That’s one of the things we most appreciate about him. — Jonathan Turley, Legal Myths: Hardly the Whole Truth, USA Today, Jan. 30, 2005. — Flowers v. Carville, 310 F.3d 1118, 1122 (9th Cir. The defendant tried to escape liability by relying on an Ohio statute intended to provide tort immunity for riding stable owners and horse show operators for injuries resulting from the inherent risks of equine activity (a statute Painter said “is noteworthy mainly for using the word ‘farrier’ ten times”). On the day of the event, Yaney set up the Motorsports truck and trailer as a staging area for guns and ammunition. For the completely true fake inside story behind these opinions, check out Palsgraf Uncovered). A less noticed, but just as fun pop culture-laden opinion was his dissent to an order denying rehearing en banc in White v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a case where the Ninth Circuit upheld a “right of publicity” claim by former game show hostess Vanna White against Samsung for using a robot resembling her game show persona in a television commercial. As always, it will come down to the facts as proved–or, more likely, to a settlement. Reading the opinion, it wasn’t hard to predict the defendant was going to win in the end. And isn’t that basically your case? He claimed damages against the first defendant, a member of the opposing team, and against the second defendant, the referee. Ernest had a revolver in a holster strapped to his thigh. Students commonly ask, “Why didn’t they just take anything of value out of the house?”, Seeking to establish the provenance of the purported Briney wire, I asked, “How did you know to keep the wire?”, “It was still attached to the bed,” Jim said. U.S. Ninth Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski is well known for sprinkling pop culture references throughout his opinions, particularly in the famous Syufy opinion, which wove in the titles of more than 200 movies. For non-legals, Judge Hand was a famous judge who in a famous case–U.S. The House of Lords held that the manufacturer of the bottle was responsible for his negligence towards the plaintiff. she was told that it was in fact a replica. The main issue was whether the Yale Divinity School could be held strictly liable under the Connecticut dog-bite statute as a “keeper” of the dean’s offending canine, Rocky, a Labrador, because the dog was permitted to roam free in common areas of the divinity school residences and chapel. 13-1266 (N.D. Ohio Apr. A large guy (280-90 pounds) ironically won a one-week trip to Hawaii as a reward for selling more than $20,000 in diet products. In this case, the appellant drank a bottle of ginger beer which was bought from a retailer by her friend which contained the decomposed body (the remains) of a snail. The trial judge had dismissed the lawsuit on theory that the offending asparagus could have been unwittingly transported onto the dance floor after becoming entrapped in the apparel of the dancers. Carlin apparently was a learned Shakespeare fan. The next generation oven will come with a built-in corporate lawyer who will send you threatening cease and desist alerts if you overcook or undercook your food and bill at a rate of $300 per hour. …. Credit on the chart attributes this work of art to one Margaret Hagen. Welcome to the Internet of Things. A guy sued his long-time girlfriend (ex-girlfriend?) They’re always unfair because there’s no bargaining power. Guess what saved the life of Mrs. P’s closest living relative? A piece of shrapnel hit (guest) Plank–Greer’s hand, nearly severing it. Berkoff’s suit, against an English newspaper, was not a case of libel tourism. v. Carroll Towing–set forth a famous algebraic economic cost-benefit formula for determining whether injury-causing conduct was reasonable or unreasonable. Most law students read and remember this unusual case, in which plaintiff Marvin Katko broke into Ed and Bertha Briney’s abandoned farmhouse in Eddyville, Iowa, in search of old jars and bottles he considered to be antiques, only to have his leg blown off by a shotgun wired to a bed in one of the bedrooms. Because people are still circulating these tall tales. Welcome to 1L torts class! ], When I first heard the news about Ralph Nader’s new American Museum of Tort Law, my first thought was, “Awesome! There is also a ton of information, and misinformation, out there about the McDonald’s case. 2d 511 (La. 1996). — Gibson v. Donahue, 772 N.E. 5.  Religious Societies: It is not contributory negligence to bow one’s head while praying in church, whether in the pew or in the aisle. He explained he was able to ignore the pain because he was enjoying himself so much on this long anticipated vacation that he did not dwell on or focus on the pain to any degree. She is now in critical condition. Towards the end of the event, Yaney and Vantilburg decided it was time to blow up the refrigerator. Is this a Judicial Opinion or a Cookbook? In this case, the police authorities recovered some stolen property and deposited the same in the Malkhana which was then stolen from the Malkhana. This legal doctrine means that the “thing speaks for itself,” which means that plaintiffs may recover for torts that have been obviously caused by the negligence of another person or business. Take this test and see. However, … he ignored the pain until he returned to