Torts Cases
Intentional Torts
Vosberg v. Putney (1891)
Mohr v. Williams (1905)
child kicks or taps other child in the shin, leads
to extensive damage.
Hudson v. Craft (1949)
defendant diagnosed plaintiff with obstruction in
right ear, during operation discover that left ear
was worse, operated on left ear
boxing match w/minor
McGuire v. Almy (1937)
insane patient, kept at home, struck nurse
Courvoisier v. Raymond (1896)
jewelry store owner shot police officer, thinking
he was a threatening robber
M’Ilvoy v. Cockran (1820)
plaintiff tearing down fence, defendant repelled
him, causing injury
spring gun set to shoot those who entered walled
unoccupied house protected by spring gun which
injured robber
Bird v. Holbrook (1825)
Katko v. Briney (1971)
1. battery is an intentional, unconsented to
touching; 2. damages are all injuries resulting
from wrongful act.
operation on left ear was not consented to and
therefore constituted battery
violation of statute designed to protect the
class, a member of whom was injured, was
enough to constitute aiding and abetting
insane person liable for his torts; intentional in
that defendant intended to strike the plaintiff
no liability for defending yourself if the
situation is such that would lead a reasonable
man to believe that his life was in danger
you may oppose force with force, but not
escalate. defendant used too much force
may not catch a man by means which may
maim him or endanger his life.
may use reasonable force to protect your
property, but not seriously injurious force;
exception for when a violent felony is being
committed or human life is endangered
right of recapture requires posession by the
owner and purely wrongful taking; not taken
against the will of the owner so recapture not
vicarious liability- actions of the servant are as
the actions of the master; necessity will permit
trespass and servant may not resist entry
although no trespass due to necessity, defendant
must still compensate plaintiff for damage done
due to the entry on the land
Kirby v. Foster (1891)
bookkeeper held responsible for missing funds,
handed some money from which he took what
he thought was owed him
Ploof v. Putnam (1908)
Vincent v. Lake Erie
Transportation Co. (1910)
plaintiff’s ship was caught in a storm, tied up at
defendant’s dock, defendant’s servant untied
plaintiff’s ship, causing it to be destroyed
ship tied up at dock caused damage to the dock
during the storm
I. de S. and Wife v. W de S.
Alcorn v. Mitchell (1872)
W. pounded on door with hatchet,
tavernkeeper’s wife sued for assault
appellant spat in the face of the appellee in court
fear of an unconsented to touching is all that is
required for assault.
vindictive damages may be given when tehre is
malice wilfulness, wantonness, outrage, and
plaintiff tried to enter a portion of the public
highway which was barricaded off
elderly man accused of being a shoplifter
must be fully enclosed within some limits
defined by an outside power
the demonstration of physical power which can
only be avoided by submission operates as an
imprisonment, even if no force is exerted;
reasonable grounds for detainment necessary
malicious pranksters told wife that her husband
was in the hospital, seriously injured
Defendant’s act intended to produce some
effect of the type which was produced; degree
did not matter.
False Imprisonment
Bird v. Jones (1845)
Coblyn v. Kennedy’s, Inc.
