Assignment #1 - MODULE ONE Running Head: MODULE ONE 1 Allen...

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MODULE ONE 1 Running Head: MODULE ONE Allen Brown Ethical and Legal Issues in Business BUS-340 Module One Exercise May 01, 2010
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MODULE ONE 2 1) Pringle v. Valdez (Chapter 1, Statutory Interpretation 1.) Brief: History On appeal, the court of appeals affirmed the trial court's refusal to instruct on the seatbelt defense provision and affirmed the damages award to Valdez of $100,000 for noneconomic loss consisting of inconvenience, emotional stress, and impairment of the quality of life. That court held that the phrase "pain and suffering" as it is used in the seatbelt defense provision refers only to a limited subset of noneconomic damages bearing that label. (Colorado Supreme Court, 2007) Facts: Mark Valdez was riding in the front passenger's seat of a vehicle driven by Debbie Jo Pringle. Pringle was driving Valdez home after leaving a bar with a group of friends. Shortly after leaving the bar, Pringle drove the car into a concrete barrier. Valdez, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown into the windshield. His head penetrated the windshield and he sustained injuries to his face, including multiple lacerations, abrasions, and nerve damage. The lacerations required surgical repair after the accident, and he had a further surgery for scar revision six months later. Valdez brought this action against Pringle alleging negligence. At trial, he requested damages for impairment and disfigurement, and noneconomic losses including inconvenience, emotional stress, and impairment of quality of life. He initially requested damages for pain and suffering, but dropped this element of his damages claim. Pringle argued that the jury should have been instructed on the seatbelt defense, because the term "pain and suffering" in that section of the statute encompasses all forms of noneconomic damages. However, because Valdez did not request pain and
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MODULE ONE 3 suffering damages, the trial court rejected Pringle's tendered instruction on the seatbelt defense. The court concluded that if the General Assembly had intended the seatbelt defense to apply to noneconomic damages other than pain and suffering, it would have clearly stated so. Because there was evidence that Valdez was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident, the trial court instructed the jury not to consider Valdez's failure to wear his seatbelt when determining his damages for physical impairment and disfigurement, inconvenience, emotional stress, and impairment of the quality of life. The jury returned a verdict in Valdez’s favor awarding him $400,000 for physical impairment and disfigurement and $100,000 for his noneconomic losses. Pringle appealed to the court of appeals, claiming, among other things, that the trial court improperly failed to give the seatbelt defense instruction, which would have permitted Valdez’s noneconomic damages to be subject to mitigation. (Colorado Supreme Court, 2007) Result: Justice Bender delivered the opinion of the court, the majority opinion in which the case was settled. Justice coats concurred in part and dissented
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2011 for the course MNG 500 taught by Professor Linkiden during the Spring '11 term at UMass (Amherst).

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Assignment #1 - MODULE ONE Running Head: MODULE ONE 1 Allen...

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