Question # 1: Neal, a twelve-year old boy, buys a pair of skis from Outdoor Outfitters (“OO”). He tells the salesperson that he has never been skiing but “he really wants to do it.” The OO salesperson urges Neal to take a lesson in the sport before participating in a run. Neal ignores this advice. On his first run down the intermediate slope he loses control and runs into a tree. He suffers a broken leg, assorted cuts and bruises and he has concussion symptoms. Neal’s parents file a lawsuit against OO alleging that it should not have sold the skis to him when he was clearly too young and inexperienced. Discuss the theory of liability upon which the lawsuit is based and what, if any, defenses OO may raise.
Question # 2: Don is an elderly man who lives with his nephew Evan. Don is dependent upon Evan for care. Evan advises Don to “invest” in Evan’s professional gambling venture. Evan tells Don that he will no longer provide care unless Don makes the investment. Don sells all of his stocks and bonds and signs a contract with Evan investing the proceeds of his sale of the stocks and bonds in Evan’s professional gambling venture. Can Don set aside the contract? If Don is successful in setting aside the contract, what remedy should he seek in addition to setting aside the contract?
Question # 3: Publix Supermarkets, Inc. is a Florida Corporation with its principle offices located in Lakeland, Polk County, Florida (“Publix”). Publix’s corporate offices are located in the Tenth (10th) Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida. Publix has retail supermarket locations though out the State of Florida as well as other locations in the Southeastern part of the United States. Publix has several retail supermarket locations in Hillsborough County Florida. Hillsborough Country is in the Thirteenth (13th) Judicial District for the State of Florida. The Tenth Judicial Circuit and the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida are in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Cases arising in the Tenth Judicial Circuit and the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida that may be brought in a federal court would be heard initially in the United States District Court for the Middle District of the State of Florida.
Some of the retail items sold to the public in the Publix stores located in Hillsborough County are delivered from a Publix distribution center located in Lakeland, Florida. The goods are delivered from the distribution center to the retail locations in Hillsborough County via a fleet of trucks owned by Publix and operated by Publix employees.
Sam Straight, a 30-year employee of Publix, is driving a Publix tractor trailer truck north bound on I-275 near downtown Tampa, Florida. Sam has the appropriate credentials to drive a tractor trailer truck in the State of Florida. He has been driving for Publix for 25 years of the 30 years he has been employed by Publix. Sam is driving under the posted speed limit and he is preparing to merge onto I-4 eastbound to return to the Publix distribution center in Lakeland.
Fred Fragile is a resident of the State of Georgia. His home is in DeKalb County Georgia, in the jurisdiction of the DeKalb County State Court. He is driving his motor home on the entrance ramp to northbound I-275 in downtown Tampa after a visit to the Florida Aquarium. Fred has the appropriate credentials to operate a motor home in the State of Georgia and Florida. He is driving under the posted speed limit. Fred wishes to merge onto I-275 and eventually travel northbound on I-275 to take I-75 northbound to return to his home in Georgia. When Fred merges onto I-275 northbound, he wants to move over one lane to his left to take I-275 North. When he enters I-275 North bound his vehicle is side by side with the Publix tractor trailer truck driven by Sam Straight. Sam wishes to merge one lane to his right to facilitate taking I-4 East to Lakeland. As the two vehicles negotiate the interchange, they come into contact with each other resulting in a multi-car accident closing I-275 North for several hours. Sam and Fred do not suffer any injuries because of the accident. Damage to Fred’s motor home totals $40,000. Damage to the Publix tractor trailer totals $25,000.
An extensive investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol has identified four people who were driving in the vicinity of the two vehicles at the time of the accident. One witness lives in Plant City, Florida. The second witness lives in Orlando, Florida. The third witness lives in Daytona Beach, Florida and the fourth witness lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Both Fred and Publix believe that there is evidence to suggest that either Fred or Sam is responsible for causing the accident. In answering the following questions, it is not necessary for you to discuss the potential for liability on the part of Publix and/or Fred.
A. If either Fred or Publix wishes to bring a claim to recover the damage to their respective vehicles, discuss the procedural steps that either party must take to initiate their claim. Discuss further the procedural steps the other party must take in response to a claim. Discuss what may occur in the event the defendant in the action fails to follow the required procedural steps if a claim is brought against them.
B. If Publix wishes to bring a claim against Fred for the damage to its tractor trailer, in addition to the steps discussed in your response to question 1 above, what elements must be present to bring the claim in a Florida court? What elements must be present to bring the claim in a Georgia court? Which state court, in your judgment, is mostly likely to hear the case?
C. If Fred wishes to bring a claim against Publix what elements must be present to hear the claim in a Georgia court? What elements must be present to hear the claim in a Florida Court?
D. The accident occurred in the Thirteenth Judicial District for the State of Florida. Publix’s corporate headquarters are in the Tenth Judicial District for the State of Florida. Assuming for the purpose of answering this question, that the litigation would be proper in either judicial district, what legal doctrine will be used to determine which district court will hear the case? If Fred’s claim is brought in the State of Florida, which district court, in your judgment, is most likely to hear the case?
5. Under what doctrine could Fred’s claim be brought in the United States District Court for the Middle District of the State of Florida? What requirements must be met in order for the claim to be brought in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida? Are those requirements satisfied in this case?
Question # 4: General Equity Corporation enters a contract with Nancy, a local artist, to create a mosaic of her famous painting “The Birth of Industry” to be set into the floor in the entrance hall of the new corporate headquarters. Nancy delays and then eventually refuses to perform the contract. In the meantime, General enters a contract with Ideal Investments, Inc. to sell the new building to Ideal. Before the sale of the building is complete, Jewel Funds, Inc. offers General a higher price for the new building and General refuses to honor the contract with Ideal Investments. General brings a lawsuit against Nancy for her breach of contract and seeks the remedy of specific performance. Ideal, after successfully enjoining the sale of the building to Jewel Funds, brings a lawsuit against General seeking a court order compelling General to complete the sale to Ideal. In your answer, discuss whether or not a court would grant the plaintiff’s request for the remedy of specific performance in each case. If you conclude that a court would not grant the remedy of specific performance in either case, discuss what the measure of damages might be available to the plaintiff in that action.
Question # 5: Power Plus Battery Company (“PPBC”) has a production plant located in Tampa, Florida. PPBC manufactures batteries for motor vehicles. PPBC has 200 employees and sells its batteries to customers in twenty-five different states in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OHSA”) is a federal administrative agency that has the authority to establish safety standards, pursuant to the authority delegated to it by the United States Congress in the Occupational Safety and Health Act. These safety standards, also known as safety rules or regulations, apply to different industrial operations that have at least fifty (50) employees and are engaged in interstate commerce. OSHA proposes a new safety standard governing the handling of certain acids in the workplace. The proposed safety standard includes acids that PPBC uses in its production processes. After reviewing the proposed rule, PPBC concludes that compliance with the proposed rule will substantially increase its production costs and the proposed rule will not significantly increase worker safety. PPBC sends a letter to OSHA stating its objections and concerns to the new rule. Enclosed with the letter are independent research reports and other materials that support PPBC’s objections to the proposed rule. What procedures must OSHA follow when it adopts a new safety standard such as this one? What obligation does OSHA have to consider the objections and the materials submitted by PPBC? What options does OSHA have regarding the proposed rule? How does OSHA announce its final decision on the new rule? Once the new rule has been adopted, what source may interested parties use to find the final version of the new rule?
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