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CASE BRIEF: Thorns Case Chapter 2: Strict Liability and Negligence: Historic and Analytic Foundations Page: 102 NAME:
The Thorns Case (Hull v. Orange) Y.B. Mich. 6 Ed. 4, f. 7, pl. 18 (1466)
D was sued for trespassing on the plaintiff's land in order to retrieve the branches of a hedge of thorns that had fallen while the defendant was cutting the hedge
Judgment for P (strict liability)
REASONING:Court held that the D was liable simply by the virtue of having trespassed no matter the reason. However, there was room left that suggested if the P had done everything in his power to prevent the branches from falling on D's land, the result may have been otherwise.
CASE BRIEF: Weaver v. Ward
Chapter 2: Strict Liability and Negligence: Historic and Analytic Foundations Page: 108 NAME:
Weaver v. Ward, 80 Eng. Rep. 284 (K.B. 1616)
P and D both in Military and are having a skirmish D shoots P in course of military exercise
Judgment for P
Court rules that D must have been "utterly without fault" as if the P ran across his firing line. Liability for trespass exists except when D could not in anyway have been responsible for the injury (i.e. that is was inevitable).
CASE BRIEF: Scott v. Shepherd Chapter 2: Strict Liability and Negligence: Historic and Analytic Foundations Page: 115 NAME:
Scott v. Shepherd, 96 Eng. Rep. 525 (K.B. 1773)
D threw a lighted squib (fireword) into a marketplace upon which it was subsequently picked up and thrown by others for their own safety until it landed at the P and exploded. P sued D for trespass D argued that P was not directly injured and therefore could not have sued for trespass but should have sued in case.
Judgment for P
REASONING:Court held that the D was liable as the harm was direct and therefore the trespass would lie but in doing so revealed how fragile the trespass and in case system was.
CASE BRIEF: Brown v. Kendall Chapter 2: Strict Liability and Negligence: Historic and Analytic Foundations Page: 123 NAME:
Brown v. Kendall, 60 Mass. 292 (1850)
D and P owned dogs that were fighting Upon trying to break up the dogs, D lifted a stick up over his head to strike the dog and instead, inadvertently struck the P in the eye.
Judgment for P
Does a motion brought for trespass only require direct forceful injury, and that the D exercised extraordinary due care?
Trespass only occurs with intent or negligence Plaintiff has duty to prove intent or negligence rather than D Ordinary or due care only necessary (not extraordinary) P must be without negligence, damage is wholly by the act of D (no contributory negligence)If the act of hitting the plaintiff was unintentional, on the part of the defendant, and done in the doing of a lawful act, then the defendant was not liable, unless it was done in the want of exercise of due care, adapted to the exigency of the case, and therefore such want of due care became part of the P's case, and the burden of proof was on the P to establish it.
DISPOSITION: New trial ordered
CASE BRIEF: Vaughn v. Menlove Chapter 3: The Negligence Issue Page: 171 NAME:
Vaughn v. Menlove, 132 Eng. Rep. 490 (C.P. 1837)
FACTS:??P owned cottages which he rented to two tenants. D was a neighbore to one of the tenants and had placed a hay stack or rick on his own property near the P's two cottages. Rick was made at the boundary of D's property and the hay was in such a state that when put together would give rise as to the discussion of probability of fire. For five weeks, D was warned about the danger but said that he, "would chance it". Hay ignited destroying both D and P's property.
Judgment for P
Did the trial court err in ordering the jury to decide whether or not the D was guilty of gross negligence or if they should have been asked only to rule whether he had acted bona fide to the best of his judgment?
REASONING:?Lawyer for P - The only acceptable standard is the conduct of a man of ordinary prudence, as there would be no other rule that would be open to even greater uncertainties. Lawyer for D - Activity that the D was engaged in (storing of hay) was a legal activity and is therefore subject to no contract. Therefore, D argues that gross negligence ought to be measure by the faculties of the individual and not of other men (a subjective standard). The measure of prudence varies so with varying faculties of men, that it is impossible to say what is gross negligence with reference to the standard of what is called ordinary prudence. Judge Tindal - Rule of law is that you must enjoy your own property in a manner as not to injure that of another. Introduces foreseeability (i.e. unless the accident were occasioned by a sudden blast which he could no foresee). Instead of saying that the liability for negligence should be coextensive with the judgment of each individual, we ought to adhere to the rule which requires in all cases a regard to caution such as a man of ordinary prudence would observe.
DISPOSITION: New trial ordere
CASE BRIEF: Roberts v. Ring Chapter 3: The Negligence Issue Page: 1178 NAME:
Roberts v. Ring, 173 N.W. 437 (Minn. 1919)
FACTS:??P, a boy of 7 years old was struck and injured by D's (ages 77 and with sight and hearing defects) automobile. There was evidence that the boy was riding on the back of the automobile and was acting negligently. D was driving 4 to 5 mph, not a negligent rate of speed. D testified that when he was four to five feet from the boy he spotted the P but was no alert in stopping the car. Jury was posed with questions of negligence of both P and D and were asked to consider the age and physical infirmities of D as they relate to due care.
Judgment for D
Did the D's infirmities relieve him of the charge of negligence
D's infirmities did not tend to relieve him of the charge of negligence. On the contrary, they weighed against him. D should have taken even greater care in driving or not drive at all since he knew of his disabilities. The boy was no held to have contributory negligence because he was held to the standard of a boy and not of a mature man.
CASE BRIEF: Daniels v. Evans Chapter 3: The Negligence Issue Page: 180 NAME:
Daniels v. Evans 224 W.2d 63 (N.H. 1966)
FACTS:P, a 19 year old youth was killed when his motorcycle collided with the D's automobile.
Judgment for P
Should the standard of care applied to minors in such cases should prevail when the minor is engaged in activities normally undertaken by adults.
In the past, when the standard of care for minor's was used they were usually engaged in innocuous activities such as riding a bike, playing with toys, or throwing balls. To give legal sanction to the operation of automobiles by teenagers with less than ordinary care for the safety of others is impractical. A person observing children play may anticipate conduct that dos not reach an adult standard of care of prudence. However, one cannot know whether the operator of an approaching automobile is a minor or an adult and usually cannot protect himself against youthful imprudence even if warned. Holding is that a minor operating a motorcycle vehicle, whether an automobile or motorcycle, must be judged by the same standard of care as an adult and the defendant's objection to the Trial Court's charge applying a different standard to the conduct of plaintiff's intestate was invalid.
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