Principles of Torts

FIRST ASSIGNMENT                                                               

Instructions

1. The assignment must be typed as word document using Times New Roman font, size 12, with single spacing.

2. Length: The answers to each question should not exceed 1 page in length. Penalty will apply if length restriction is breached; 2 marks to be deducted. Marks will also be deducted for works without citations, bibliography and references.

3. Submission: A soft copy is due via the assignment link provided on the blackboard at the beginning of class.

4. Task: The assignment deal with the materials in the textbook. Question 1 deal with Chapter 3, question 2 deal with chapter 3, question 3 deal with chapter 5.

5. Weight: This assignment is worth 15% of the final grade in this course. See marking rubric on pgs. 4-5.

Notes

1. Plagiarism: This is an individual assignment. All sources must be included in a bibliography. All quotations, including those from the textbook and the internet, must be set off within quotation marks and must be referenced accordingly. Duplicate and plagiarized papers will receive a grade of zero.

2. To be sure you understand the rules with respect to academic honesty, review the library’s Academic Honesty tutorial at

https://www.georgebrown.ca/library-learning-commons/research-support/cite-your-sources/avoiding-plagiarism

3. To be sure you understand how to cite works you refer to, please review this link below:

https://researchguides.georgebrown.ca/c.php?g=490485

4. Proof read carefully. Serious errors of spelling/grammar will result in loss of a grade.

Question 1

Shauna Sullivan’s son Simon, age nine, has been bullied at school because he has dyslexia.  It all started when a supply teacher asked him to read a passage aloud in class.  Since that time, Simon’s classmate Matthew Maloney has been mocking Simon in front of the other kids. At recesses he follows Simon around, calling him “Simple Simon” and other nasty names.  Simon started hiding out in the bathroom or the library to avoid going outside at lunch and recess.  Simon came home for lunch one day, burst into tears, and told his mother all about the bullying.  Shauna decided to attend the parent council meeting scheduled for that afternoon knowing that the treasurer, Matthew Maloney’s mother Monica, would be present.

When the meeting was over, Shauna quietly beckoned Monica aside and, when Monica came over to talk to her, Shauna told her what was going on between Matthew and Simon.  Monica’s immediate response was, “That does not sound like Matthew at all.  I think you should talk to your son about lying. Maybe if he wasn’t an only child he wouldn’t always need to be the center of attention.” Shauna was furious, but she saw that there was no point in talking to Monica about the problem and decided to make an appointment with the principal the next day.  She left the school by the main entrance and walked to her car. 

While Shauna was scraping snow and ice off her car’s windshield Monica walked over, stopped beside Shauna, and said, “It’s such a busy parking lot; I’d hate for something to happen to one of the children.  For that matter, all the roads leading to the school are busy in the morning.  Doesn’t Simon walk to school alone?  I think he sometimes crosses the road right in front of my car when I’m driving Matthew and Marsha to school.”  Shauna responds by hitting Monica with the ice scraper and saying, “If you know what’s good for you you’ll steer clear of my son.” 

Applying the relevant and correct principle(s) of intentional tort discuss the following questions:

a) Does Monica have grounds for a civil action against Shauna?  Does Shauna have grounds for a civil action against Monica?  Please identify and discuss the tort/s that may apply in these circumstances.  Provide reasons for your answer by testing the elements of the tort, with reference to the fact situation and the law. (12 marks)

Note: Application means you have to identify the correct legal concept, define it, enumerate the elements and then apply it to the fact scenario before drawing conclusion.

Question 2

Lazlo purchased a Samsung S7 smartphone from a local Toronto retailer in 2019. Initially, he was very happy with the phones’ performance, including the convenience of its extended battery life. This satisfaction ended abruptly, however, when Lazlo notice his pocket warming up, and upon pulling his phone out to investigate, felt it explode and catch fire in his hands. Lazlo was driving a vehicle at the same time so he quickly pulled over and tried throwing the phone out the car window. He did not initially succeed because, to his horror, the burning phone had stuck to the flesh of his hand. In great pain, Lazlo then drove himself to the hospital. There, doctors confirmed that the explosion had caused severe burns to Lazlo’s hands and wrists. Lazlo had to take several months off work to recover.

When Lazlo first purchased his S7 smartphone (S7), he considered it to be a safe product which reviewed well. However, Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 had the opposite reputation – it was actually considered to be dangerous. Indeed, the Note 7 had been made subject to a product recall around the time of Lazlo’s purchase because its defective battery system caused short-circuiting, leading the phones to sometimes burst into flames. Infact, the Note 7s were considered such a menace that they were banned on Canadian and US airlines – both in the cabin itself and in checked luggage. Samsung offered refunds or replacement phones but class actions against Samsung in relation to Note7 have still been proposed in the United States and Canada, for example.

Lazlo wondered if the S7 was being afflicted by the same battery problem as the Note7 and his internet search confirmed that several class actions had been commenced in the United States in relation to S7s catching fire and causing damage. The class actions allege that the S7 devices, along with several other Samsung models, are defective because they can overheat and explode. Lazlo is very relieved to have found a Canadian law firm that is pursuing a proposed class action against Samsung in relation to the S7 and Note7 as well as other Samsung models, and he would like to join it. But whether alone or as part of a class action, Lazlo wants to recover damages from Samsung for the terrible pain he suffered from being severely burned, his loss of income while he was off work, and the fact that one hand suffers from numbness that could well be permanent.

