BMGT380 Mid Term Study Cases

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University of Maryland
Business and Management
BMGT 380
William Mc Clenahan

CasesMathias vs Accor Economy LodgingIntentional TortsFactsBurl and Desiree mathis were bitten by bedbugs when they stayed at a Motel 6 in downtown Chicago The filed suit against the corporation that owns and operate the Motel 6 chain Alleging that the defendants personnel refused to act in response to the complaints of various guests and otherwise knowingly disregarded clear evidence of a bedbug infestation problem the plaintiffs sought both compensatory and punitive damages on the theory that the defendant had engaged in willful and wanton conductoCompensatory damagesa plaintiff who wins a tort case usually recovers compensatory damages for the harm she suffered as a result of the defendants wrongful act Could be for direct and immediate harms such as physical injuries medical expenses or for less tangible harms such as loss of privacy loss of reputation and emotional distress 178oPunitive Damagesif the defendants behavior was particularly bad injured victims may also be able to recover punitive damages Not intended to compensate tort victims for their loses they are designed to punish flagrant wrongdoers and to deter them as well as others from engaging in similar conduct in the future Reserved for the worst kinds of wrongdoing and thus are not routinely assessed against the losing defendant in a tort case 178A federal court jury returned a verdict in favor of the Mathiases awarding them compensatory damages for their injuries and assessing a punitive damages award against the defendant IssuesMotel 6 argued that any fault on its part did not amount to willful and wanton conductWas the conduct bad enough that it warranted awarding of punitive damagesoMotel 6 argues that at worst it is guilty of simple negligenceHoldingDistrict courts judgment in favor of plaintiffs affirmed confirmedoDefendants first claim of simple negligence has no possible merit as the evidence of recklessness in the strong sense of an unjustifiable failure to avoid a known risk was amply shownMotel 6 was notified of bedbugs but the motel did refused to have their rooms sprayedMotel 6 refused to have their rooms sprayed even though the hotel was refunding many guests and the manager suggested the entire motel be sprayed Respondeat superioremployers are liable for torts committed by employees if those torts occurred within the scope of employmentMotel 6s failure to either warn guests or to take effective measure to eliminate the bedbugs was sufficient evidence of willful and wanton conduct recklessness as opposed to mere negligencerefers to why punitive damages were appropriate in this caseAwarded punitive damages because compensatory damages are difficult to determine in the case of acts that inflict largely dignityrelated harms because the compensatory damages would be too slight to give the victim an incentive to sue and he might decide instead to respond with violence and because to limit the plaintiff to compensatory damages would enable the defendant to commit the offensive act with impunity provided that he was willing to pay 180Stoshak vs east Baton Rouge Parish School BoardIntentional TortsFactsJohn Stoshak a teacher at a baton rouge public high school was injured when he attempted to break up a fight between two male students During the fight a punch thrown by one of the students struck stoshak in the back of the head causing him to lose consciousness oStoshak stated that he was struck when he sought to separate the boys who in Stoshaks words were tearing each other upStoshaks employer East Baton Rouge Parish School Board placed Stoshak on leave without reduction in pay for a period of one year following the incident in accordance with the physical contact pay statute oPhysical Contact pay statutestates that if a public school teacher is injured or disabled as a result of physical contact with a student while providing physical assistance to a student to prevent danger of injury to the student the teacher is entitled to receive sick leave for a period of up to one calendar year without reduction in payWhen it became clear that the board would not pay benefits for more than a year after the incident Stoshak sued the board in Louisiana court Stoshak contended that he was injured as a result of an assault or battery by any student or person that he continued to suffer a resulting disability and that in accordance with the assault or battery pay statute he was entitled to leave without reduction in pay for the disabilitys full durationoAssault or Battery pay statuteif a public school teacher is injured or disabled while acting in his official capacity as a result of assault or battery by any student or person the teacher shall receive sick leave without reduction in pay while disabled as a result of such assault or batteryTrial court granted the Boards motion for summary judgment concluding that Stoshaks injuries fell under the physical contact pay statuteStoshak appealedIssuesDid the damage that Stoshak received when trying to break up the fight fall under the Assault or battery pay statute or the physical contact pay statuteHoldingSummary judgment in favor of the Board reversed summary judgment entered in favor of Stoshak
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