Torts Questions - Negligence and Statutes

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onthemoney
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:41 pm

Torts Questions - Negligence and Statutes

Postby onthemoney » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:02 am

Background: Scott is speeding (73 in a 55) on a highway in a rural town. Officer Harris pursues for several minutes. Officer Harris then uses his "push bumper" to knock Scott off the road. Scott's car flips, he becomes permanently disabled. Scott sues Oficer Harris. Here are some variations that were given.

a. Suppose while driving at the speed limit, a car crosses over the lane and hits Scott. The defendant argues that Scott is also negligent because he was driving with a suspended license. What’s the result?

b. Suppose Scott is speeding because his girlfriend needs an emergency appendectomy. A car crosses over the line and crashes into Scott. In the subsequent lawsuit, defendant seeks to introduce Scott’s speeding to demonstrate that Scott was also negligent. What’s the result?

c. Suppose Harris complies with a state regulation that calls for use of a push bumper in high speed chases. Shouldn’t Harris' compliance with that regulation completely bar Scott's lawsuit? Why or why not?

onthemoney
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:41 pm

Re: Torts Questions - Negligence and Statutes

Postby onthemoney » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:06 pm

onthemoney wrote:Background: Scott is speeding (73 in a 55) on a highway in a rural town. Officer Harris pursues for several minutes. Officer Harris then uses his "push bumper" to knock Scott off the road. Scott's car flips, he becomes permanently disabled. Scott sues Oficer Harris. Here are some variations that were given.

a. Suppose while driving at the speed limit, a car crosses over the lane and hits Scott. The defendant argues that Scott is also negligent because he was driving with a suspended license. What’s the result?


b. Suppose Scott is speeding because his girlfriend needs an emergency appendectomy. A car crosses over the line and crashes into Scott. In the subsequent lawsuit, defendant seeks to introduce Scott’s speeding to demonstrate that Scott was also negligent. What’s the result?

c. Suppose Harris complies with a state regulation that calls for use of a push bumper in high speed chases. Shouldn’t Harris' compliance with that regulation completely bar Scott's lawsuit? Why or why not?



My answers:

a. I would say that Scott gets off "scott free." The legislature's purpose in a suspended license law isn't necessarily designed to promote safe driving (directly), unlike speed limit laws. Scott's violation of this law in no way makes his behavior negligent.

b. Certainly Scott violated law by speeding. Unlike an emergency vehicle that carries warnings with it (lights, sirens) when speeding, Scott's speeding does not. You may evade a ticket in such a case, but your certainly negligent and that is something to be considered.

c. The state regulation presumably took into account the dangers of using such a device in high speed chase. Unless it could be proven that Officer had purpose or knowledge of substantial certainty of the injurious result, the case should be barred. Of course, even with that purpose or knowledge, Officer Harris might have still been within the law, the state may feel lethal force is appropriate in high speed chases (whether such a law is constitutional I have no idea).

alllucknotalent
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Torts Questions - Negligence and Statutes

Postby alllucknotalent » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:39 pm

A+B- i believe he gets off bc he wasnt the causation of the accident.... not sure but how i interpreted it




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