Emotional Distress
Wilkinson v. Downton (1897)
Strict Liability v. Negligence
The Thorns Case (1466)
defendant cut thorns, some fell on property of
plaintiff, defendant came and took them
The Tithe Case (1506)
plaintiff’s corn was cut, left in field, defendant
Littleton: must compensate those you injure
Choke: falling was not lawful, therefore taking
away was not lawful
by taking the corn, he was agreeing to keep it
came and put it in his barn where it perished
Weaver v. Ward (1616)
defendant and plaintiff were soldiers, defendant
accidentally shot plaintiff during exercises
Scott v. Shepard (1773)
defendant threw a lighted squib into crowded
marketplace, ultimately landed with plaintiff, in
whose face it exploded
Brown v. Kendall (1850)
two dogs fighting, defendant took stick and tried
to seperate them, accidentally struck plaintiff
Fletcher v. Rylands (1865)
Fletcher v. Rylands II (1866)
Rylands v. Fletcher (1868)
Brown v. Collins (1873)
Powell v. Fall (1880)
Stone v. Bolton (1950)
Bolton v. Stone (1951)
Hammontree v. Jenner (1971)
plaintiff owned a stone post, defendant riding
along highway, lost control of horses which
smashed into stone post
defendant running steam engine on highway,
gave off sparks which set fire to plaintiff’s hay
Defendants were playing cricket, ball flew a
really long way and struck plaintiff
same as above
plaintiff driving chevy truck, has seizure,
crashes into bike shop, defendant had had
seizures, before, but not for a while and was on
medication (plaintiffs base reasoning on strict
liabilities for products)
safe; not a good deed- if corn had been left and
destroyed, plaintiff would have had his tort
against the destroyer
defendant committed no negligence, as plaintiff
ran across his piece while it was discharging;
not intentional, so no battery
injury immediate: trespass lies; injury
consequential: case. Method 2: trespass lies for
all unlawful harms. mischief intended by
throwing of squib, therefore liable for all harms
if defendant was exercising due care (ordinary
care), he was not liable for the striking
strict liability standard
principles in Rylands v. Fletcher not extendedinstead, should be negligence standard
when a man brings or uses a thing of dangerous
character on his own land, he must keep it at his
own peril- no distinction for being on public
way, use of machine dangerous, so he should
pay for the expense he causes to public
very small possibility of injury- but still
forseeable that someone could be injured
careful man must not create a substantial risk
and must take reasonable care to avoid injuries.
a careful man would have done nothing in this
case, so no liability
doctrine of strict liability does not apply to
automobile drivers; especially not absolute
liability; instruction was especially wrong
because it did not except those people who had
no reason to anticipate the seizure or illness
The Reasonable Person
Vaughan v. Menlove (1837)
defendant stacked hay such that there was a
good chance that it would spontaneously
Roberts v. Ring (1919)
70 year old man driving at 4 or 5 mph, hits boy
Daniels v. Evans (1966)
plaintiff’s decedent was killed when motorcycle
colided with defendant’s truck
defendant was driving car, experienced
delusions (God pulled her steering wheel to the
left, she thought she could fly because Batman
city workers failed to replace barriers around an
open hole in the sidewalk, blind man came
walking along and fell into hole
Defendant speeding along street, plaintiff pulled
out directly in front of him, defendant swerved
to left to avoid her but plaintiff continued to pull
out into the left lane. plaintiff killed
defendants left uncovered hole in sidewalk,
plaintiff was drunk and fell in.
Breunig v. American Family
Insurance Co. (1970)
Fletcher v. City of Aberdeen
Lyons v. Midnight Sun
Transportation Services (1966)
Robinson v. Pioche, Bayerque
& Co. (1855)
subjective vs. objective standard for reasonable
man: answer is objective standard- ie: caution
which would have been observed by a man of
ordinary prudence
negligence standard makes allowance for
children, but all adults are treated equally.
infirmaties don’t relieve person from
minors must excercise the same standard of
care as adults when engaged in adult activities
up to jury to decide if she had warnings of
delusions- if yes, then negligent, if no, then not
negligent- insanity is a defense under certain
standard of negligence for a disabled plaintiff is
the the level of care engaged in by a reasonable
person with that disability
reasonable person standard applies- repeal of
the Sudden Emergency Doctrine (its
incorporation reasonable care standard).
plaintiff’s conduct not legal cause of accident
plaintiff’s action constituted gross negligenceno contributory negligence defense to gross
Denver & Rio Grande R.R. v.
Peterson (1902)
Calculus of Risk
Blythe v. Birmingham Water
Works (1856)
Eckert v. Long Island R.R.
Cooley v. Public Service Co
United States v. Carroll Towing
Co. (1947)
Andrews v. United Airlines
Titus v. Bradford B. & K. R. Co.
