Shared Flashcard Set


BLS 342 - Exam 2 - Jan
case study briefs
Undergraduate 4

Additional Business Flashcards




Potter v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (1993)


         I.            Potter v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co

a.        6 Cal. 4th 965 (1993)

b.       CA Trial Court -> CA Court of Appeals -> CA Supreme Court

c.        Facts

                                                               i.      Firestone ran manufacturing plant near Salinas, CA, used Salinas Disposal Service and Rural Disposal (SDS) to dispose of waste – dumped in class II landfill named Crazy Horse – disposed solvents, fluids, oils in class I

1.       Class II, as opposed to class I, landfill prohibit liquid, substances to prevent contamination of groundwater

                                                              ii.      Class I began to overflow and become costly, began to dispose of solvents etc into Crazy Horse

                                                            iii.      Frank and Shirley Potter lived adjacent to Crazy Horse, discovered toxic chemicals (human carcinogens) contaminated their water wells – both filed separate suits against firestone for damages

d.       Procedure

                                                               i.      Cases tried together in trial court

                                                              ii.      Found Firestone was negligent – intentional infliction of emotional distress established due to ultra-hazardous activity

                                                            iii.      Plaintiffs (potter family) awarded damages for emotional distress for fear of cancer and medical monitoring of cancer, psychiatric illness & treatment, general disruption of their lives, invasion of privacy

                                                            iv.      Punitive damages for Firestones disregard of plaintiff’s safety

                                                              v.      Firestone appealed citing not enough supporting evidence

                                                            vi.      CA Court of Appeals reversed awards for medical monitoring citing no certainty of cancer to occur

                                                           vii.      Firestone appealed to CA Supreme Court

e.       Issues:

                                                               i.      Is emotional distress caused by a fear of cancer following exposure to a carcinogen an injury for which damages can be recovered in the absence of physical injury?

                                                              ii.      Is the cost of future medical monitoring to detect the onset of cancer a recoverable damage if a plaintiff has an increased risk but no present physical illness?

    1. Holding

                                                               i.      CA Supreme Court affirmed decision of trial, appellant courts, found Firestone’s waste disposal practices constituted ‘actionable negligence’

                                                              ii.      Found damages were not recoverable for intentional infliction of emotional distress

1.       ‘fear of cancer’ invalid bc of absence of any physical injury or illness

                                                            iii.      Found damages not recoverable for future medical monitoring to detect onset of cancer w/o present physical illness

                                                            iv.      If defendant is guilty of ‘despicable conduct which is carried on by defendant with a willfull, conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others’ then the bar is lowered and Potter can recover without demonstrating that cancer is probable

    1. Reasoning

                                                               i.      Court noted that everyone has a fear of cancer – allowing it as a recoverable claim would give companies unlimited liability, limiting ability for companies to get insurance, thus insurance rates would become prohibitively high

1.       Needs to be a line between people who might get cancer and who have it

                                                              ii.      Recovery of damages for mental distress traditionally used for claims of physical injury – they had none – need reliable medical opinion

                                                            iii.      Recovered damages for negligence bc firestone informed that class II landfills should not include solvents etc but dumped there anyway – fell below the standard of care for large international corp

    1. Importance

                                                               i.      Set standard for emotional distress due to ‘fear of cancer’

1.       “Potter Test” – made to set criteria for recovering damages for emotional distress

a.        Damages recoverable if credible medical opinion decides chances of getting cancer are more likely than not, ie 51%


Bowsher v. Synar (1986)


  1. Bowsher v. Synar (1986)
    1. 478 U.S. 714

                                                               i.      Volume 478, US Reports, Page 714

                                                              ii.      Bowsher – petitioner

                                                            iii.      Synar – plaintiff, respondant

                                                            iv.      US – defendant (fed district court)

    1. Federal District Court -> USSC
    2. Facts:

                                                               i.      Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Control Act (1985) – if fed budget deficit higher than a specified amount, budget cuts must be implemented

1.       Directors of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

a.        Need to submit deficit  estimates, program-by-program budget reduction calculations to Comptroller General

                                                                                                                                       i.      CG reviews joint report, reports conclusions to President who issues “sequestration” order mandating spending reductions (exec power) barring, within specified time, Congress legislating reductions to obviate need for sequestration order

2.       Comptroller General is member of Legislative Branch due to Congress’ power to remove

                                                              ii.      Charles Bowsher was CG from 1981-1996

                                                            iii.      After passing of GRH Act, National Treasury Employees Union + 12 congressmen (inc. Mike Synar) challenged constitutionality of act in Federal District Court

1.       Synar v. US – district court ruled act unconstitutional

2.       Appealed to USSC (1986)

    1. Issue:

                                                               i.      “The question presented by these appeals is whether the assignment by Congress to the Comptroller General of the United States of certain functions under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 violates the doctrine of separation of powers”

                                                              ii.      Did congress empower the Comptroller General, a member of the legislative branch, with executive powers?