Applying the relevant and correct principle(s) of law discuss the following questions:

a) Explain the most applicable tort Samsung may have committed in relation to its S7 product  (5 marks)

b) Discuss what Lazlo have to prove in order to establish that tort and the defence(s) (if any) open to Samsung in this action? Test the elements of the tort identified against the scenario to determine whether an action based on the tort is likely to succeed. Provide reasons for your answer, with proper reference to the fact situation and the law.   (6 marks)

Note: Application means you have to identify the correct legal concept, define it, enumerate the elements and then apply it to the fact scenario before drawing conclusion

Question 3

Amritha Singh is a middle manager with Coaster Plus Ltd (Coasters), a company that designs and manufactures roller coasters for amusement parks across North America. She has been appointed one of the project managers for the design and delivery of a special roller coaster for the Ultimate Park Ltd, an American customer. A major component of the project is the steel tracking, and one possible source is Trackers Canada Ltd (Trackers). Amritha’s supervisor has asked her to negotiate the necessary contract. Amritha began negotiations with Jason Hughes. Jason is a representative of Trackers, the steel tracking manufacturer willing to supply tracking to Coasters, Amritha’s employer. Amritha provided Jason with the plans and specifications for the roller coaster, and they negotiated a number of points, including price, delivery dates, and tracking quality. A short time later, Jason offered to sell Coasters a total of 900 metres of track in accordance with the plans and specifications provided. Jason’s offer contained, among other matter, the purchase price ($1.5 million), delivery date, terms of payment, insurance obligations concerning the track, and a series of warranties related to the quality and performance of the tracking to be supplied. There was also a clause, inserted at Amritha’s express request, which required Trackers to pay $5000 to Coasters for every day it was late in delivering the tracking.

After renewing the offer several days, Amritha for several days, Amritha contacted Jason and said, “You drive a hard bargain, and there are aspects of your offer that I’m not entirely happy with. However, I accept your offer on behalf of my company. I’m looking forward to doing business with you.”

Within a month, Trackers faced a 20% increase in manufacturing costs owing to an unexpected shortage in steel. Jason contacted Amritha to explain this development and worried aloud that without an agreement from Coasters to pay 20% more for the tracking, Trackers would be unable to make its delivery date. Amritha received instructions from her supervisor to agree to the increased purchase price in order to ensure timely delivery. Amritha communicated this news to Jason, who thanked her profusely for being so cooperative and understanding.

Jason kept his word and the tracking was delivered on time. However, Coasters has now determined that its profit margin on the American deal is lower than expected, and it is looking for ways to cut costs Amritha is told by her boss to let Jason know that Coasters will not be paying the 20% price increase and will remit payment only in the amount set out in the contract. Jason and Trackers are stunned by this development.

Applying the relevant principle(s) of contract law discuss the following questions:

a)  Whether the initial negotiations between Jason and Amritha have legal consequences. (4 marks)

b) Discuss specific applicable ways by which each party mentioned above could have avoided/prevented the contract and as well as the implications of each way identified. (6 marks)

c)  Discuss the consequences of the instruction of Amritha’s boss to the effect that Coasters will not be paying the 20% price increase and will remit payment only in the amount set out in the contract. (6 marks)

Note: Application means you have to identify the correct legal concept, define it, enumerate the elements and then apply it to the fact scenario before drawing conclusion.

Marking Rubric

CATEGORYLevel 1Level 2Level 3Level 4
Range (0-4 marks)   Spelling, grammar (including use of full sentences), punctuation0 – 1 mark   More than 6 errors.1 – 2 marks   4 – 6 errors.3 – 4 marks   2 – 3 errors.5 marks   No errors – 1 error.
Range (0 – 12 marks)   Question 1   Knowledge/application of legal concepts, issues & application.0 – 2 marks   Limited/poor understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.4 – 6 marks   Some understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.7 – 9 marks   Solid understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.10 marks   Sophisticated understanding of legal concepts, issues & application
  Range (0-5 marks)   Question 2 (a) Knowledge/application of legal concepts, issues & application.  0 – 1 mark   Limited/poor understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.  2 marks   Some understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.  3 marks   Solid understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.  4 marks   Sophisticated understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.
Range (0-6 marks)   Question 2 (b) Knowledge/application of legal concepts, issues & application.0 – 1 mark   Limited/poor understanding of legal concepts and issues.2 – 3 marks   Some understanding of legal concepts and issues.4 – 5 marks   Solid understanding of legal concepts and issues. 6 marks   Sophisticated understanding of legal concepts and issues.
Range (0 – 3 marks)   Question 3 (a)   Knowledge/application of legal concepts, issues & application.0 – 1 mark   Limited/poor understanding of legal concepts, issues & applications.1.5 marks   Some understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.2 marks   Solid understanding of legal concepts, issues & application3 marks   Sophisticated understanding of legal concepts, issues & application
Range (0 – 3 marks)   Question 3 (b)   Knowledge/application of legal concepts, issues & application.0 – 1 mark   Limited/poor understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.2 marks   Some understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.3 marks   Solid understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.4 marks   Sophisticated understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.
Range (0 – 6 marks)   Question 3 (c)   Knowledge/application of legal concepts, issues & application.0 – 1 mark   Limited/poor understanding of legal concepts, issues & applications.2 – 3 marks   Some understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.3 – 4 marks   Solid understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.5 – 6 marks   Sophisticated understanding of legal concepts, issues & application.
 

Total/-40       

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