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Lecture 4

ADMS 2610 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Pilot Light, Product Liability, Lightning

Administrative Studies
Course Code
ADMS 2610
William Pomerantz

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Chapter 5
Unintentional Torts
Intentional Torts
- done something to someone on purpose
- Assault and battery
- False imprisonment
- Defamation
- Slander
- Libel
Unintentional Torts
Concept of Tort Liability
- vicarious liability
- Strict liability
- Proximity cause
- Duty of Care
- Foreseeability
- Res ipsa Loquitor
To Win case - 51%
Some Preliminary Issues
Tort - a wrong committed against someone, either
i) unintentional
ii) Intentional
- one should not intentionally cause injuries to another
Strict Liability
- responsibility for loss regardless of the circumstances
- Strict liability still exists in cases where activities or practices are inherently dangerous
Burden of Proof - on plaintiff unless “res ipsa loquitur” (facts speaks for themselves)
Standard of proof

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- Negligence: “beyond a balance of probabilities (over 50%)
- Criminal: “beyond a reasonable doubt” (99%)
- Professional discipline: “strong probability” (75%)
Vicarious Liability
- The liability at law of one person for the acts of another
- Employers (deep pocket theory)
- If done during the course of employment
- Reflected through insurance coverage
- employer also liable if tort committed by employee during course of employment
-Buy burger at MCDs and get sick, we don’t sue the 14 year old employee, sue the
Owner of the company for VICARIOUS LABILITY
Negligence: hurdles to Overcome
1) Duty of Care
2) Standard of Care
3) Causation
4) Remoteness
5) Defences
6) Damages
Mrs. Stella Liebeck, 79 years old, orders cup of coffee from McDonald’s drive-through
While sitting in passenger seat in stopped car, she puts cup of coffee between her legs and attempts
to remove plastic lid to add cream and sugar
She spills coffee onto her sweat pants and is severely burnt (6 percent of her body, inner thighs,
buttocks, genital and groin areas, 7 days in hospital requiring skin grafts)
McDonalds coffee served at 185 degrees F. (not fit for immediate human consumption - would
burn mouth and throat)
Consultants indicated that hot temperature required for better tasting coffee
She ended up getting $800 000
How to Approach a Tort
- trying to determine if McD is negligent
- If negligent - owe money
- If not negligent - don’t owe money
1) Duty of Care
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