No, he’s a customer.If he had injured himself in his own apartment, could he sue Con Edison? Do they have a duty to him? Yes, why? If he falls in his own apartment, there’s a contract between him and electric company, but if he falls in the stairwell contract is between Con Edison and landlord.Frayed wire hypo… narrow undertaking… everyone in New York can sue under citywide power outage, but only narrow people would be able to sue in frayed wire case.What if it’s an elevator in skyscraper? Again, not whole city of New York, but it’s still a limited class of people. See Palka v. ServiceMaster Management. In Pulka v. Edelman, if we allow tort claims it will be disastrous. TORTS 1 February 2005(hospital) Special relationship staff dr. special relationship patient special relationship foreseeable victims. Court claims to leave open mere foreseeability as a way to claim a dutyMere foreseeability could be enough, but we also have an underlying/predicate special relationship.Court discusses patients with infections disease.Plaintiffs are arguing that they are third-party beneficiaries.
Court unmistakably admits that they MAKE UP the dutyWhat policy arguments OPPOSED to this duty of care?Difficulty of implementing the duty…how must one warn someone he has never met?Suppose doctor warns tarisoff, and she’s armed to the teeth, and blows him away, can podor’s estate sue dr.?Did dr. moore have a duty to contact the 5-0?What if attorney has same situation? Tort liability?What is real problem in parent/child cases?Foreseeability?Best illustrations of this rule, backseat drivingTORTS 2 February 2005Randi W.Restatement § 311Courts holding in randi w. requires finding any special relationship between def. and victim. Is there such special relationship?Another question to think about.In Tarasoff, the court makes a big deal about identifiability, and there was a foreseen action.Foreseeable third parties…this is a large group, every student that may come in contact with Gadams.PARTS OF THE TORT(a)foreseeability and causality…definite causality, foreseeability also strong(b) moral blame – is this relevant? What if he hadn’t been a child molester, but had a history of mental illness? Would we say (after something bad happens) they’re morally blameworthy for withholding that information? What if he has a personality flaw, would withholding that be morally blameworthy? (c)Insurability is there the availability of insurance? Presumably this is covered in liability insurance.
(d) Public policy considerations. Public policy is to prevent child abuse and molestation. What are districts’ defenses?They could be liable for defamation suits. If there are other things, short of child molestation, that could make homeboy a bad employee, this could open the door to those sorts of concerns. Look at history of cases….the length of these cases is what matters….if the guy was on district #2 and there’s a big doubt, then there’s no liability.What if the next job he was getting was a desk job not coming into contact with students?
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- Spring '08
- Tort Law, duty, Special Relationship