Spoiler Question: TORTS
The plaintiff and the defendant were passengers sitting in adjoining seats on a flight on an airline. There were many empty seats on the aircraft. During the flight, a flight attendant served the defendant nine drinks. As the defendant became more and more obviously intoxicated and attempted to engage the plaintiff in a conversation, the plaintiff chose to ignore the defendant. This angered the defendant, who suddenly struck the plaintiff in the face, giving her a black eye. If the plaintiff asserts a claim for damages against the airline based on battery, she will
Prevail, because she suffered an intentionally inflicted harmful or offensive contact.
Prevail, if the flight attendant acted recklessly in continuing to serve liquor to the defendant.
Not prevail, because the defendant was not acting as an agent or employee of the airline.
Not prevail, unless she can establish some permanent injury from the contact.
Answer choice C is correct. Vicarious liability is a form of strict liability in which one person is liable for the tortious actions of another. It arises when one person has the right, ability, or duty to control the activities of another, even though the first person was not directly responsible for the injury. As the defendant here was not within the control of the airline, either as employee or agent, the airline cannot be liable for his conduct. Answer choice A is incorrect because, absent a relationship giving rise to vicarious liability, the airline would not be liable for the actions of the defendant. Answer choice B is incorrect. Even if the flight attendant acted recklessly, the airline would not be responsible for the defendant's actions absent a relationship giving rise to vicarious liability. The airline may be responsible for the actions of its own employees, but the flight attendant did not engage in a battery. Answer choice D is incorrect because there is no requirement that the plaintiff sustain an injury in a battery action, much less a permanent one. Nominal damages are available even if no physical injury occurred.
Can someone explain to me why the airline is not liable. Even after re-reading the torts outline it still seems to me that they should be liable under the DRAM shop statutes, which state if a person is visibly intoxicated and you continue to serve them liquor, you can be vicariously liable for their intoxicated actions.??
Last edited by dsclaw
on Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.