    1. Holding:

                                                               i.      USSC upheld decision of District Court -> CG role in exercising exec functions under Acts deficit reduction process violates constitutionally imposed doctrine of separation of powers bc CG is removable by only a congressional joint resolution or impeachment – Act unconstitutional

    1. Reasoning:

                                                               i.      Article I, Section XII – Legislative branch has power to create laws, exec branch has power to execute the law

                                                              ii.      In compliance with precedent set by Wiener v. US (1958), “Congress cannot grant to an officer under its control what it does not possess” (Oyez 2). In addition, “Congress cannot reserve for itself the power of removal of an officer charged with the execution of the laws except by impeachment”


Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)


  1. Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)
    1. 472 U.S. 38 (1985)

                                                               i.      Vol. 472, US Reports, Pg. 38

    1. US District Court -> US Court of Appeals (11th Circuit) -> USSC
    2. Jaffree – plaintiff, respondant
    3. James – defendant
    4. Wallace - petitioner
    5. Facts

                                                               i.      3 Alabama statutes that authorized

1.       One-minute period of silence in all public schools for ‘meditation’

2.       Period of silence ‘for meditation or voluntary prayer’

3.       Teachers to lead ‘willing students’ in prescribed prayer to ‘almighty God, the Creator and Supreme Judge of the world’

                                                              ii.      Ishmael Jaffree of Mobile County, AL files complaint against members of Mobile County School Board, school officials, Jaffree’s children’s 3 teachers

1.       Filed second complaint against Governor of AL, including challenging the constitutionality of the 3 AL statutes

    1. Procedure:

                                                               i.      Jaffree (plaintiff) challenged the James Prayer Bill (defendant), filing motion for preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of that bill in US District Court for Southern District of Alabama, pleaded act would violate their constitutional rights under establishment clause in 1st Amendment, prelim injunction granted

                                                              ii.      Defendants then filed motions to dismiss action filed by Jaffree in Jaffree v. The Board of School Commissioner of Mobile County

1.       Court dismissed action

                                                            iii.      Jaffree appealed to US Court of Appeals for Eleventh Circuit

1.       Court found school prayer unconstitutional – violates requirement of gov to remain neutral in religious activities

                                                            iv.      Wallace (Gov. of Alabama) appeals to USSC  

1.       Upheld appeals court decision

    1. Issue:

                                                               i.      Does the Alabama statute, “silence for meditation or voluntary prayer”, violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?

i.         Holding:

                                                               i.      AL statute violated establishment clause of 1st amendment

                                                              ii.      One of the well-established criteria for determining the constitutionality of a statute under the Establishment Clause is that the statute must have a secular legislative purpose. The First Amendment requires that a statute must be invalidated if it is entirely motivated by a purpose to advance religion.

                                                            iii.      The record here not only establishes that 16-1-20.1's purpose was to endorse religion, it also reveals that the enactment of the statute was not motivated by any clearly secular purpose." "...The State's endorsement, by enactment of 16-1-20.1, of prayer activities at the beginning of each schoolday is not consistent with the established principle that the government must pursue a course of complete neutrality toward religion.

j.         Reasoning:

                                                               i.      AL did not have a clear secular legislative purpose – passage of statute was an affirmative endorsement of religion, deviating from state’s duty to maintain absolute neutrality toward religion

                                                              ii.      Precedent from Engel v. Vitale (similar case, upheld that religious practices violated constitutional separation of church and state)

                                                            iii.      Precedent from Lemon v. Kurtzman (USSC found PA statute allowing state funding to religious-affiliated schools unconstitutional)

1.       Violated establishment and free exercise clause of 1st amendment

2.       Violated due process clause of 14th

k.        Importance

                                                               i.      Set tone for keeping the power in the hands of congress and fed gov.

