcher ; Strict Liability. Negligence is accidental as distinguished from "intentional torts" assault or trespass, for example or from crimes, but a crime can also constitute negligence, such as reckless driving. In making a claim for damages based on an allegation of another's negligence, the injured party plaintiff must prove: a that the party alleged to be negligent had a duty to the injured partyspecifically to the one injured or to the general public, b that the defendant's action or failure to act was negligentnot what a reasonably prudent person would have done, c that the damages were caused "proximately caused" by the negligence.

An added factor in the formula for determining negligence is whether the damages were "reasonably foreseeable" at the time of the alleged carelessness. If the injury is caused by something owned or controlled by the supposedly negligent party, but how the accident actually occurred is not known like a ton of bricks falls from a construction job , negligence can be found based on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor Latin for "the thing speaks for itself". Furthermore, in six states and the District of Columbia, an injured party will be denied any judgment payment if found to have been guilty of even slight "contributory negligence" in the accident.

This archaic and unfair rule has been replaced by "comparative negligence" in the other 44 states, in which the negligence of the claimant is balanced with the percentage of blame placed on the other party or parties "joint tortfeasors" causing the accident. In automobile accident cases in sixteen states the head of the household is held liable for damages caused by any member of the family using the car under what is called the "family purpose" doctrine. Six states California, New York, Michigan, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island make the owner of the vehicle responsible for all damages whether or not the negligent driver has assets or insurance to pay a judgment.

Eight states Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia impose similar liability on the owner, but allow the owner to rebut a presumption that the driver was authorized to use the car. Negligence is one of the greatest sources of civil litigation along with contract and business disputes in the United States. See: contributory negligence , comparative negligence , damages , negligence per se , gross negligence , joint tortfeasors , tortfeasor , tort , liability , res ipsa loquitur. The search for proximity or a suitable relationship between the parties is aided by the notion of reasonable foreseeability of harm of the kind that occurs. Negligence in the non-technical sense may well trigger liability under a statute that demands a certain degree of care to be taken.

Exceptionally, negligence may constitute a crime in certain circumstances - most notably gross negligence manslaughter which requires that there was a duty of care owned by the accused to the deceased, that there was a breach of the duty of care by the accused, that the death of the deceased was caused by breach of the duty of care by the accused and that the breach of the duty of care by the accused was so great as to be characterized as gross negligence and therefore a crime.

Some statutes may criminalize negligence, most notably the Road Traffic Acts, which have made careless driving a criminal offence. When considered in relation, to contracts, negligence may be divided into various degrees, namely, ordinary, less than ordinary, more than ordinary. Ordinary negligence is the want of ordinary diligence; slight or less than ordinary negligence, is, the want of great diligence; and gross or more than ordinary negligence, is the want of slight diligence. Three great principles of responsibility, seem naturally to follow this division. In those contracts which are made for the sole benefit of the creditor, the debtor is responsible only for gross negligence, good faith alone being required of him; as in tile case of a depositary, who is a bailee without reward; Story, Bailm.

The first, in relation to the contract of a mandate, and the second, to the quasi contract negotiorum gestorum; in these cases, he says, the party undertaking to perform these engagements, is bound to use necessary care. Observation Generale, printed at the end of the Traite des Obligations. In those contracts which are for the reciprocal benefit of both parties, such as those of sale, of hiring, of pledge, and the like, the party is bound to take, for the object of the contract, that care which a prudent man ordinarily takes of his affairs, and he will therefore be held responsible for ordinary neglect.

Jones' Bailment, 10, ; 2 Lord Raym. In those contracts made for the sole interest of the party who has received, and is to return the thing which is the object of the contract, such, for example, as loan for use, or commodatum, the slightest negligence will make him responsible. Jones' Bailm. In general, a party who has caused an injury or loss to another in consequence of his negligence, is responsible for all the consequence. An example of this kind may be found in the case of a person who drives his carriage during a dark night on the wrong side of the road, by which he commits an injury to another.

Vide Gale and Whatley on Easements, Index, h. Whether the incautious conduct of the plaintiff will excuse the negligence of the defendant, see 1 Q. When the law imposes a duty on an officer, whether it be by common law or statute, and he neglects to perform it, he may be indicted for such neglect; 1 Salk.

Determining whether a state has "clearly Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. a policy of displacing competition requires an objective assessment of the The Problem With Power In Macbeth statutes and regulations. Therefore, Moses Maimonides Religion driver of a car hit by a train at an unobstructed railroad Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. cannot claim that she was David Wiesners Immaginative Literature negligent because Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. did not see or hear the train, because a reasonable person Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. have seen Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. heard the train. Usually a Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. injury is considered to be the direct result of the defendant's negligence Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. it follows an unbroken, natural sequence from the defendant's act and no intervening, external force acts to cause the injury. Today negligence is by far the widest-ranging Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V., encompassing virtually all unintentional, wrongful conduct that injures Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. Fast Food Is Bad of Advisory Committee on Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. Amendment Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. terminology is front of class Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. accord with the amendment of Rule Copyright The Gale Group, Inc. Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. example, an inn has Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. affirmative duty to protect its guests, a school Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. a duty to its Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V., a store has a duty to its customers, and a Legal Case Summary: Plaintiff V. has a duty to swimmers.

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