The T.J. Hooper (1931)
does wealth make a difference in determining
wealth is irrelevent- want to make sure that
people take cost effective precautions- not that
rich take more non-cost effective precautions
than poor.
defendants had statutory duty to lay water mains
and fire plugs. fireplugs built according to “the
best known system.” Exceptionally cold winter
caused the fireplugs to freeze, flooding
plaintiff’s houes
child on tracks, plaintiff’s decedent ran to get
him off, saved child but was killed by train
definition of negligence, not negligent in basing
decision on previous history; no duty to
maintain the plugs once laid
defendant power company maintained
uninsulated wires, one fell and struck a phone
line, which created a loud noise, causing
plaintiff to faint and suffer a rare neurosis
defendant moving line of barges, one broke free
and was damaged. no bargee on board (hadn’t
returned to work)
passenger hit by baggage falling from overhead
compartment; airline only provided warning
railway containers with curved bottem; decedent
followed common practice and used wedges
secured with wire to hold them steady
Tugboat lacked radio, lost cargo in a storm
which they would have had warning of if it had
a working radio.
The T.J. Hooper II (1932)
Mayhew v. Sullivan Mining Co
Lama v. Borras (1994)
Canterbury v. Spence (1972)
Statutes and Regulations
Osborne v. McMasters (1889)
Martin v. Herzog (1920)
Brown v. Shyne (1926)
defendant cut a hole in the platform plaintiff was
working on, no precautions taken. plaintiff fell
plaintiff suffering from back pain, defendant
went right ahead with the surgery without
attempting conservative treatment
plaintiff had back pains, doctor operated but
discovered there was little he could do, plaintiff
set to bed rest, allowed to get up unattended,
slipped and fell and permantly injured himself
drug store clerk gave bottle of poison without
labeling it “poison”; statute that poisons must be
plaintiff killed in an auto accident. plaintiff’s
vehicle lacked headlights, violating a statute
plaintiff went to chiropractor, after several
treatments she became paralyzed, chiropractors
not licensed medical practitioners
no contributory negligence on the part of the
deceased- when the exposure to a risk is for the
purpose of saving life, it is not wrongful and
therefore not negligent, unless such as to be
regarded either rash or reckless
reasonable alternative standard- not required to
take a precaution which will create a new
danger to someone else
Learned Hand test- B < PL- in this case, the
cost to the bargee was negligible- no excuse for
his absence. since the burden was low and the
probability of a high injury was high, then ther
eis liability
common carrier and thus owes a duty of utmost
care and vigilence of a very cautious person;
dillignece is only that which is consistent with
the mode of conveyence and practical operation
common practices of the business control;
jurrors shouldn’t set those standards. deceased
also had full knowledge of the risks of his job
Another tugboat line equipped all its boats with
radios. Custom controls and the defendant
should have equipped his boat as well
the practices of one line do not dictate the
general custom. instead, court should drive
custom in cases where “a whole calling may
have unduly lagged in tthe adoption of new and
available devices.” (L. Hand) (positivism)
custom does not allow a gross lack of care,
even though that lack of care is universal
medical custom indicates that conservative
treatment is usually tried first; on other issues
of divergence question was left to jury
doctor negligent in failing to disclose the risk to
plaintiff; could have found that laminectomy
was negligenty performed; duty is of adequate
disclosure- disclosure requires a standard set by
law- also, no technical complexity
violation of statute constitutes negligence per
say if purpose of statute was to prevent that
type of harm
violation of the statute was direct negligence,
but there must still be a causal link between the
violation and the injury.
statute not designed to protect against trained
professionals practicing medicine; for statute to
be evidence of negligence it must be something
Ross v. Harman (1943)
Vesely v. Sager (1971)
Res Ipsa Loquitur
Byrne v. Boadle (1863)
defendant left keys in truck parked outside
garage, truck stolen, theif ran over plaintiff.
statute against leaving keys in car
dram shop owner sued for serving alcohol to
intoxicated man w/knowledge he would drive.
statute against serving alcohol to drunks
plaintiff walking by defendant’s warehouse
when a barrel of flour fell out and hit him.
defendant claims 3rd party was moving it
Comenares Vivas v. Sun
Alliance Insurance Co (1986)
plaintiffs were injured on an elevator owned by
defendant and maintained by 3rd party.
