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Currie v. Chevron USA, Inc.
Transcript of Currie v. Chevron USA, Inc.
A tort rule for allocating damages when both parties are at least somewhat at fault. In a situation where both the plaintiff and the defendant were negligent, the jury allocates fault, usually as a percentage (for example, a jury might find that the plaintiff was 30% at fault and the defendant was 70% at fault). Then each pays their share of the other's damages
Judgment as a matter of law:
A judgment entered during a jury trial, either before or after verdict. The court may enter this judgment after finding that no reasonable jury could reach a different conclusion (i.e., whatever evidence exists for the opposite conclusion is legally insufficient).
Currie v. Chevron USA, Inc.
May 25th, 2003:
Nodiana Antoine and Anjail Muhammad began arguing in a vehicle across the street from a Chevron gas station.
Things get physical.
Witness Pamela Robinson arrives
Jyotika Shukla was the attendant
Robinson and Shukla talk.
Antoine is soaked with gasoline.
Antoine gets set on fire.
Trayce Currie files wrongful death lawsuit.
Elements of Negligence:
-Did Chevron owe a duty to protect Antoine?
2. Breach of duty
-Did they breach that duty?
-Actual or proximate cause?
-How much should Currie receive?
A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act (http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/negligence)
A legal doctrine, most commonly used in tort, that holds an employer or principal legally responsible for the wrongful acts of an employee or agent, if such acts occur within the scope of the employment or agency.
Issues with this case:
-Was the outcome foreseeable?
(That Antoine would be set on fire.)
-Was the district court wrong for denying Chevron's motion? (Judgment as a matter of law)
Federal District Court:
- Wrongful death lawsuit.
- Jury voted in favor of Currie and Chevron was to pay $3,500,000.
- Chevron ended up paying only $2,625,000; a 25% reduction due to comparative negligence.
- Chevron moved for judgment as a matter of law or a new trial. Denied.
- Chevron appeals to Eleventh Circuit.
- Judgment in favor of Currie affirmed.