Business Law Project
Case Scenario One
- Several court actions against ATR Trucking and its driver as defendants have been filed by Kim and Josh. For instance, they could file claims in court for negligence and gross negligence. The claim for negligence would be filed for the rubber belonging to ATR’s truck causing physical harm to a second party, Josh and Kim, in the course of normal business operations by ATR The rubber from the company also hit the car of a second party, causing the driver to lose control and hit a guardrail, resulting in car damage.
Gross negligence claims would be filed based on ATR truck failing to make any significant effort to prevent the possibility of causing harm to other parties on the road while conducting its trucking business. The plaintiff may argue that the truck company ought to have made efforts to ensure the safety of its truck tires to other road users before allowing its trucks on the road.
- In order to have strong sufficient proof, the plaintiff is required to support any claim made before the court with adequate evidence. (Brown & Sukys 2012). In case the plaintiff fails to support, the claims made with sufficient evidence, the court issue a summary ruling against the claimant (Jentz, Miller & Cross 2007). The court would have to decide on two matters in the case: first, it would have to determine whether ATR Trucking was negligent regarding failing to service its trucks before they set out to conduct the business of the day. Second, it must decide whether the company had issued the necessary precautions regarding the possibility of danger for tailgaters following its trucks before they hit the road.
According to Brown and Sukys (2012), tort of negligence entails requesting for compensation from a person (s) or organization that causes suffering to the other. Additionally, it establishes a duty of care to people. For finding the negligence liability, courts should first establish a duty of care between the plaintiff and the defendant. When the claims for duty of care involve physical injury, the courts will have to determine that the following conditions are satisfied: the parties to the case have a proximate relationship, there is foresee ability of damage, and a just and reasonable cause to impose a duty of care.
- Kim and Josh can seek damages for physical injury caused by the windshield glasses, when the ATR truck tire hit their car. They will need to present medical documentation to the court as evidence to prove their claims of physical injury. Furthermore, the two may seek damages for the destruction of property caused by the ATR truck after it hit and damaged their windshield, and caused Josh to lose control and hit the guardrail. They will need to present documentation on the third-party insurance liability so that the defendant’s insurance company can pay up for the damages.
- According to Brown and Sukys, (2012), the law allows for an out of court agreement a situation that allows the claimant and the accused to settle their difference on their own However, according to Christensen and Schwartz and Hoss (2008), the situation does not allow the parties to pursue court action on the matter of disagreement. The approach that needs to be taken in the case, whereby one of the defendants gives out $10,000 to coerce the claimant to drop the lawsuit, is that each claim needs to be considered independently, then the damages for each case be paid up as indicated by the claimant. If the claimant incurred a cost of $2500 in car repairs and $7500 in medical treatment, then the potential defendant can pay up this amount and agree to settle the claims with the client out of court. a valid contract requires an offer, consideration, and acceptance between two parties. The parties must give up something in exchange – a consideration, for an agreement to be sound. In this case, Kim and Josh have a right to pursue legal action against ATR Trucking for the damages they suffered. Both of them need to indicate their agreement in paper that they have received payment for damages sustained. This matter would be settled on the grounds of the damages being paid, rather than on any party promising not to pursue legal action.
Case Scenario Two
- Samuel has the freedom of expression that is provided in law, only to the extent that such expression does not infringe on the rights of other parties. Such expressions may be subject to torts if there is proof that they are false and have caused damage to a second party. Samuel’s statements infringed on the AF Bank’s social media policy because they contained disrespectful statements. Samuel stated, “AF Bank is run by a bunch of cheap cowards….” Some of the statements were also untruthful, for instance, “I bet that AF Bank makes all of the overseas employees work for seven days a week for 12 hours. That is just the kind of company AF Bank is.” He also claims that AF Bank is “probably hiring people to work for pennies and mistreating them.”
- Promissory estoppel is a principle that protects the promisee from a promisor who does not keep his or her promise, leading to the detriment of the promisee because he or she had relied on the unfulfilled promise. The law would enforce the promise, even if it were issued without a formal consideration. The US acknowledges the doctrine of promissory estoppel as part of the law. According to Jentz, Miller, and Cross (2007), some of the fundamentals to be fulfilled in promissory estoppel include the presence of a promise, promisor, and the detriment suffered because of failure to honor the promise. There is also need to prove that the promisee making the claims reasonably relied on the promise to lead him to the detriment he is facing. Another element is the need to show that he suffered substantial detriment with a direct economic loss. The court would only grant promissory estoppel to the claimant if it is the only way to avoid causing injustice to the promisee. On these grounds, Samuel can file a lawsuit against AF Bank for going against the promise to give him and other employees the end-of-year bonus; even the promise was not put in writing.