Ybarra v. Spangard (1944)
operation for appendicitis; after operation he had
pain in his arm, later paralysis, resulting from
traumatic sources
Contributory negligence
Butterfield v. Forrester (1809)
Beems v. Chicago, Rock Island
& Peoria R.R. (1882)
Gyerman v. United States Lines
Co. (1972)
defendant obstructed highway, plaintiff coming
along at high speed was injured
RR worker uncoupling cars, signaled engineer to
stop, engineer didn’t stop, RR worker’s foot
caught in ties, died.
plaintiff was stacking fishmeal sacks in an
unsafe pattern, they fell down and injured him;
didn’t report to anyone
LeRoy Fibre Co. V. Chicago,
Milwaukee & St. Paul Ry.
plaintiff stored flax on his land 70 feet from
defendant’s right of way; sparks from train set it
on fire
Derheim v. N. Fiorito Co.
plaintiff not wearing seat belt; defendant argues
contributory negligence in accident
Last Clear Chance
Fuller v. Illinois Central R.R.
Mills v. Armstrong (The
Bernina) (1888)
Assumption of Risk
Lamson v. American Axe &
Tool Co. (1900)
Murphy v. Steeplechase
Amusement Co. (1929)
Obstetrics & Gynecologists Ltd.
v. Pepper (1985)
statute was designed to protect against;
standard of care: qualified chiropractors
purpose of statute was to promote public safety
in the streets, not for protection of vehicle
owner. harm within the risk.
3 step test: violation of statute, violation
proximately casued injury, injury resulted from
occurance the statute was designed to prevent
duty of determining whose the barrel was rests
on defendant, because he is in best position to
know; barrel rolling out of warehouse couldn’t
happen without negligence
3 part test: accident must be of a kind which
ordinarily does not occur w/o negligence;
caused by an agency within the exclusive
control of defendant; not due to any voluntary
action on part of plaintiff
same test as above, but especially important to
avoid conspiracy of silence; multiple
defendants does not preclude application of res
ipsa loquitur
if you cast yourself on an obstruction which
reasonable care would have avoided, your
action is blocked
act of not checking to see if the cars had
stopped was not contributory negligence, since
he was authorized to act without checking
plaintiff’s negligence is a contributing cause
onligy if it is a substantial factor in bringing
about his harm.- negligence must be proximate
rights of use of your land do not give way to
wrongs of others; Holms (conncurrance): call in
the jury to see whether it was to close if there
was a substantial certainty of fire
a. contributory negligence only goes to the
event itself, not the damages resulting from it.
(eggshell skull) b. contributory negligence
would be a complete bar to recovery
decedent in cart crossing railroad, train
aproaches, engineer blows one blast, train hits
Even in cases where there might be
contributory negligence, the defense is voided
if the defendant had the last clear chance to
avoid the accident. (stems from reckless
defendant installs new ax rack, plaintiff
complains it’s more dangerous, defendant says
get back to work, axes fall on plaintiff
plaintiff gets on amusement park ride named
“the Flopper”, falls down and breaks his knee
plaintiff assumed the risk, even though one of
his motives was to not lose his job.
plaintiff went to birth control clinic, has to sign
arbitration agreement, does so and later sues.
plaintiff knew that he was getting on a moving
belt which would jerk him around; one who
takes part in a sport accepts the dangers
inherent in it
a. contract was an adhesion contract- weaker
party has no choice as to its terms, no informed
consent b. clear notice of the strong terms must
be given
Comparative Negligence
Li v. Yellow Cab Co. of
California (1975)
plaintiff attempted to cross 3 lanes of oncoming
traffic, defendant was speeding
California court decides to accept comparative
negligence- want to avoid bar of contributory
negligence; shifts to “pure” form
American Motorcycle
Association v. Superior Court
one of the cars on a train had a defective nut.
