Legal Environment

Case#1

The case of Estrada v. Aeronaves de Mexico fell under the law of tort where the air traffic controllers were negligent in their work causing death and emotional distress. Estrada is the plaintiff who seeks $500,000 compensation from the U.S. government for emotional distress although she has received $5.5 million for the accidental deaths of her family members (Estrada v. Aeronaves de Mexico, 1992). It is debatable whether Estrada rightly deserved the compensation against the U.S. government for the negligence that caused the deaths of her family members. Although the Aeronaves de Mexico compensated her for their negligence, the second claim of $500,000 raises a number of legal issues (Beatty & Samuelson, 2013).

Emotional distress is mental anguish that a person suffers from having witnessed a horrible event that has affected them or their close relative. The fact that the claimant was not in the immediate danger weakens her lawsuit: Estrada sued the U.S. government for emotional distress, yet she was unable to show how the emotional distress affected her physically. For that reason, her case is weak and the judge may rule in favor of the defendant. Another factor that weakens the plaintiff’s claim is that she is unable to prove her emotional distress medically significant, primarily because she has not been present at the scene of the accident. Accordingly, the defendant could argue that the plaintiff did not witness the accident and, consequently, could not claim compensation for emotional distress. Besides, the plaintiff has to present the proof of injury to substantiate her claim (Beatty & Samuelson, 2013).

The judge will dismiss the case because it does not meet the requirements for compensation based on the underlying circumstances. Fundamentally, the judgment is likely to favor the defendant because the plaintff has not witnessed the crash, has not suffered any physical injury, and has been absent from the place of the incident. Consequently, the circumstances do not merit the compensation for emotional distress (Beatty & Samuelson, 2013).

Case#2

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Taylor v. Carter (1968) is a case of tort of negligence that led to unintentional injuries to the plaintiff. If Taylor sues Carter for negligence, Taylor should prevail because Carter has been strictly liable for the use and parking of a motor vehicle. Having failed to put on the emergency brake, Carter attracted a lawsuit of negligence because her actions led to property damage. Although the inflicted damage was unintentional, there was the factor of foreseeable risk, which may strengthen Taylor’s case against Carter. Despite the fact that Taylor has seen the moving car, she has a strong case because Carter’s negligence makes her accountable for hitting any driver who might have been at the scene. It was Carter’s responsibility to ensure that her car was not hazardous to potential drivers on the road (Beatty & Samuelson, 2013).

As much as Carter’s negligence attracts a strong lawsuit of strict liability against her, she may use the duty of care for the legal basis of defense. Thus, Taylor had the duty of care as a driver to check for any danger around. The fact that Taylor saw the car from a distance of 125 feet absolves the defendant of the duty of care. Although the initial negligence was on the part of the defendant, Taylor neglected imminent danger, thus harming himself in the process. The defendant can argue that this was the case of intentional injury and harm caused to oneself by neglecting the foreseeable danger. If Carter loses and appeals to the higher court, the higher court will hold the common law by taking precedence that lower courts should have in similar cases. Howevver, the higher court should consider the product liability and the tort of negligence of both parties when deciding the matter (Beatty & Samuelson, 2013).

Case#3

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The case of Knight v. Jewett involved an unintentional injury to the plaintiff (Knight v. Jewett, 1992). The appeals court ought to consider the matter as an act of negligence on the part of both parties since they did not enter into a contract when playing a friendly football game. Since both parties recognized the foreseeable danger in playing the game, the appeal courts ought to dismiss the matter on the grounds of unintentional injury. Although the plaintiff may argue that she warned the defendant of the possible danger, there is no evidence to suggest that the defendant caused intentional harm to the plaintiff (Beatty & Samuelson, 2013).

The legal doctrine that would suffice in the case is insufficient legal reasoning to prosecute. Although the legal basis for Knight’s claim is that the defendant intentionally has caused her bodily injury, her evidence is weak because there are no legal frameworks for prosecuting the case. In fact, the case lacks a legal framework because the two parties have been involved in a friendly game and the defendant is not criminally culpable for the amputation of the plaintiff’s finger. Accordingly, the legal basis for Jewett’s defense is that both parties have been involved in an informal game and it is not clear whether the defendant caused harm or the plaintiff inflicted the damage to herself. According to the law of tort, both the plaintiff and the defendant have committed civil wrongs rendering the case weak. The law of tort applies when one party either intentionally or unintentionally causes injury to the other. Consequently, the court ought to dismiss the case as it has no legal merit (Beatty & Samuelson, 2013).

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