Clark_11e-AM-Ch06.doc - C HAPTER 6 INTENTIONAL T ORTS...

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45 C HAPTER 6 I NTENTIONAL T ORTS A NSWER TO C RITICAL A NALYSIS Q UESTION IN THE F EATURE CONTEMPORARY LEGAL DEBATES—WHERE DO YOU STAND? (PAGE 125) Large damages awards in tort litigation have to be paid by someone. If the defendant is insured, then insurance companies foot the bill. Ultimately, though, high insurance rates are passed on to consumers of goods and serv- ices in the United States. Consequently, tort reform that reduces the size and number of damages awards ultimately will mean lower costs of goods and services to consumers. The downside of these lower costs, though, might be higher risks of medical malpractice and dangerous products. Do you believe that this trade-off is real? Why or why not? Insurance often covers damages awards in the United States, and the premiums can be adjusted to reflect increased amounts of awards. But insurance premiums can also go up simply to increase the profits of the in- surance companies. Such increases may also be passed on to consumers. If damages awards have been curtailed, businesses and consumers would thus be paying higher prices without a trade off. If insurance premiums were lowered to reflect lower damages awards—this seems unlikely, at least in the long run—it is not likely that a business would be willing to take higher risks with dangerous products. The business’s reputa- tion could suffer, and its profits could as easily disappear as if they were paid to insur- ance companies as premiums. If tort liability is a businessperson’s primary concern, then locations in which damages awards are fewer in number and lower in amount might be appropriate places in which to choose to do business. A NSWERS TO Q UESTIONS AT THE E NDS OF THE C ASES CASE 6.1—(PAGE 129) WHAT IF THE FACTS WERE DIFFERENT? Suppose that Dick and Karyn had two children and Dick had been awarded custody of them. If Paul had been watching Maureen to determine her fitness to care for the children, would the result in this case have been different? Explain. There would likely be no privacy violation by a parent’s watching, or even
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46 UNIT TWO: TORTS AND CRIMES eavesdropping and spying, on the other parent’s spouse to determine that individual’s fitness for custody of the parents’ children. The same factors would determine the case, however: whether the surveillance was “conducted in a vicious or malicious manner not reasonably limited and designated to obtain information needed for the defense of a lawsuit or deliberately calculated to frighten or torment the plaintiff.” THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT DIMENSION To succeed on a claim of intrusion on an individual’s affairs or seclusion, should a plaintiff have to prove a physical intrusion? Why or why not? The court pointed out that under Georgia law “to state a claim under the ‘unreasonable in- trusion’ tort, the plaintiff must allege a physical intrusion.” Invading someone’s home or searching their personal belongings, for example, would qualify. The court explained
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This note was uploaded on 10/11/2010 for the course MGT 301 taught by Professor Pederson during the Fall '10 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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Clark_11e-AM-Ch06.doc - C HAPTER 6 INTENTIONAL T ORTS...

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