new york accident lawyer

Document Sample
new york accident lawyer Powered By Docstoc
					         Agenda for 8th Class

• Common Law cases (continued)
• MacPherson




                                 1
      Assignment for Next Class
• ##97-100 (can skim 98)
• Question to think about
  – What did you find true or helpful?
  – What did you find problematic or false?
  – What did you find confusing?
• Writing Assignment for Group 4
  – Note group change
  – “Questions to think” about above


                                              2
            Review of Common Law
• In deciding common law case, it is necessary to interpret prior
  common law cases
• In interpreting prior common law case, courts do not blindly
  follow prior case’s statement of its own holding
   – No one is a textualist when it comes to the common law
• Courts look to facts in prior case
   – Facts may help interpret ambiguous parts of holding statement
       • E.g. Facts in Burkett suggest that “inherently dangerous” means dangerous
         even if properly made
   – Holding can be narrowed so more closely fits facts
       • E.g. Case about food whose holding statement was about “any product”
         could be narrowly interpreted to apply only to food
• Courts look to reasoning supporting holding
   – Holding statement may be restricted to “food, medicine, and beverages,”
     but rationale – to protect public from injury and give incentives to
     manufacturers to take care – plausibly supports extension to all products
     (or all products which consumer has not opportunity to inspect)
   – Nearly everyone agrees that common law must be interpreted in light of
     broader principles (fairness, efficiency, etc.)                      3
         Common Law Questions
• P. 167. 1. The court holds in Crigger that, in cases
  falling under the exception to the privity of contract
  rule, the manufacturer’s liability to the ultimate
  consumer is based on negligence. Is that holding
  required by the prior precedents? Permitted by the
  prior precedents?
• P. 167. 2. If you were the defendant in Crigger,
  could you plausibly distinguish Boyd on the ground
  that the rule in the latter case concerned only cigar
  stubs, not mice? If you were the defendant bottler of
  ginger ale in a case subsequent to both Boyd and
  Crigger, could you plausibly distinguish both cases on
  the ground that they were about Coca Cola, not ginger  4
             Common Law Questions
• P. 169.        1. Why does Liggett and Myers Tobacco not require the
  opposite result in R. J. Reynolds Tobacco? (1) Because the former case
  was about a different tobacco company? (2) Because in the former case the
  foreign object was a bug, while in the latter case it was a toe? (3) Because
  the former case was decided by a court in a different jurisdiction? (4)
  Because the court in the latter case thought that what the court said in the
  former case was stupid? (5) Because imposing liability on the tobacco
  company was the result most consistent with the greater weight of
  precedent?
• P. 170.        2. The R. J. Reynolds court says: “The fact that the courts
  have at this time made only the exceptions mentioned to the general rule
  does not prevent a step forward for the health and life of the public. The
  principles announced in the cases which recognize the exceptions, in our
  opinion, apply, with equal force, to this case.” If prior cases have held that a
  general rule has three exceptions, does it violate the notion of precedent to
  establish that there exists a fourth exception? What justifies a common law
  court in taking “a step forward for the health and life of the public”? If “the
  principles announced in the cases” require the new exception, to what extent  5
  has there really been a “step forward”?
        MacPherson Questions I
• 1) Is the majority opinion faithful to the
  precedents it cites? Why or why not?
• 2) Is the opinion good policy? Why or why not?
  In answering this question, consider the
  following:
  – A) What incentives what manufacturers have to
    produce safe products if they were not liable for
    defective products?
  – B) Most consumers have health insurance and
    disability insurance.
  – C) For every dollar that tort victims receive, roughly
    one dollar is paid to lawyers (both the plaintiff’s and
    the defendant’s) in legal fees
                                                         6
        MacPherson Questions II
  3) Suppose you were convinced that retroactive application of the rule in
MacPherson v Buick was unfair, would the rule in MacPherson v Buick apply
in the following situations:
      a) a similar case appealed to the New York Court of Appeals the day
after MacPherson was decided?
      b) a similar case filed in a New York trial court the day after
MacPherson was decided?
      c) a similar case involving an accident which occurred the day after
MacPherson was decided?
      d) a similar case involving a vehicle sold the day after MacPherson was
decided?
      e) a similar case involving a vehicle assembled the day after
MacPherson was decided?
      f) a similar case involving a wheel manufactured the day after
MacPherson was decided?
       g) a similar case involving an automobile company incorporated the
day after MacPherson was decided?
      Consider reasons for and against each of these alternatives.

                                                                        7
       MacPherson Questions III
• 4) Suppose you were convinced that retroactive
  application of the rule in MacPherson v Buick
  was unfair, would the rule be applied in
  MacPherson v. Buick itself? If not, would the
  plaintiff have brought the case? If the plaintiff
  would not have brought the case, how would
  the rule regarding privity of contract ever
  change?


                                                8
           MacPherson Questions IV
• 5) Testimony at trial in MacPherson v. Buick showed the following facts.
  The wheel manufacturer had stringent quality controls, inspected each
  wheel, and had never before produced a defective wheel. In order to
  prevent the spokes from drying out, the wheels were painted by the wheel
  manufacturer. The paint, however, made it impossible for Buick to inspect
  the wheels before using them in its cars. The car at issue in the case had
  been driven with heavy loads for over a year without problem. When the
  accident occurred, the car was going 30 miles per hour, hit a patch of loose
  gravel, hit a telephone pole, and fell into a ditch. The collision with the
  telephone and the impact of the car falling into the ditch were the most
  probable causes of the broken wheel spokes. The jury heard this evidence,
  but disregarded it, instead finding that the accident was caused by the
  defective wheel. The defendant did not appeal the jury’s factual findings, but
  rather based its appeal on the broader legal principle of privity of contract
  and the scope of exceptions to privity.
•         a) Why do you think the defendant did not appeal the factual
  findings?
•         b) Did Cardozo act unethically in deciding MacPherson v. Buick
  based on facts that were probably false?
•         c) Does the erroneous nature of the facts recited in Cardozo’s
  opinion affect its value as precedent?                                      9

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:0
posted:6/20/2012
language:
pages:9