1. Why did the Iowa Supreme Court conclude that Gutterz owed a duty of reasonable care to Hoyt? According to the Court, when would a landowner not owe a duty of reasonable care to a plaintiff? Describe a scenario in which a landowner would not owe such a duty to an injured party.
2. Why should Hoyt, who initiated the conflict with Knapp in the Gutterz bar area, be able to recover from Gutterz for his resulting injuries? Explain.
3. Both the majority and dissenting opinions offer that taverns are not ensurers of safety of their patrons against injury caused by third parties. On what point does the dissenting opinion disagree with the majority? Do you agree with the majority or dissenting opinion? Explain.
4. Jerry Colaitis, 47, went with his family to a Benihana steak-house in Munsey Park, New York. The Benihana chain is well-known for hibachi-style cooking with diners gathered around a rectangular wooden table with a hot grill in the middle from which the chef, as a form of entertainment, often casually tosses pieces of cooked food at the diners. Mrs. Colaitis claimed that the chef struck and burned some family members with pieces of tossed food. Mr. Colaitis asked the chef to stop, but as he was speaking a piece of shrimp was tossed his way, causing Mr. Colaitis to jerk away from it resulting in two wrenched vertebrae in his neck. Mr. Colaitis underwent a corrective operation then suffered a post-operative complication that resulted in a blood-borne infection that caused Mr. Colaitis’ death. The Colaitis family sued Benihana for negligence causing the death. At trial, the head chef at the Munsey Park restaurant conceded that the food tossing practice could be dangerous. The restaurant discontinued the practice. During the last year of his life, Mr. Colaitis had suffered from fevers that were not associated with his surgery. How would you rule on the Colaitis’ negligence claim? Explain.
5. Johnny Burnett, described by his mother, Sheila Watters, as a devoted “Dungeons & Dragons” player, killed himself. (The record did not disclose his age at the time of death.) Watters blamed the death on her son’s absorption in the game. She claimed that “he lost control of his own independent will and was driven to self-destruction.”
“Dungeons & Dragons” is an adventure game set in an imaginary ancient world; the players assume the roles of various characters as suggested by illustrated booklets. The play is orchestrated by a player labeled the “Dungeon Master.” The outcome of the play is determined by using dice in conjunction with tables provided with the game. The game’s materials do not mention suicide or guns. More than 1 million copies of the game have been sold, many to schools where it is used as a learning tool.
In federal district court, Watters brought a wrongful death claim against TSR, the manufacturer of “Dungeons & Dragons.” The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that TSR violated its duty of care in two ways: It disseminated “Dungeons & Dragons” literature to “mentally fragile persons,” and it failed to warn that the “possible consequences” of playing the game might include “loss of control of the mental processes.” Decide. Explain.
6. Plaintiff was seven months pregnant and the mother of 17-month-old James. She was standing on the sidewalk, and James was in the street. A truck being negligently driven bore down on the boy, running him over. The shock caused the mother to miscarry and suffer actual physical and emotional injury. She brought suit against the driver for harm to herself and the infant child.
a. What is the issue in this case?
b. Decide the case. Explain.
7. Is a fireworks manufacturer liable for harm to children who ignited an explosive that had failed to detonate in the town public display the previous day? Explain.
8. An individual took his car to Quality Pontiac in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for repairs and was told to leave the car unlocked with the keys in the ignition. The lot was fenced, but the gate was unlocked. Billy Garcia entered the car lot at 9 PM, apparently looking in the cars for something to steal. Garcia stole the individual’s car. The next day at approximately 11 AM, a deputy sheriff observed Garcia driving quickly through a school zone and pursued him, engaging his sirens and emergency lights. Garcia sped the car up to 90 miles an hour and collided with Herrera’s car, killing one occupant and seriously injuring the other; Herrera and others sued Quality Pontiac. The complaint included an affidavit of a sociologist asserting that Albuquerque’s car theft rate was the second highest in the United States, and that a significant portion of cars stolen had been left unlocked and with keys in the ignition. Further, stolen cars were highly likely to be involved in joy riding, and nearly 17 percent of stolen cars were involved in accidents shortly after the theft. Should Quality Pontiac be held liable? Explain.
Defendant—appellee Gutterz Bowl & Lounge (Gutterz) is a bowling alley and tavern located in Guthrie Center, Iowa. On March 20, 2009, Curtis Hoyt and several members of his construction crew finished work and went to Gutterz for refreshments. Curtis Knapp was also a customer at Gutterz that afternoon. Hoyt soon came to believe that Knapp was scowling at him. Hoyt and Knapp had formerly been friendly, but tension had arisen between them as a result of Hoyt’s alleged mistreatment of the sister of Knapp’s friend.

  • CreatedOctober 02, 2015
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