3 US Tort Law Problem Questions
3 Tort Law Problem Based Questions. Requires identification of legal tort issues, statement of relevant US Tort Law to those tort issues and application of that law. Maximum of 733 words per question. Citations not required but the law stated must be correct USA tort law.
1. Peter and his girlfriend Matilda were walking through the park one evening with Matilda’s
friend Sara, when a large man approached them and began to harass Matilda and Sara. Peter
told the man to stop, but the man just continued. When the man grabbed Matilda, Peter could
no longer control himself. Peter yelled at the man, “let her go.” The man let go of Matilda,
smiled, said “What are you going to do now little man,” and took a step toward Peter.
Although Peter had never hit a person in his life, he took a wild swing at the man.
Unfortunately, he completely missed, swung around sideways and struck Matilda in the face,
breaking her nose and jaw. Sara, seeing the blood passed out and hit her head on the
sidewalk. Discuss Peter’s possible liability.
2. A local store has been subject to a rash of shoplifting. To try and deter the shoplifters, the
manager often stands at the exit and asks customer, “are you leaving with anything you did
not pay for?” Most just look insulted, and say “of course not.”
Donna, who had purchased several items, was stopped by the manager and asked this
question. Because Donna is unusually shy, she became flustered and the manger placed his
hand on her shoulder and said “please come with me to my office.” They walked through the
store and went to his office where he told her to sit down and not leave. He said he would be
right back with the police. He closed but did not lock the door.
The manager did not call the police. Instead, he stood behind a one-way mirror and
watched Donna to see if she acted suspicious or removed any items from her bag. Donna did
not act suspicious, but she did approach the mirror, where she put on make-up, unbuttoned
her blouse and adjusted her bra. She then sat down and waited.
The manager decided Donna had not taken anything unlawfully, opened the door and
told her he was sorry, but he was just trying to be careful.
What claims might Donna have against the store? Discuss.
3. Professor Steven George is one of the least popular teachers at St John’s Law School. He
is brilliant, but the students do not like him because he grades very hard and gives much
homework. Unknown to the students, Professor George also is an actor at a local theater.
One day, Professor George and one of his students, Carey Smith, who also acts for the
theater, were rehearsing a play in his office. They had closed the door and were talking
softly. Susan Black, a law student to whom Professor George had just given a bad grade, was
walking past the office when she heard whispers. She could not make out what they were
saying, so she went into the office next door and put her ear next to the vent. She then heard
the following conversation:
Him: What do you mean you won’t pay?
Her: I won’t pay because the weed you sold me sucks. You said it was the best, “black
gold,” but it is pure crap.
Him: That was good stuff and a deal is a deal. If you don’t pay, you may not walk
out of here in one piece.
At that point, Susan ran down the hall to tell her friends what she heard. First, she ran into
Bob and told him everything. Bob a good friend of Carey, raced down to George’s office to
protect her. Bob broke through the door and hit George in the face, telling Carey to “run.”
Meanwhile, Susan ran into Tom and told him “Professor George is selling pot. I heard it
with my own two ears. I think Casey Smith was in his office buying some.” Tom then texted
his friend Bob, “Unbelievable, just heard George sells drugs. Casey is a pothead.” Almost
immediately, everyone in the school had heard about Professor George and Casey, including
the Dean of the Law School.
After Bob broke into Professor George’s office, Carey and Professor George explained
the situation to Bob, who said he was sorry and would clear things up, which he did over the
next few days. Ultimately, everyone heard what really happened, and Professor George went
back to teaching and acting. But Professor George is still upset that everyone believed he
could be a drug dealer, and has a broken jaw. Casey also is not feeling great after the whole
school believed she was buying drugs. Do Professor George or Casey have a cause of action
in tort against anyone? Discuss