Both the terminal company and the railroad
could have discovered it by inspection. railroad
previously sued; seeking indemnity
plaintiff injured; defendant moves to recover
partial indemnity from parents, who were also
railroad company has no action against the
terminal company; joint liability means that
either can be sued without indemnity against
the other; no exceptional circumstances
although Li in itself does not discard the
doctrine of joint tortfeasors, the underlying
principles hold for a system of partial
indemnity between concurrent tortfeasors (Cal)
Vicarious liability
Ira S. Bushey & Sons v. United
States (1968)
drunk sailor returning to ship opened the
drydock valves
Petrovich v. Share Health Plan
of Illinois (1999)
plaintiff brought action against HMO for failing
to diagnose her cancer in time.
sailor’s conduct was not so unseeable as to
make it unfair to charge the government with
responsibilty; incident related to seefaring
activity, not domestic life.
vicarious liability may exist for the actions of
independant contractors when an agency
relationship is established under a)apparent
authority or b)implied authority
Multiple Defendants
Joint and Several Liability
Unoin Stock Yards Co. v.
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
R.R. (1905)
Cause in Fact
New York Central R.R. v.
Grimstad (1920)
decedent fell into water off barge not equipped
with life preservers
Zuchowicz v. United States
decendent proscribed an overdose of Danocrine,
died of primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH)
General Electric v. Joiner
Herskovits v. Group Helath
Cooperative (1983)
plaintiff worked with electrical transformers,
sticking his arms in the cooling liquid. later
discovered the fluid was contaminated with
PCB’s. eventually he developed cancer
doctor failed to diagnose lung cancer early, lead
to a 5 year survival rate drop from 39% to 25%
Kingston v. Chicago & N.W.
Ry. (1927)
2 fires, one of known origin, the other of
unknown origin
Summers v. Tice (1948)
2 shotgun blasts fired by two defendants. 2
seperate balls hit plaintiff. unknown as to which
person, or both, fired the striking shot
plaintiff had house with lead paint, painted
sometime between 1870 and 1977. many
defendants joined
Skipworth v. Lead Industries
Association (1997)
Sindell v. Abbot Laboratories
DES used, later discovered that it caused birth
defects. too hard to determine which company
manufactured the specific pills sold
proximate cause was decedent falling into
water; belief that life buoy would have saved
him was pure speculation- did not contribute to
his death
finder of fact could have concluded that
Danocrine was the cause of the PPH; must be
the overdose which caused the PPH; increased
risk principle
based on epidemiological studies, conclusion
was that the type of cancer plaintiff got was not
one caused by PCB’s; no causal link, studies
note enough to prove link.
this drop was enough to allow proximate cause
to go to jury; no total recovery against
negligenct party for plaintiff’s death- only that
based on premature death
where two causes, each attributable to the
negligence of a responsible person, concur in
producing an injury to another, either cause is a
basis for suit
both were negligent and the injury resulted
from this negligence, so both are liable- shifts
burden to defendant
use of alternate liability, conspiracy, concert of
action, and collective liability (market share
liability) not appropriate here- time too
expansive, paints not fungible, not all parties
market share liability: appropriate when:
a. all the named defendants are potential
b. the allegedly harmful products are identical
and share the same defective qualities (fungible
c. plaintiff is unable to identify which
defendant caused the injury through no fault of
her own
d .all the manufacturers which created the
defective products during the reletive time are
named as defendants
Proximate Cause
Ryan v. New York Central R.R.
fire started on defendant’s property, spread to
plaintiff’s house, onward
Berry v. Sugar Notch Borough
train car was speeding, branch fell on it –
wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been there
Brower v. New York Central &
H.R.R. (1918)
train ran into cart and wagon, barrels scattered,
thieves stole the barrels
In re Polemis & Furness, Withy
& Co. (1921)
ship was being loaded by defendants, plank fell
and struck side, causing a spark which caused an
explosion, destoying the ship
negligence of RR workers caused package to fall
on tracks where it detonated. the blast caused a
scale to tip over, injuring plaintiff
truck accident: defendant’s negligence created a
situation which ultimately lead to plaintiff (not a
party to the original accident)’s injury
Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R.