1.       1st amendment more dominant than each state’s legislature

                                                              ii.      Freedom of Religion, or lack thereof, one of main freedoms US was found upon

1.       Alteration of this freedom cause conflict for citizens in that state/across country


Leonard v. Watsonville Community Hospital (1956)

         I.            Leonard v. Watsonville Community Hospital 

a.        47 Cal.2d 509 (1956)

                                                               i.      Vol. 47, CA Reports Second Series, Page 509


c.        Leonard – plaintiff, appellant

d.       Watsonville – defendants, respondents

e.       Facts:

                                                               i.      Grace Leonard has abdominal surgery at hospital, remained in hospital for 10 days post-surgery

1.       Told doctors she was in considerable amount of pain, continued for several months post-operation

2.       Leonard went in for X-Ray 6 months post-surgery, revealed a Kelly clamp (scissor shaped medical instrument) in upper right quadrant of abdomen – surgery occurred in only lower left quadrant of abdomen

3.       Leonard sued hospital for malpractice – claiming there was no provision to  count instruments used to ensure all equipment was accounted for pre and post-surgery

4.       Watsonville argued there was no duty to count instruments since other hospitals in community did not require instrument counts and that they were held to “exercise only that degree of skill employed by other hospitals and nurses in the community.”

f.         Issue:

                                                               i.      Was an inference of negligence raised under common law doctrine of res ipsa loquitur?

1.       Res ipsa loquitur (‘the thing speaks for itself’) – elements of duty of care and breach can be sometimes inferred from the very nature of the accident, even without direct evidence of how any defendant behaved

a.        Upon proof of res ipsa loquitur, plaintiff need only establish two elements of negligence: that plaintiff suffered damages, of which the accident was the legal cause

                                                              ii.      Was there malpractice by the defendant?

                                                            iii.      Could the locality rule be used to justify whether there was subpar care used by hospital?

1.       Locality rule: rule of due care is care on par with customs of other local area hospitals

a.        In this case, other local area hospitals did not have instrument counting provisions

g.        Holding:

                                                               i.      CA Supreme Court held that defendant was negligent under doctrine of res ipsa loquitur.

1.       Claimed surgical nurse was sole fault – nurse’s duty to be the intermediary between doctors and medical instruments

h.       Reasoning

                                                               i.      Held that negligence of the nurses could not be excused ‘on the ground that others in the same locality practice the same kind of negligence.’

1.       ie, just because hospitals in community practice same custom (no instrument count), this does not make the custom due care – the custom can be malpractice with negligence


McGrath v. Shenendehowa Central School District


         I.            McGrath v. Shenendehowa Central School District

a.        McGrath – plaintiff, appellant

b.       Shenendehowa – defendant, respondent

c.        From NY Supreme Court -> Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York ?????????

d.       Facts:

                                                               i.      Theresa McGrath, a high school senior and member of the Varsity Lacrosse team was playing a regulation game of lacrosse against other school in area.

                                                              ii.      While playing, her left foot slid into a rut on the field that was filled with ‘soft, sand-like material’ and remained in rut while she turned

1.       Caused severe damage to her knee

                                                            iii.      McGrath filed complaint, claimed Shenendehowa negligently maintained lacrosse field, created a dangerous condition by using sand or soft-material to fill ruts on field

                                                            iv.      School asked for claim to be dismissed due to doctrine of assumption of risk

                                                              v.      Mcgrath cross-moved for summary judgment dismissing the ^^affirmative defense^^

1.       NY Supreme Court  denied cross motion citing condition of playing field was “open and obvious” and that “plaintiff (mcgrath), as a matter of law, assumed risk of being injured by falling and sustaining her serious injuries”

                                                            vi.      McGrath appealed

e.       Issues:

                                                               i.      Did the defendant negligently maintain the lacrosse field and create a dangerous condition by using a sandy or soft material to fill ruts on the field?

