Wierd, Bizarre, and Peculiar Court Cases

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Foxfyre, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    One of the more interesting segments of "The O'Reilly Factor" deals with unusual court cases and whether the plaintiff or defendant has a case. As quite a few of the Fox news staff and on air contributors have law degrees, a couple of these are usually enlisted to put in their two cents.

    I have a number of these and other interesting cases bookmarked somewhere and will try to remember to put them here.

    For now here is an interesting case:

     
  2. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    Wow - an awful lot of injuries for merely slipping and falling off of a curb. Why do I have a feeling the Marines might have contributed to the thief's condition at the conclusion of the scenario?

    Let's assume they did not. Would he have a cause of action? Against whom and for what? I don't think he would.

    Now - if the Marines beat him up unnecessarily, i.e., using more force than required under the circumstances, then he might have a cause of action against them.

    Ever read the Palsgraf case?
     
  3. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    But wouldn't you have to PROVE the Marines did the damage?
     
  4. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    This one is an honest to goodness case:

    You be da judge. . . . .

     
  5. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    Don't you wish people could countersue people like that just for being assholes? There oughta be a law... Lol
     
  6. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    :) Well, when they advertise 'all you can eat' you expect to get 'all you can eat.' The smaller appetites will usually offset the larger appetites.

    We used to have a great Chinese Restaurant here with an unlimited buffet - you pay at the door and then eat what you want as much as you want. On most things there are no limits other than you can't take any food out with you. But every now and then they would have something that specified a limit because it was quite costly.

    In this case, I sympathise with the restaurant owner but he should have specified that there was a limit on some items. Otherwise, I think he should have just refunded the guy's money or something when he imposed a limit in mid meal.

    But $4000 in damages? Come on. Give me a break.
     
  7. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    Of course.

    OK - Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad. (I am doing this from memory. This is a classic torts case which all law schools still teach.) A man is trying to board the Long Island Railway. He is late. The train is pulling out of the station. He makes a run for it. A conductor tries to pull him on board as the train picks up speed. The man is holding a bag of fireworks under his arm. It is very close to 4th of July, which is why he had the fireworks. In the course of his trying to get on board, the fireworks are jostled loose. The bag falls to the ground. The fireworks somehow get set off, and are now going off on the passenger loading platform.

    The crowd is frightened by the fireworks and surges backwards, to avoid them. In so doing, the crowd knocks over a very heavy, weighing scale which falls upon (you guessed it) Mrs. Palsgraf, injuring her.

    Mrs. Palsgraf sued the Long Island Railroad for negligence, alleging that the conductor initially had no obligation to try and help the passenger on board but, once he undertook to do so, he (and the Long Island RR) became liable for any and all damage that thereafter happened in the event he did so negligently. Mrs. Palsgraf felt he did indeed act negligently.

    The case went all the way up to the N.Y. Supreme court. How would you rule, if you had been Justice Cardozo?
     
  8. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I would say that the conductor nor the Long Island RR created the problem or had any way to know that the fireworks existed. If it was the pressure of the crowd that caused the scale to tip over, I think the lady was probably out of luck except for what med pay was included on the railroad or city insurance policy.

    So how far off am I? :)

    And then I have one for you.
     
  9. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    Palsgraf concerns the situation where a chain of events is set in motion and whether or not the person starting the chain of events is ultimately responsible for the final outcome. The law calls is proximate cause. The question is, were the actions of the conductor the proximate cause of the harm to Mrs. Palsgraf that ultimately resulted? You are correct that the conducter messed up. He tried to help the guy on board but failed to do so in a prudent manner. Since he was an employee of the RR, the law of agency would impute negligence to his employer if he was acting in the scope of his employment, which he was.

    But, in between the conductor's mess up and the final outcome, there were a number of intervening events. Were the reasonably foreseeable? If they were, then they were merely intervening, and liability rests with the RR. If they were not reasonably foreseeable, then they become superceding events (as opposed to intervening events) and would relieve the RR of any responsiblity.

    The NY Supremes found the RR liable. A most interesting case.
     

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