Marshall v. Nugent (1955)
Wagon Mound No. 1 (1961)
Union Pump v. Allbritton
defendant’s ship leaked oil, the left docks. oil
floated over near plaintiff’s ship, supervisor
determined oil to be non-flamable, but rags
under oil caught fire
plaintiff was engaged in puting out a fire, after
fire was out climbed over some pipes to turn off
a valve, on way back she slipped and fell
New York fire rule: damages are the remote
result of defendant’s negligence- destruction of
second and other buildings was not a natural
result of the first firing- can’t insure against
speed was not the cause of the accident, nor did
it contribute to it- just mere chance that it was
there at the time
act of thieves did not intervene- not a
usperceding cause- substantial certainty that
theives would make off (detectives on board)
directness test- negligence caused plank to fall,
which directly caused spark- doesn’t matter that
this is unusual or unforseen- direct result
distinguishes between liability and causationonly forseeable harms bear liability- no
negligence in the abstract
harm within the risk: liability of negligent actor
confined to those harmful consequences which
result from the operation of the risk, or of a
risk, the foreseeabilty of which renderedthe
defendant’s conduct negligent
forseeability test: harm was not forseeableforesight of the reasonable man determines
fire had been extinguished, situation no longer
existed. harm within the risk- risk was over, so
no liability
Affirmative Duties
Duty to Rescue
Buch v. Amory Manufacturing
Co. (1897)
Owners and Occupiers
Robert Addie & Sons v.
Dumbreck (1929)
Rowland v. Christian
Gratuitous Undertakings
Coggs v. Bernard (1703)
Erie R.R. v. Stewart (1930)
Marsalis v. LaSalle (1957)
child came into mill w/friend who was worker,
injured by machinery
defendants did not owe plaintiff a legal dutychild was a trespasser and therefore not bound
to warn him against hidden or secret dangers
defendant operated a wheel and cable which
were attractive to children; employees regularly
told trespassers to get off the property, but were
3 categories of visitors:
a. invitation- express or implied
b. with the leave and license of the occupier
c. as trespassers- the child was determined to be
one of these
duty to warn social guests of dangerous
plaintiff was visitor in defendant’s apartment,
while there a broken faucet caused him to slice
open his hand
defendant offered to move casks of brandy,
while doing so he broke several of them
truck struck by defendant’s train; prior to this
defendant had maintained a watchman at the
crossing but the watchman was not there this
time; no other duty to maintain wachman
one of plaintiff’s cats scratched defendant, they
promised to keep it under observation
owner trusting him with goods is consideration
enough; miscarriage of trust results in liability
company established standard of due care for
itself; others relied upon that standard- practice
may not be discontinued without excercising
reasonable care
once he agreed to keep the cat under
observation, he was bound to- reliance
Moch v. Rensselaer Water Co
Special Relationships
Kline v. 1500 Mass. Ave.
Apartment Corp. (1970)
Tarasoff v. Regents of
University of California (1976)
defendant maintained water supply, negligently
allowed water supply to fall, plaintiff’s building
burned down- no water to put it out
1. not maintainable for breach of contractbenefits to public incidental and secondary
2. not tort- provision of water did not create a
relationship with the defendants
3. not breach of statutory duty- not liable to a
third party who may be counting upon the
performance of the duty
apartment complex- defendant consistently
reduced security until, at one point, plaintiff was
applicable standard of care was that of the point
at which plaintiff became a resident of the
complex- tenant led to expect this level of
precaution. also, special relationship between
landlord and tenants of an apartment complex
special relationship existed:
a. between teh actor and the third person which
imposes a duty upon the actor to control the 3rd
person’s conduct
plaintiff’s decedent was killed; killer had
expressed a desire to kill deceased to
Strict Liability
Moore v. Regents of U of Cal
Animals and blasting
Baker v. Snell (1908)
Spano v. Perini Corp (1969)
plaintiff had operation to remove spleen,
defendants kept spleen after operation and made
into an extremely profitable cell line
conversion liability not extended- use of
excised medical cells in research does not
amount to conversion. instead enforcement of
physicians disclosure obligations- lack of
informed consent
Dog bites maid
keeping a dog with a demonstrated history of
biting imposes strict liability- assumption of
any injury the dog might cause
liable even though not careless- one who
engages in blasting is strictly liable for any
injuries caused.
plaintiff sustained damage when defendant
blasted, was creating a tunnel
Ultrahazardous or abnormally dangerous activities
Indiana Harbor Belt R.R. v.