Pensacola two weeks later. The Commission reported three deaths associated with lawn darts from 1970-1988 and an estimated 700 annual emergency room cases. Most modern courts apply a reasonableness test that looks at whether the substance was one a consumer would reasonably expect to find in a prepared dish, but the Massachusetts Supreme Court in this 1964 case adopted the older approach that there is no liability for harm-causing natural substances (i.e., bones as opposed to pieces of glass) in food. The intersection of church and tort law is an interesting area. Katko sued the Brineys and—despite the fact that he broke into their farmhouse with an intent to steal—won a substantial jury verdict for both compensatory and punitive damages. Hate to be a party-pooper, but I think there’s a duty to act reasonably to prevent highly foreseeable injuries at premises open to the public. No known connection exists between this Chicago pub and the real Judge Cardozo. Turley was unable to track down records showing that any of these, or several other notorious crazy lawsuits, actually existed. In case you're wondering, "tort" is an Old French word meaning "very lengthy negligence fact pattern." Lawhaha.com has uncovered new details—and a Torts artifact—regarding the infamous “Iowa spring-gun case”: Katko v. Briney. Is “Andrews’ Billiard Hall” next door by any chance? Defendant did have a slim statutory leg to stand on. On any other evening, presenting a frightening or threatening visage might be a violation of a general duty not to scare others. — Mark Fass, Palsgraf Railroad Injury Proximate Cause of Family Curse?, New York Law Journal, Dec. 10, 2004. Any fan of judicial opinion writing needs to study the opinions of the Honorable Michael A. Musmanno (1897-1968). Students often question this principle, arguing that five-year-olds lack the mental capacity to appreciate the consequences of their acts. 1986) (also noting that the Louisiana legislature has recognized Halloween as a special occasion by exempting it from the statute which prohibits the wearing of masks in public places). reckless as to whether this would occur. John does not know that Adam suffers a disability, but he does know that kicking someone will cause discomfort. He led a remarkable life. Co., 27 N.Y.S.2d 198, 199, 201 (City Court of N.Y. 1941). U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski faced an appeal in a defamation suit filed by former lounge-singer Gennifer Flowers against Hillary Rodham Clinton, James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. Playdon (chuckling): I smile—I never envisioned thirty years ago that I’d have the opportunity …. The plaintiff presented several police officers as witnesses who testified that plaintiffs’ psychic abilities had helped them solve cases. Assuming the plaintiff was standing close by he could have been injured in any number of ways from someone setting off fireworks in such a dangerous, uncontrolled manner. Having cleared that up, the most interesting part of the case was the testimony pertaining to her psychic abilities. But as with the McDonald’s case, Haimes got twisted in the telling. Never used. Co., 491 So. Upon information and belief, there were several other ATO fraternity members on the deck at the time of this incident, including one or more officers of the fraternity. 189, 190–91 & n.1, 192 (S.D.N.Y. — Oberschlake v. Veterinary Assoc. 1008 (Ct. App. … [W]e can well do without a bullfight which is nothing less than an open air lyceum in the art of torturing helpless animals. — Post v. Annand, 798 F. Supp. Musmanno began his impassioned dissent: If there is one commodity of which there is no need for a further supply, it is violence. Despite manifold attempts to define the standard, answers remain elusive. Stripping away the legalese, before you can warm up a pizza, you have to give up some legal rights. 1. 10. Many nights he laid on his stomach in the house with his gun waiting for Katko to come.”. Consult the original post for links to some eye-opening information about what really happened in the McDonald’s coffee spill case. Poopi’s owners sought emotional distress damages for themselves as well as for Poopi, including expenses for Poopi’s psychological care. The box contained fireworks. Chapter 2. I think her name was Alexa. (The opinion gives details about how the accident occurred.). It’s interesting. Elise was listening to oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in Exxon Co. USA v. Sofec, 116 S.Ct. We decide whether Flowers’s claims are timely and, if so, whether they survive a motion to dismiss. At trial, the defendant testified he was “‘trotting’ under the Spirit of the Lord” and was not in control of his actions at the time of the collision. This case is documented as the first to establish the modern law of negligence. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Hanker J. said “Damnum may be absque injuria as if I have a mill and my neighbor builds another mill whereby the profits of my mill is diminished… but if a miller disturbs the water from going to my mill, or does any nuisance of the like sort, I shall have such action as the law gives.”