                                                              ii.      Was the condition of the field open and obvious, and did the plaintiff assume the risk of being injured by falling and sustaining injuries?

f.         Holding:

                                                               i.      Claim that defendant negligently maintained the lacrosse field and created a dangerous condition was dismiss

                                                              ii.      Appellate Div. of NY Supreme Court held plaintiff was aware of both ruts on field prior to fall – assumed the risks associated with playing

1.       To hold otherwise would essentially nullify assumption of risk doctrine


Chase v. OHM, LLC (2010)


         I.            Chase v. OHM, LLC

a.        2010 NY Slip Op 6273; 75 A.D. 3d 1031 (2010)

                                                               i.      Year 2010, NY Supreme Court Slip Opinions, #6273; Vol. 75, Appellate Div., 3rd Dept., Pg. 1031

b.       Supreme Court of NY -> Supreme Court of NY, Appellate Division, Third Dept.

c.        Anne Chase – plaintiff, appellee

d.       Hotel Owner, Operator – defendant, appellant

e.       Facts:

                                                               i.      Anne Chase(plaintiff), an active 80 year old, fell in parking lot of hotel fracturing her right femur (dec ’05)

1.       Required femoral plate implant and inpatient rehabilitation

2.       Left rehabilitation center (jan ‘06), fell again that day while attempting to transfer from her wheelchair to a walker, fracturing her right wrist

3.       Despite living alone in the past, she was no longer able to care for herself due to injuries

a.        Transferred to hospital then adult care facility (through march ’06)

4.       May ’08, her femoral plate in her leg failed and was replaced with metal rod – required another surgery and continuing/further inpatient rehabilitation

f.         Procedure:

                                                               i.      Chase sued owner, operator of hotel (defendant) for damages from injuries suffered as a result of falling on snow and ice in parking lot

                                                              ii.      NY Supreme Court ruled in favor of plaintiff, citing that the ‘hotel owner was liable, with no comparative negligence’

1.       Awarded chase $400,000 in damages for past paint and suffering, $442,000 for future pain and suffering for a period of 8.5 years and $135,544.53 for medical costs – totaling $977,544.53.

                                                            iii.      Owner, Operator of hotel appealed, case moved to NY Supreme Court, Appellate Division

1.       Argued that plaintiff did not demonstrate the cause of her fall, thus the evidence regarding causation was insufficient or improperly admitted

g.        Issues:

                                                               i.      Was the evidence regarding causation sufficient and admitted in a proper manner as to show cause of her fall?

                                                              ii.      Was there any comparative negligence?

                                                            iii.      Did the plaintiff receive reasonable compensation for the injuries?

h.       Holding:

                                                               i.      Plaintiff was able to demonstrate causation of fall through photographs, meteorological evidence and testimony of a medical technician

                                                              ii.      No sufficient evidence to conclude comparative negligence in part of plaintiff

                                                            iii.      Due to dramatic lifestyle changes resulting from fall, plaintiff’s compensation was deemed reasonable

i.         Reasoning:

                                                               i.      Photographs taken a few hours post-initial fall proved ice patches and snow in parking lot

                                                              ii.      EMT testified area had been slippery when she arrived to treat, transport plaintiff

                                                            iii.      Through meteorological evidence it was shown there were freezing temps. that day

                                                            iv.      Jury reasoned “lack of comparative fault on part of plaintiff could not be reached upon fair interpretation of the evidence”


California v. Greenwood


         I.            California v. Greenwood

a.        486 U.S. 35 (1988)

                                                               i.      Vol. 486, U.S. Reports, Pg. 35

b.       CA Superior Court -> CA Court of Appeals -> (CA Supreme Court) -> US Supreme Court

c.        Facts:

                                                               i.      Jenny Stracner of the Laguna Beach PD received tips that Billy Greenwood was selling illegal drugs out of his home.

                                                              ii.      Stracner asked local trash collector to obtain garbage bags left outside his home for pick-up, found evidence of drug use

1.       Used evidence to obtain search warrant, finding cocaine and marijuana.

2.       Greenwood arrested and posted bail

                                                            iii.      LBPD continued to receive tips of drug use/trafficking from Greenwood’s house, performed a second search of garbage, found drug evidence, obtained a search warrant, searched home for 2nd time, found narcotics, arrested Greenwood again

d.       Procedure:

                                                               i.      CA Superior Court dismissed charges against Greenwood citing precedent from Peope v. Krivda which decided that trash searches without a warrant violate the 14th Amendment as well as CA Constitution

1.       Court felt police had no probably cause to enter Greenwood home without trash search

                                                              ii.      CA Court of Appeals affirmed decision

                                                            iii.      CA Supreme Court denied to hear appeal

                                                            iv.      U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear case

e.       Issues:

                                                               i.      Is a person’s trash that is discarded outside of their home still private property?

