ID 34013 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: United States Constitutional Law, Professional Negligence In English Law, Statutory Law

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13 Mar 2018
Chapter 4: Legal Responsibilities
The Legal Environment in Interior Design
Many ethical issues become legal issues
Legal responsibility in ID is woven into every aspect of practice
Laws that govern business
Constitutional law (boundaries of federal law)
o The highest level of law in the US, as expressed in the US constitution
State constitutional law
o Each state and commonwealth also has a constitution that is supreme law in that
state, although a state constitution can’t supersede US constitutional law
Statutory law
o Created by the US congress and state legislatures
o Federal statute: applies to all states
o State statute: applies only within that state
o Created by the local governments, such as those regarding zoning, building
codes, and traffic issues
o Applies only within the municipality or county
Administrative law
o Rules and decisions of agencies of federal, state, and local government
o Ie: the department of justice enforces laws concerning accessibility
Case law (common law)
o When a case is decided in court, that ruling enforces or adds to case law
o What directs areas of law not regulated by statute or administrative law
Uniform law
o Laws that try to bring consistency to the numerous versions of similar laws
passed by individual states
o Ex: building codes and how state codes are based on national codes vs. ohio
building code
What kinds of cases involve Interior Designers?
Negligence liability (professional negligence)
o Failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise
in similar circumstances
o Unintentional tort that can occur because of omission or commission in the
activities and responsibilities of an interior designer
o Is unintentional because the designer didn’t think that any wrongful
consequences of an act would occur and didn’t want them to occur
o Prove negligence
Duty of care: the defendant (person being sued) owed a duty of
reasonable care to the plaintiff
Breach of care: under reasonable person standard, intentional or
unintentional, care was broken
Proximate cause: action or omission caused the injury or harm
“But for the wrongful act, the injury wouldn’t have occured”
There were damages - injury of harm
o Principle defenses of negligence charges
Assumption of risk: the plaintiff (the person suing) who knowingly and
willingly enters into a risky situation can’t recover damages if harm or
injury occurs
Ex: client agrees to a residential-grade product used in a
commercial application
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