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BUGusa, Inc. Scenarios 3-5

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Jason Cook

on 12 December 2013

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Transcript of BUGusa, Inc. Scenarios 3-5

Brian and Randy had a traffic collision.
Brian was driving a BUGusa company vehicle. He was allegedly speeding
Randy failed to yield the right of way on a left turn when he was struck by Brian's vehicle.
BUGusa Inc. is assumed tortfeasor, with Randy seeking damages.
BUGusa, Inc. Scenarios 4-6
Scenario 4
BUGusa, Inc. Plant Parking Lot
Scenario 5
Scenario: BUGusa, Inc. (Randy and Brian)
What defenses may be available to BUGusa, Inc.?

BUGusa Inc.'s Potential Defenses
Comparative Negligence
Summary of Negligence Analysis
Foreseeability - Could the tortfeasor have known the injured parties' danger?
Superseding Cause - Were injured parties delayed due to mitigating circumstances? (Car trouble, traffic, etc.)
Proximate Cause
Scenario B
Brian (Driver for BUGusa, Inc)
Crime wave in Shady Town
Employees have been robbed in the parking lot
Vendor was robbed while waiting to make a delivery
Parking lot and loading dock are well, lit, but some lights have burnt out.
Is BUGusa Inc. liable due to negligence?
Scenario A - continued
Cause in fact:
Brian would have been free to go through the intersection avoiding this collision if Randy's car was not in the way.
Actual Damages:

Two vehicle collision damage
Possible mental anguish after accident
Physical Harm
Impact damage could range from bruises to death.
BUGusa is tortfeaseor:
BUGusa has a duty to provide a mechanically sound vehicle.
BUGusa is not responsible for operation of vehicle. Brian is.
Most fleet organizations have a clause in the agreement that makes the driver solely responsible for operation.
Companies typically provide safe driver reporting options.
Comparative Negligence:
A defense to claims of negligence where the injured party's conduct has played a factor in the harm suffered and, thus, the proportion of the negligence should be divided." (Definition source from our course textbook page 223)
Randy failed to yield, but Brian was speeding.
Why tort category Negligence?
Category: Negligence
Reasoning: Breaking the speed law
Brian still had the right of way, regardless of speeding and the defense outcome would still be
Comparative Negligence.

Randy's failed to yield unintentionally
causing the accident. (From the information given)
If he were to ram Brian's van
or stop in the intersection blocking Brian, then this would be legitimate.
Strict Liability:
Failure to yield does not fall under strict liability. If the person were to yield, the left turn is legal.
If the sign stated "No left turn" and Randy turned and caused the accident. This category would be more appropriate.
The tort category that fit best for the scenario 5 question was negligence. The reasoning behind this is that Randy did fail to give the right of way to Brian. The argument would be if Brian was not speeding, could the accident have been avoided?
So in summary the best fit defense for this tort category would be comparative negligence for either party whether it is scenario A or scenario B. Each party had a part in the accident.
Comparative Negligence / Assumption of Risk
Deliveries made at night. Could deliveries have been made during the day?
Vendor showed up during lunch, chose to stay and wait.
Cause in Fact
Would the robberies have been avoided but for the burnt out lights in the parking lot?
Duty of Care
Scenario 6 -Sally DoGood, Shady Town Police Officer
Summary of Scenario
Police monitoring crime boss using older model wiretap made by BUGusa, Inc.
Equipment short-circuited and injured Sally
Older models did not have insulator to prevent shorting. Was not included in the original design because of its effect on production costs.
Newer models now have insulators
Legal Questions ?

What tort(s) can Sally level against BUGusa, Inc?

Answer: Product Liability

Definition - Liability of a product that, because of a defect, causes harm to a consumer (Melvin, 2011, p.226)

Sally (injured party) may pursue legal remedy against BUGusa, Inc (seller) under one of three theories: (1) negligence, (2) warranty, or (3) strict liability

In order to recover for an injury caused by a Bugusa wiretap, it must have been defective & have created a danger that is outside of reasonable consumer's expectation.

This is a classic design & manufacturing defect case.

Courts have found manufacturers have a duty of care regarding proper design, manufacturing, testing, inspection, and shipping.

Bugusa, Inc. has a duty to warn consumers of any product they know or suspect to be unreasonably dangerous!

Thank you for actively participating!
Audience Participation
What are the three basic categories of torts?
Strict Liability
Was product defective - Design defect. Manufacturer clearly recognized a hazard, as later models include an insulator
Causation of damages - Sally must show that the defective product was the cause of injury
Cause in Fact
Would the collision have been avoided but for Brian's breach of duty by speeding?
No. Randy's failure to yield would have led to a collision regardless. Randy is at fault.
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