                                                              ii.      Do police have the right to search for waste left for collection outside the curtilage of a person’s home without a search warrant?

f.         Holding:

                                                               i.      The Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the warrantless search and seizure of waste left for collection outside the curtilage of a home. 

g.        Reasoning:

                                                               i.      Greenwood had no reasonable expectation of privacy in it. Although Greenwood had hidden the trash from view by putting in opaque plastic bags and expected it to be on the street only a short time before it would be taken to the dump, the Court believed it to be “common knowledge” that garbage at the side of the street is “readily accessible to animals, children, scavengers, snoops, and other members of the public

                                                              ii.      Since the trash is not considered private to the owner, the Fourth Amendment was not violated because the search was reasonable


Asgrow Seed Co. v. Winterboer (1995)

         I.            Asgrow Seed Co. v. Winterboer

a.        513 U.S. 179 (1995)

                                                               i.      Vol. 513, U.S. Reports, Page 179

b.       Federal District Court -> US Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit -> US Supreme Court

c.        Asgrow – plaintiff,

d.       Winterboer – defendant,

e.       Facts:

                                                               i.      BACKGROUND of Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA)

a.        When owners create a new plant breed they have option of obtaining a PVPA certificate for that breed- gives them patent-like rights to that crop for 18 years

                                                                                                                                       i.      Can only be sold/advertised by owner/developer of crop or with their permission

b.       EXEMPTION: Stated that protected seed could be sold by someone other than the owner as long as both buyer and seller were farmers whose business came from growing/selling crops

                                                                                                                                       i.      Ie, farmers can sell come seeds to other farmers, but did set a specific amount

                                                                                                                                      ii.      Was difficult to interpret, had much legal jaron (basis of this case)

                                                              ii.      Asgrow obtained a PVPA certificate for 2 specific soybean seeds which it developed (labed A1937 and A2234)

                                                            iii.      Dennis and Becky Winterboer, Iowa farmers, bought both seed types from Asgrow, grew them on their land, and sold reproduced seed to other farmers to use on their land

1.       Made much money as they were undercutting Asgrow with prices and claiming to other farmers that their crops were just like Asgrow’s AS1937, A2234 seeds

                                                            iv.      Asgrow researched the Winterboers, obtained reproduced seed, tested it and discovered it was both their soybean seeds that were protected under the PVPA

                                                              v.      Asgrow brought case to Federal District Court

1.       Claimed Winterboers had infringed on PVPA by

a.        1. Selling seeds protected by PVPA certificates

b.       2. Reproduced the protected seeds as a step in marketing them for future growing purposes

c.        3. Selling the protected seeds to others in a way they could be re-grown, without explaining that seeds were protected under PVPA

f.         Procedure:

                                                               i.      Winterboer did not deny selling of protected seed, however believed their selling fell under statute exemption of the law from infringement liability

1.       Cited US Code, Title 7, Chapter 57, Subchapter III, Part K, labeled ‘Right to Save Seed; Crop Exemption’

2.       Argued that this language gave them the right to sell an unlimited amount of seed produced from a protected variety, subject only to the conditions that both buyer and seller be farmers "whose primary farming occupation is the growing of crops for sale for other than reproductive purposes,"

                                                              ii.      Asgrow claimed that exemption stated seller can only sell amount of seed needed to replant their own field, and that Winterboer had done much more than that

                                                            iii.      Federal Court agreed with Asgrow, granted them summary judgment (determination by the court without full trial)

1.       Thus, this was an issue of law, not fact, therefore no need for trial

                                                            iv.      Winterboer appealed to US Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit

1.       Decision reversed in favor of Winterboer

2.       Cited they found no statement in the statute exemption limiting amount of seed that could be resold for growing purposes

3.       Asgrow asked for rehearing, denied

                                                              v.      Asgrow petitioned for writ of certiorari, granted by US Supreme Court

g.        Issues:

                                                               i.      Does the exemption under the PVPA limit the selling of protected seed to only the amount it would take to replant the seller’s own property?

h.       Holding:

                                                               i.      Focus of case was USSC interpretation of the exemption under PVPA

                                                              ii.      Referred to PVPA as a ‘verbal maze’, said ‘not all mysteries regarding the PVPA would be solved’

