Class 6 Answers
Answers to Questions for Class 6:
1. In Jordan House v Menow and Honsberger, explain the defendant’s position in
regard to statutory liability.
The defendant argued that since the Liquor License Act made reference to
liability for wrongful death in very particular circumstances, then this was the only
liability contemplated by the Act. This is a rule of statutory interpretation: when a
statute includes specific things, then it is presumed the legislators left out other
things intentionally. The court rejected this argument.
2. In the same case, did the trial court find the duty of care owed to the plaintiff in
a statute? If so, which statute?
Here is another reference to the Liquor License Act. The defendant tried to rely
on the Act to also establish it had a right to eject the plaintiff from the premises.
The court did not agree, but did refer to theAct to conclude that while the Act
would allow for a removal from the premises, it also implied that must be done in
such a way as not to harm the patron/ plaintiff. The Act did not create liability, but
it was evidence to establish a common law duty of care. A primary feature of this
case was also that the plaintiff was an invitee, and the defendant as invitor owed
him a duty of care not to injure him.
3. What was the defendant’s cost of avoidance in the case?
Pretty low: they could have driven him home, called him a cab, or given him a
room upstairs. 4. Do you see the availability of insurance as a factor in this case? Or cases like
It is not so apparent in this case, at least when reading the judgment. But you
can easily surmise: a business, especially one serving alcohol, and a driver of a
car, in all likelihood, are insured. Where there is insurance, there is money, and,
not surprising, there will be a lawyer. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but
it is predictable. Motor vehicle insurance, business insurance, and even
homeowner’s insurance will insure a party for negligent acts. In this case, the
court found all three parties liable. The plaintiff was contributorily negligent for his
own injuries. You should also consider the effect of the Negligence Act, if not in
this case, certainly in others. The Negligence Act makes multiple tortfeasors
jointly and severally liable. A plaintiff will sue anyone potentially liable, and can
collect all the money from the party that is insured, as long as they are liable for
any portion of the claim. So I don’t see insurance has having an impact on this
judgment, but it may have had an impact on who was sued and perhaps whether
a law suit was commenced at all. It is hard to resist the compensation focus
when money is available.
5. In the Dobson case, is the majority opinion consistent with traditional tort
I would argue no. The two perfectly sound principles based on traditional tort
concepts told us mom was liable. This is a shocking conclusion in many ways.
But it doesn’t shock our concept of tort law.City of City of Kamloops v. Nielsen, v.
Nielsen is actually quite a departure from traditional tort law principles: it says
when the law leads us to liability, there may be public