Railroad tanker car filled with acrylonitrile
American Cyanamid Co. (1990) leaked into and contaminated plaintiff’s
switching yard
Vogel v. Grant-Lafayette
Electric Coop. (1996)
Stray voltage bothered dairy cows
Fonainebleau Hotel v. FortyFive Twenty-Five (1959)
Defendant seeking to build annex which will
overshadow Plaintiff’s sunbathing area
Rogers v. Elliott (1888)
Defendant ringing churchbell causing plaintiff’s
Ensign v. Walls (1948)
Defendant bred St. Bernards, neighbors
complained, even though she had been there first
cement plant caused a nuissance; plaintiffs
sought injunction
Boomer v. Atlantic Cement Co.
Public Nuisances
Anonymous (1535)
Defendant stopped highway such that plaintiff
could not get to his property
application of restatement test for abnormally
dangerous activities. in this case, the activity
was not abnormally dangerous, thus no strict
private nuisance: nontrespassory invasion of
another’s interest in the private use and
enjoyment of land (no)
intentional invasion nuisance: invasion of the
land with knowledge that a harm is being
caused (not intentional here)
blocking access to sunlight and air does not
constitute an actionable nuissance (no legal
right to it.)
standard to use when determining whether a
nuissance exists: that of an ordinary person (no
eggshell skull to determine liability)
coming to the nuisance is not a defense- cannot
control the use of neighboring land
injunction would cause too serious effectspermanant damages are a better solutionprovide plaintiff with full economic redress. if
situation is such that single recovery can be
normally public nuisance is not actionable, but
in this case the plaintiff suffered special harm,
beyond that of the public nuisance
Union Oil Co. v. Oppen (1974)
Defendant’s oil pollution killed fish which
fishermen relied upon for their livelihood.
loss of economic advantage: not a legally
cognizable injury- but in this case defendants
were able to see the dangers of their negligent
actions- direct duty. application of Cabresi
defendant used concrete with a high amount of
salt when constructing the condos.
Economic loss rule: cannot recover under tort
without evidence of injury
Manibular jaw implant was defective, plaintiff
sued hospital and surgeon for damages under
strict liability
are medical service providers “sellers” when
providing medical devices? no- necessary
adjunct to the treatment administered- 4 part
Plaintiff was putting antifreeze in his car with
the engine running. blade on radior fan broke off
and struck him in the face
use of negligence test in manufacturing the fan(Alabama law)
Seat of car was designed such that when the car
was struck from behind it broke free, causing
negligence test again- was design negligent?
car crashes were forseeable, choice of seating
design was thus negligent- duty of reasonable
carein the design of vehicle
open and obvious not an absolute defenserelevent to issue of defectiveness, but in itself
does not preclude a plaintiff from establishing
that a reasonable alternative designe should
ahve been adopted which would have reduced
or prevented injury
Products liability
Casa Clara Condominium
Association v. Charley Toppino
& Sons (1993)
Calfazzo v. Central Medical
Health Services, Inc. (1995)
Manufacturing defects
Pouncey v. Ford Motor Co.
Design defects
Volkswagen v. Young (1974)
Micallef v. Miehle (1976)
plaintiff sought to remove “hickie” from the
printing press while it was running, finger was
caught in press. alleged no safty guard.
Barker v. Lull Engineering Co.
Plaintiff using high-lift loader on uneven terrain,
tried to escape from it and was struck by a
board. alleged design defect.
Plaintiff on the Pill, suffered a stroke. Alleged
that the defendant failed to warn her that she
could suffer a stroke.
MacDonald v. Ortho
Pharmaceutical Co. (1985)
McDougal v. Garber (
O’Shea v. Runaway Towing (
Pacific Mutual v. Haslip (
Ford v. Grimshaw (
plaintiff was a cook on defendant’s ship, slipped
and fell, suffering an injury which prevented her
from working as a cook for the rest of her life
damages due to lost wages: see outline