                                                            iii.      Voted in favor of Asgrow, held that there is a limit on how much protected seed can be sold for growing purposes and that the Winterboers greatly exceeded that limit

i.         Reasoning:

                                                               i.      Part of exemption that USSC used to base its’ ruling:

1.       "it shall not infringe any right hereunder for a person to save seed produced by him from seed obtained, or descended from seed obtained, by authority of the owner of the variety for seeding purposes and use such saved seed in the production of a crop for use on his farm, or for sale as provided in this section ..”

a.        Only sell as much seed as it takes to replant its own acreage

b.       Key line:  states that you cannot qualify for the exemption if you “sexually multipl[ied] the novel variety as a step in marketing,”

                                                                                                                                       i.      Meaning of ‘marketing’ debated hotly as word was broadly defined in statute, USSC took it to mean ‘sell’

                                                                                                                                      ii.      Since Winterboer main goal was to sell seeds for profit, they were not protected from exemption

Basic Books Inc. v. Kinko's Graphics Corporation


         I.            Basic Books Inc. v. Kinko’s Graphics Corporation

a.        758 F. Supp. 1522 (1991)

                                                               i.      Vol. 758, Federal Supplement, Page 1522

b.       United States District Court of New York

c.        Facts:

                                                               i.      Kinko’s copied substantial excerpts from copyrighted books, without permission, to sell to college students in the form of course packets – all for a profit

1.       Di

                                                              ii.      Publishers of these books (led by Basic Books Inc), sued Kinko’s for copyright infringement and violation of the Copyright Act of 1976


                                                            iii.      United States District Court of New York

d.       Procedure:

                                                               i.      Kinko’s defended their actions on four grounds

1.       Their use of the excerpts was “fair use”

a.        Fair use doctrine – portion of copyrighted work may be reproduced for purposes of ‘criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (incl. multiple copies for class) scholarship and research’. Courts must weigh 4 factors:

                                                                                                                                       i.      Purpose/character of the use, including whether of commercial nature or nonprofit educational nature

                                                                                                                                      ii.      Nature of copyrighted work

                                                                                                                                    iii.      Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to copyrighted work as a whole

                                                                                                                                    iv.      Effect of use on potential marked for or value of copyrighted work

2.       The plaintiffs misused their copyright by trying to create an industry standard beyond that established by Congress

3.       Publishers knew about their selling of course packets for years, yet did nothing about it prior to now

4.       Multiple alleged infringements were not properly copyrighted before plaintiff’s filed complaints

e.       Issues:

                                                               i.      Can a for-profit business legally copy substantial amounts of excerpts from copyrighted materials without permission of publisher?

                                                              ii.      Does the fair use doctrine defend against the alleged copyright infringements?

f.         Holding:

                                                               i.      Court determined Kinko’s did violate Copyright Act of 1976, thus committing copyright infringement

                                                              ii.       The “fair use” defense was rejected

                                                            iii.      It was established that plaintiffs were not aware of prior infringement and brought suit immediately upon becoming aware of situation

                                                            iv.      Determined all copyrights properly existed prior to complaints being filed

                                                              v.      Kinko’s forced to pay $510,000 in damages to publishers, incl. attorney’s fees/costs

g.        Reasoning

                                                               i.      The “fair use” defense was rejected because the work was not for non-profit educational purposes (Kinkos is a business looking to make a profit) and that the company was making multiple (a substantial, large amount) copies for the same purpose as the original

h.       Impact

                                                               i.      Use of all copyrighted excerpts for any similar situation now requires permission from the publisher, must be paid for

1.       Increased consumer costs



Gregorie v. Alpine Meadows Ski Resort


*little to no info online, case brief was poorly written*


         I.            Gregorie v. Alpine Meadows Ski Resort

a.        CA Eastern District Court -> U.S. Court of Appeals

b.       Facts:

                                                               i.      Jessica Gregorie and friend Joe Gaffney went snowboarding at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort

1.       Took a traverse to access a double-black-diamond Bowl (most difficult type of terrain)

2.       While hiking up trail, Jessica detached snowboard, lost balance, slid over a rocky cliff to her death

                                                              ii.      Prior to death, Gregorie purchased a season pass, entitled her to sign a waiver

1.       Stated the high risks involved in skiing/snowboarding, and the risk of skiing outside of designated ski boundaries