- Samuel may face a defamation case lodged by AF Bank for using false and defamatory language against it. He would have to substantiate the claims that he made about the bad treatment of employees by AF Bank, the overworking of AF Bank employees, and that AF Bank is only interested in profit making with little consideration for employee welfare. A defamation suit would require that AF Bank demonstrate that Samuel used false and defamatory language, identified the bank by name to the social media readers, caused “publication” of the defamatory statements to a third party, and the resultant damage to AF Bank’s reputation. The use of social media fulfills the publication requirements in the defamation tort, as long as the allegations made against the company are false. Samuel would have gotten away with his statements if they had contained actual wrongdoing information about the bank because of whistle-blower protection. Such information would have fulfilled the public policy exceptions such as the disclosure of wrongdoing.
- AF Bank can remodel its social media policy to include a requirement for employees to seek internal redress on any grievances they have. It can also introduce a disclaimer on its official social media handles, to inform its social media followers that the views expressed on its official page are posted by their customer representatives, and may not present the position of the AF Bank at all times. A disclaimer may appear as follows:
“Disclaimer: The views expressed on the AF Bank official page are posted by our customer representatives, and may not necessarily present the true position of the AF Bank at all times.”
Case Scenario 3
- Suzanne might consider filing a lawsuit against her employer for wrongful termination in direct contravention of the protection against employee discrimination on the grounds of injury/disability as outlined in the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- The employer can claim that the employee can no longer meet the contractual obligations that are expected of her in the employment contract. This argument may be countered by the requirement for the employer to accommodate the employee. After the injury incident, the employer needed to have taken action to accommodate the employee, by assigning her other job roles that do not require much walking.
- An implied contract is an unwritten or unspoken agreement between two parties created through their actions and may be construed as a substitute for a contract. The courts will presume that certain terms were intended to be included in a contract, even though they were not stated expressly in the contract. The expectation of the agreement may require the consideration of specific things, regardless of the possibility that the agreement did exclude express terms in law (Cheeseman 2007). Even if the contract expressly states terms that appear to contradict the terms that are not written down, the implied terms will still stand out to anchor the contract by respecting the intent of the contract. Suzanne’s decision to sue FPS Inc. to help her pay her medical bills might not go through because the intent of the contract of employment is for her to offer labor in exchange for pay. Part of the labor involves walking for long distances. Suppose she was injured at the workplace, the health insurance firm would have covered her expenses. However, this was not the case, so her medical bills could not be covered by insurance. If FPS chooses to help her out with the bills, it would be purely out of benevolence, and not an implied contract. An employment contract does not give the employer the burden of guaranteeing the employees that they would remain healthy for their employment period.
- FPS would not be required by law to offer Suzanne a managerial job as a reasonable accommodation since she does not possess the necessary 4-year degree training for the job. She never went to college and may fail to meet the contractual obligations for the job.
Case Scenario Four
- Peter and Paul create a business partnership when they first set out to do business. The two partners sign up a partnership deed and establish the mode of operation for the business they intend to start. The partnership deed also describes the revenue and cost-sharing agreement between the partners.
- Peter acted as a managing partner in the business when he signed the contract for the acquisition of new software. However, he lacked the authority to act on behalf of the other partner regarding the acquisition of the software. Both partners needed to append their signatures to the software contract to bind P&P Consulting to the contract.
- The contract signed up by Peter ends up being between himself and the software company. He has a direct legal liability in paying the costs for the software, and not P&P Consulting. P&P Consulting can act as a partnership if the signatures of both managing partners are appended to the software contract.
- Paul stands to suffer liability for transferring money from the incorporated account to his account when the company eventually conducts a financial audit. The company now stands as a separate legal entity from the managing directors. The managing directors may change due to the transfer of shares and acquisitions, and the change of leadership may expose Paul to lawsuits.
Brown, G., & Sukys, P. (2012). Business Law with UCC Applications Student Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Cheeseman, H. R. (2007). Business law: Legal environment, online commerce, business ethics, and international issues. Prentice Hall.
Christensen, S. L., Schwartz, R. G., & Hoss, M. A. K. (2008). Ethical entrepreneurs: a study of perceptions. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 6(1), 114-132.
Jentz, G. A., Miller, R. L., & Cross, F. B. (2007). West’s Business Law: Alternate Edition: Text Summarized Cases Legal, Ethical, International, and E-commerce Environment. Thomson West.