. Tort cases must prove that there was a duty, a breach of that duty, causation, and injury. The West headnote writers summed up the holdings succinctly:  Negligence: Notwithstanding that worshiper testified he was trotting under the Spirit of the Lord, “Act of God” defense did not apply in action by worshiper who was injured while praying in the aisle against second worshiper who was running in church inasmuch as “Act of God” meant force majeure. My favorite part is how the legendary Justice Michael Angelo Musmanno of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court bluntly and rather contemptuously rejected the trial judge’s theory of how the asparagus (which according to testimony formed a puddle three feet in diameter) got on the dance floor (some paragraph breaks inserted): The trial judge, an ex-veteran congressman and thus a habitue of formal parties and accordingly an expert in proper wearing apparel at such functions, all of which he announced from the bench, allowed testimony as to the raiment worn by the banquetters. Later news reports suggested that the tapes may have been selectively edited. Ruiz v. … His opinions are marvelous concoctions of deep-hearted passion and brutal common sense, delivered in highly literate and often hilarious prose. The surprising legal lesson of this case is that expert testimony about tighty-whities fit can apparently pass scrutiny as scientifically valid under Daubert. The law of negligence in place at the time only really came into play through a contract, which in this case there was none. See if you can find it. Before we dive into the cases, we should explain what a tort is. They left food in the cupboard behind the table.”, If true, this may answer one of the questions students often have about the case. Like Lawhaha.com (and unlike so many purveyors of legal humor), Randy doesn’t circulate undocumented anecdotes that may or may not have really happened. The legal dispute is an old one: To what extent is food containing a harmful ingredient a defective product when the substance is a natural one as opposed to a foreign one? As for Rocky, we don’t know his fate, but the judge did offer a weak defense for the nice face-biting doggie in a footnote: 1. Full appreciation of this classic can come only with a full reading, but here’s how it starts: This case presents the ordinary man–that problem child of the law–in a most bizarre setting. The town posted the news on its Facebook page, generously taking responsibility for the incident: “A poor decision was made … to ‘dry the field quicker’ and 24 gallons of gasoline was poured and set on fire.”. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Importantly, the law of intent does not require that the child intended to “injure” the other or to appreciate all the ramifications of his or her acts (such as, in Garratt, that the elderly plaintiff would suffer a fractured hip when she fell to the ground). Thanks to Cynthia Cohan. Once you say you’re out of the scope of the risk, what do you need a doctrine of supervening cause for? When you say, you know, that the negligence … the causality … had long since terminated. Good thing this is Canada!”, Are you in law school? So how does one prove a complex products liability case like this one? We’ll let the court elaborate on this interesting products liability case: Plaintiff testified that by the second day in Hawaii he was in debilitating pain. Our society encourages children to transform themselves into witches, demons, and ghosts, and play a game of threatening neighbors into giving them candy.” Bouton v. Allstate Ins. msrlawbooks Law of Torts P T O Page 9 Explain with cases, the liability of the Master for the acts of the servant, done during the course of his employment. The injury that occurred–falling off the deck-is the risk that makes it negligent to not have a railing on a raised deck. Several lawhaha visitors sent in Mark Fass’s article in the New York Law Journal about an alleged curse on the family of Helen Palsgraf, the most famous torts plaintiff in history. (c) Recognizing that (b) would be too much freaking work, cancel the game and reschedule it for when the field is dry. The Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed the trial judge, which had rejected the claim, although one member of the appellate panel concurred “reluctantly” and suggested that the legislature consider allowing damages for tortious injuries to pets. He testified he is a “belly-man” and his “weight” prevents him from looking down and seeing his penis. This case involves a claim for false imprisonment. 2d 646, 648, 650 (Ohio Ct. App. Because of the competition, the plaintiff had to reduce their fees. Here are the basic facts, borrowed from Randy’s excerpts from the court’s opinion: In May 2012, [James] Yaney’s friend, Jason Vantilburg, in anticipation of the birth of his first child, asked Yaney to host a party to celebrate. Sued the manufacturer, but usually distinct, claims in a bar as,! Spilled the asparagus on the dance floor v. Hanes Brands, Inc., 989 F.2d 1512, n.6. Good fish-chowder recipe as always, it famous intentional tort law cases s one of the bottle was responsible his. While you navigate through the medium of eye or ear famous intentional tort law cases direct contact came, eight of,! Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co., 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E Pour 24 of! Email address call for Papers- RMLNLU Journal on Communication, Media, Entertainment & law. 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