2.       Included clause: “I agree never to sue and release from liability the Alpine Meadows Ski Resort”

c.        Procedure:

                                                               i.      Jessica’s parents sued on behalf of her, claimed ski resort was negligent based on the lack of warning/protection they provided against a fall like their daughters

1.       Also brought wrongful death claims for premises liability, misrepresentation of risk, breach of contract, rescission of contract,

2.       Seeked both a declaratory judgment and damages

d.       Holding:

                                                               i.      Court ruled Alpine’s release explicitly waived them from negligence charges

1.       Waiver she signed was valid and enforceable (explicit assumption of risk)

                                                              ii.      Summary judgment granted for Alpine

e.       Reasoning:

                                                               i.       Courts cited risks inherent in snow skiing have been well catalogued and recognized by the courts in the past, snowboarding is now different (implicit assumption of risk)

                                                              ii.      Courts declared that signs/symbols used to mark traverse put liability on Jessica, not ski resort        

Priest v. Rotary

         I.            Priest v. Rotary

a.        634 F. Supp. 571 (1986)

                                                               i.      Vol. 634, Federal Supplement, Page 571 (1986)

b.       United States District Court, CA

c.        Priest: plaintiff

d.       Rotary: defendant

e.       Facts:

                                                               i.      June 1978, CA, Evelyn Priest was terminated from her position as a waitress at Fireside Motel and Coffee Shoppe by owner George Rotary

                                                              ii.      Rotary reportedly began to sexually harass Priest shortly after her hiring as a waitress

1.       Incidents:

a.        Inappropriate touching, kissing

                                                                                                                                       i.      Witnessed by two employees

b.       Smashing his body against hers, cornering her, thus preventing her from moving

c.        Exposed his genitals to Priest and other female employee (Rose Mariani)

d.       Arms around waste, unzipping of uniform

2.       Reportedly gave preferential treatment to female employees that appreciated his behavior

a.        ie, shifts that yielded highest tips, more vacation benefits, permission to socialize in lounge (against employment policy)

                                                            iii.      Rotary terminated Priest, alleging she did not accomplish side work, was an unsatisfactory waitress, used vulgar language, had tumultuous relationships with coworkers, disobeyed Rotary’s rule about socializing in lounge

                                                            iv.      Priest was sole provider for her minor son, filed bankruptcy due to financial effects of termination

1.       Claimed her state of mind began to deteriorate as a result

f.         Procedure:

                                                               i.      Priest felt she had been terminated due to discrimination against gender

1.       Reported discrimination to  CA Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing – Sept. 1978

a.        Dept. submitted charge to EEOC when Priest received right to sue – Mar. 1981

                                                              ii.      Trail began in U.S. District Court in CA (1984)

g.        Issue:

                                                               i.      Was plaintiff wrongfully terminated from position as a waitress under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at Fireside Motel?

                                                              ii.      Was the plaintiff’s debilitating state of mind, anxiety and emotional distress caused by the sexual harassment inflicted upon her by Rotary?

h.       Holding:

                                                               i.      Court held the plaintiff was wrongfully terminated from her position as a waitress under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at the Fireside Motel and Coffee Shoppe due to her unfavorable reaction towards the sexually suggestive behavior and harassment from owner, George Rotary. 

                                                              ii.      The plaintiff’s debilitating state of mind, anxiety, and emotional distress was caused by the sexual harassment inflicted upon her by George Rotary.

i.         Reasoning:

                                                               i.      Courts found that the defendant subjected the plaintiff to lurid behavior such as fondling her, exposing himself, and verbally harassing her. 

1.       Held that Rotary fired Priest because he found her reaction to his behavior unfavorable, thus plaintiff was wrongfully terminated

                                                              ii.      Reasoned that Rotary inflicted upon Priest, “highly unpleasant mental reactions, including fright, humiliation, shock, surprise, sickness, nervousness, apprehension, disgust, emotional pain, intimidation, embarrassment, anger, worry, substantial sleeplessness, nausea, and anxiety.

1.       Dubbed Rotary’s behavior as “extreme, outrageous and indecent”, thus causing the plaintiff emotional distress and eligible for damages

j.         Importance

                                                               i.      Case contributed to the law that clarifies what constitutes as sexual harassment - “Wrongful physical conduct includes fondling, jostling, touching…kissing, assault.”

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