final_review_answers_08 - Business Law I Property/Agency...

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Business Law I Property/Agency Review Answers Fall, 2008 1. a. New York Labor Law 240 makes an owner liable without fault for injuries sustained by third parties during construction projects. If there is no reference to the statute, than Dave will be liable without fault if Ajax is doing something ultrahaz ardous -- the exception to the general rule that one is not liable for the torts of an independent contractor . Dave will also be liable using respondeat superior if Ajax is considered an employee acting within the scope of its employment. Given the lack of facts, and the general rule that building contractors in this setting are one of the best examples of an independent contractor, this is not a very strong answer. b. The architects are probably independent contractors who are acting as Dave's agent as they oversee the construction project and as such owe Dave the duty of loyalty, and perhaps notification. The conclusion here is less important than the analysis. It was important to discuss the likelihood of an agency relationship triggering certain duties and expectations. The text says that architects are nonagent independent contractors unless special arrangements have been made. In providing that Design, Inc. was to oversee construction "to insure that the work was done well," the question creates an agency relationship. As noted in class, and indicated in the text, there are several duties assumed by an agent. In this case, you can make a weak argument that Design breached its duty to notify Dave of the pipe problem but since it had to be fixed to be in compliance with state law, it is easy to argue that Design had the obligation to see that it was taken care of as promptly as possible consistent with its duty to use care and skill in carrying out its responsibilities. The more likely basis for some kind of recovery by Dave is the possible conflict of interest created by the relationship between the supervising architect representing Dave and the contractor whose work the architect is supposed to be overseeing. 2. General Rule : A landowner is not liable for acts of third parties, esp. criminal acts, committed on his or her property. Good papers will cite and rely on Nivens v. Seven-Eleven Hoagy’s Corner from the Casebook because that case discusses the concept of “special relationships” that might trigger landowner liability to certain classes of plaintiff. It is likely that most students will mention and apply the 2 exceptions I mentioned in class. Where security precautions taken, must do so effectively . Our facts say no money collected and no security available at night in the parking lot. So there were no security precautions taken during the time period when the initial attack on Patsy occurred so I don’t think that you can
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argue misfeasance. Since Dan didn’t do anything to make Patsy think Dan was looking out for her safety in the parking lot, no liability at this point under this exception.
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  • Fall '07
  • general rule, a. Sam

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