My recent Torts exam

William McKinley High School, a public school in the Lima (Ohio) School District, had a radioactivity problem. Cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester had acquired radioactive material from Dalton Labs to produce mutant cheerleaders; sure, she reasoned, this might pose risks in the long run, but who cares when a high-school championship is on the line. Sue didn’t win, despite the efforts of mutant head cheerleader Kitty Wilde. When Principal Figgins found out, he promptly fired Sue for violating school regulations and state and federal law, and told teacher Will Schuester to dispose of the material.

Will knew the law required him to send the material to an approved site. He hired Brittana, Inc., a disposal corporation whose employees are Brittany S. Pierce and Santana Lopez, to dispose of it for a $1000 fee. He had them use the school’s truck to transport the drums of radioactive materials, supervised them as they loaded the drums, and told them to follow a particular path to get from the school to the disposal facility. Will went back to his glee club rehearsal as Brittany and Santana pulled away from the main school building.

If everything had gone according to plan, the chance of further harm would have been quite low. Unfortunately, while driving by the school’s football field, Brittany and Santana became overcome with nostalgia for their old cheerleading days some years back, and left the truck running while they attempted a two-person human pyramid. Noah Puckerman (“Puck”), the school hooligan, took advantage of the situation to steal the truck and drive off with it. Rachel Berry and Finn Hudson, who were walking past at the time, could have stopped Puck, but they didn’t, because they thought this would be fun to watch. School guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury was going to stop Puck, but went back to her office once Rachel (falsely) reassured her that the truck belonged to Puck.

Puck crashed into a pole at 70 mph, and the drums flew out. Some of the drums broke because of a fracture that was present when they were manufactured by Klaine, Inc. Other drums, also from Klaine, had no fracture but were designed without an extra-strong latch that would have prevented them from opening in case of an accident of this magnitude; these, too, broke open. The radioactive materials contaminated the area. The cleanup squads evacuated almost everyone; those who were evacuated suffered no ill effects. The one person who refused to be evacuated was area resident Quinn Fabray. Quinn, who was pregnant and lived closest to the contaminated site, would only have suffered minor injuries (valued at $10,000) if she had been evacuated with everyone else and promptly treated, but because she insisted on standing in her front yard and cursing everyone associated with this sordid tale, she was exposed to a more serious dose of radiation, as a result of which her daughter, Beth, was born with birth defects. Assume that $2 million fully compensates Quinn for any damages she suffered.

Analyze any possible lawsuits. Remember to say not only who can win but also what damages they can win, giving money amounts where appropriate. Note, if you’re going to abbreviate names, that some letters (e.g., S) are ambiguous, so you might want to use several letters (e.g., SS, WS) or first names. Also, be careful with your capitalization to distinguish the verb “sue” from the cheerleading coach “Sue”.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes