Synopsis of Tort Cases Paper
Write a 350-word synopsis for each scenario in which you answer the following statements:
- What tort actions do you see
- The identity of potential plaintiffs
- The identity of potential defendants and why you see each one as a defendant
- The elements of the tort claim that constitute the plaintiff’s claim
- Any defenses you think defendants might assert
- How you think the claim will be resolved, stating legal reasons for your answer
Scenario 1: Daniel and his son Ruben, age 8, go to a football game. The quarterback drops back to throw a pass, and is hit by an opposing player, breaking the quarterback’s arm, and sending the ball into the stands, injuring a fan. The referee calls this an incomplete pass, which upsets Malik, a fan seated next to Ruben. Malik jumps up to yell at the referee, spilling his cold beer on Ruben. Daniel is upset to see Ruben’s enjoyment spoiled this way, and shoves Malik. As Malik falls, he grabs onto the railing, which gives way under his weight. Malik’s face hits the aisle steps, knocking out two of his front teeth. An usher takes Malik to the first aid station.
On their way out, Daniel stops at the concession stand to buy two diet soft drinks. A lady standing in line at the concession stand smells the beer on Ruben, and she starts yelling at Daniel, accusing him of giving beer to a child. She makes a huge scene, and several customers cast disgusted glances toward Daniel. One of them is Daniel’s boss, who tells him he does not want anyone working for him who would give alcohol to a child, and that Daniel is fired. Meanwhile, the concession worker gets distracted by the scene in front of him, and accidentally gives Daniel two regular, sugary soft drinks instead of diet drinks. Daniel and Ruben drink the soft drinks as they exit the stadium.
Just as Daniel and Ruben arrive at their car, Malik and his wife appear behind them. Malik is pointing a gun at Daniel. The gun is not loaded, but he wants to scare Daniel. Unfortunately, Daniel has a concealed weapon and, believing himself threatened, shoots Malik. Malik’s wife starts screaming and phones for an ambulance and the police. Before the police and ambulance arrive, Daniel slips into a diabetic coma.
Scenario 2: Anna orders a meal in an Italian restaurant. After her food is served, she takes a bite and cries out in pain. She has bitten down on a piece of glass. Upon hearing Anna’s cry, another waiter who is pouring wine at a nearby table spins around and bumps into Anna’s waiter, who is carrying a flaming dish. The flaming dish tilts onto Anna’s waiter, and his apron catches fire. He rips it off and casts it aside, where it ignites another tablecloth. People start screaming and run for the door, but because it is a revolving door, only one or two people can leave at a time. An old lady is trampled by the crowd and is seriously injured. Several other patrons suffer smoke inhalation and burns, but finally, everyone is out.
When the ambulances and fire engines arrive, Anna is among those transported to the emergency room. Her mouth is bleeding profusely, and she is becoming weak. The emergency room doctor tells Anna that immediate surgery will be necessary to stop the bleeding and save her tooth. She is immediately prepped for surgery. While she is unconscious, the surgeon mistakes her for another patient and amputates her right leg.
Scenario 3: Franco is an agent for SureCo, Inc., an independent insurance agency that offers policies from several insurance companies. With the economy in crisis, SureCo is experiencing hard times. The boss tells the agents that if they do not start selling insurance policies, the agency is going to shut down and everyone will be out of a job. Franco needs this job badly, and starts calling his customers to see if he can sell some policies. He calls Raul, and tells Raul that if he increases his coverage at present rates, Franco will guarantee that the premiums will never go up. He tells other customers the same thing, and many take advantage of the offer to increase their coverage and lock in at the present rates. The commissions start rolling in, and the boss is pleased.
A year later, when customers get bills for policy renewals, they are irate to see that premiums have gone up. The boss finds out for the first time what Franco has done when she is served with a lawsuit filed by a customer. She yells at Franco, and demands that he clear out his desk. She has security escort Franco out of the building in front of the other agents, who are shocked. When asked by the other agents about what happened, the boss tells them Franco was fired for stealing.
Raul decides to get back at the agency, and marches up and down the street in front of the agency with a big sign that says, “SureCo cheats its customers!” The boss cannot let this continue, so she takes a staple gun, goes outside, and fires it in Raul’s direction, hoping to scare him away. Unfortunately, she misses and hits Raul in the eye, causing permanent blindness in that eye.
Scenario 4: Randy is a sales clerk at Buy-Mart, a huge discount store. He works in the hardware and gun department. One day, Lee asks to look at a rifle. Randy unlocks the case and hands Lee the rifle he wanted to see. Lee examines the rifle, and tells Randy he will take the rifle and a box of bullets. Randy puts the bullets on the counter, and turns to ring up the transaction. While Randy is not looking, Lee opens the box, loads the rifle, aims, and shoots a lady who is walking with a man in the next aisle. Upon seeing his wife fall, the man clutches at his chest and has a heart attack.
Lee aims at someone else, but Randy tackles him and knocks him down, spoiling his shot. The bullet ricochets off a metal beam and injures a boy. Randy and Lee struggle until Randy knocks Lee unconscious. The store security guard comes over and, in the heat of anger, kicks the unconscious Lee in the ribs. Randy can hear Lee’s ribs breaking. Randy and the security guard manage to lock Lee in a storage room until the police come. For some reason, the police do not arrive for two hours. Before they get there, Lee comes to and bangs on the door, saying he needs medical attention. The security guard tells Lee, “Be quiet or I will break more of your ribs.” Lee does not get released from the closet until the police arrive to arrest him.