• January 3rd, 2017

Law

Paper , Order, or Assignment Requirements

FACT PATTERN

Rizzo Company specializes in producing premium, handcrafted baseball gloves. Rizzo Company is incorporated in Delaware and has its headquarters in Iowa. Rizzo Company has a fleet of 9 delivery trucks across the United States. Bryant, one of the delivery truck drivers and a resident and citizen of Iowa, was driving one of the delivery trucks to a sporting goods store in Chicago, Illinois. As Bryant was approaching the store, he moved into the left lane (of a four-lane road – two lanes proceeding in each direction) because he was going to turn left into the parking lot of the sporting goods store. Because traffic was approaching from the opposite direction, Bryant’s delivery truck came to a complete stop in the left lane of traffic while waiting for a break in oncoming traffic on the other side of the road. Unfortunately, Bryant failed to turn on the left turn signal. However, the brake lights of Bryant’s delivery truck were activated and clearly illuminated during the time that the delivery truck was slowing down and coming to a stop. At the same time, Addison, a local little league coach and a resident and citizen of Illinois, was driving a car in the lane behind the delivery truck. Addison did not notice that Bryant was slowing to a stop with enough time to stop his car and Addison collided into the back of Bryant’s delivery truck. At all relevant times prior to Bryant slowing down and stopping the delivery truck, Addison had been driving at an appropriate speed with an adequate distance between the front of his car and the delivery truck.

Unfortunately, as a result of the accident, Addison suffered a serious leg injury and the car Addison was driving, which was brand new and retails for $30,000, was destroyed.

In addition, because the airbag in Addison’s car was defective as the result of a manufacturing defect, Addison suffered a severe head injury, which Addison would not have otherwise suffered if the airbag was working as designed. Addison purchased his car, which was manufactured by Toyota, from Jon’s Motors. The specific manufacturing defect related to the sensor of the airbag, which was manufactured exclusively by Toyota.

Although Addison eventually fully recovers from both the serious leg injury and his serious head injury, he incurs medical expenses of $100,000 to treat his leg injury and $100,000 to treat his head injury. Addison is also unable to work for six months because of his head injury and loses his job.

Addison is planning to file a lawsuit against Rizzo Company* and Bryant. Addison is seeking $300,000 to cover his medical expenses, the cost to replace his car, and pain and suffering.

Addison also is planning to file a separate lawsuit based on product liability against Jon’s Motors, and is seeking $200,000 in this separate lawsuit.

INSTRUCTIONS

Part I

You are the general counsel (i.e., the chief internal legal advisor) for Rizzo Company. Please draft a memorandum to the chief executive officer of Rizzo Company examining certain aspects of Rizzo Company’s exposure to liability arising out of the accident. Please focus your memorandum on answering the following questions:

1. Assuming for purposes of this question only that the lawsuit could be, and is, filed in Iowa state court, would Rizzo Company and Bryant be able to remove the case to Iowa federal district court?

2. Assuming for purposes of this question only that the lawsuit could be, and is, filed in Iowa federal district court, what procedural and substantive law will the court apply?

3. Is it likely that Addison’s lawsuit against Rizzo Company and Bryant based on Bryant’s negligence will be successful?

4. Would any defense to negligence raised by Rizzo Company and Bryant be likely to succeed? If there is more than one defense that would potentially be available based on these facts, please describe each defense.

Part II

You are the general counsel for Jon’s Motors and are in charge of advising Jon’s Motors on its legal issues. Please draft a memorandum to the owner of Jon’s Motors examining Jon’s Motors’ possible exposure to liability for the head injuries Addison suffered in the accident with Bryant. Please focus your memorandum on answering the following questions:

1. Please explain whether Jon’s Motors has any potential liability if Addison’s lawsuit is based on the negligence theory of product liability.

2. Please explain whether Jon’s Motors has any potential liability if Addison’s lawsuit is based on the strict liability in tort theory of product liability.

3. Assuming solely for purposes of this question that Jon’s Motors was determined to be liable under either the negligence theory or strict liability theory of product liability, what potential damages would Addison be able to recover from Jon’s Motors?

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