Name: Shelby Berchelmann Time: 50 minutes Source




Дата канвертавання22.04.2016
Памер64.43 Kb.
Name: Shelby Berchelmann

Time: 50 minutes

Source: Original; case hypotheticals for problems dervied Street Law text
Objectives:

Knowledge objectives:

  • SWBAT (Student will be able to) distinguish between elements of a negligence claim: duty, breach, causation, damages

  • SWBAT label parts of a claim as duty, breach, causation, damages

Skill objectives:

  • SWBAT speak or write persuasively to support his position with opinions.

  • SWBAT work creatively and collaboratively to create winning arguments.

Attitude objectives:

  • SWBAT realize that determining negligence is a murky proposition, requiring insight into industries and “reasonable persons.”

  • SWBAT understand that the reasonable person is the standard, but that it is a legal fiction.

  • SWBAT understand that careless conduct can lead to liability.


Materials:

  • To-go coffee cups from popular establishments, including McDonalds

  • Chart paper and markers

  • Handouts (“The case of the…spilled coffee,” handouts for representing Stella or McDonalds, “Torts Troubles,” and “Homework.”)

  • Materials for dressing up as judge and Stella Liebeck

  • Poster or a handout with following terms (duty, breach, causation, damages) and/or definitions re: elements of negligence:

    • Duty: The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to act like a reasonable person.

      1. A reasonable person would consider

        1. the burden of taking precautions;

        2. the likelihood of harm;

        3. and the seriousness of the harm.

      2. If the burden is low and the likelihood of serious is harm high, then a reasonable person would take that precaution.

      3. If the burden is high, and there is only a small risk of non-serious harm, then a reasonable person would not take that precaution.

    • Breach: The defendant’s conduct violated that duty (the defendant did not act reasonably)

    • Causation: The defendant’s conduct caused the plaintiff’s harm and the harm was foreseeable.

    • Damages: The plaintiff suffered actual damages

1. Do now (write on board): “Pick up one of the coffee cups and take it to your seat.” (Put out stacks of 4-5 cups from each of the following places: Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Tullys, McDonalds, and a gas station). “Your job is to describe the cup on your paper. You can draw things you notice, write in sentences what you see, or just make a list. Be as descriptive as possible.” (5 minutes).


2. Students find others who have the same cup and have 2 minutes to compare what they have. Remind them they want a comprehensive list and to write down what they see. Also remind them that it’s very important not to share with other groups. (2 minutes).
3. Ask each group what’s on their cup. Record on a t-chart. See what they each have in common: Elicit “very hot.” (5 minutes)
4. Tell them that this wasn’t on the cups before Stella Liebeck had her way. Who is Stella Liebeck? Introduce Stella Liebeck (Get another teacher to play Stella. “Stella” tells her story of what happened.)

I’m Stella Liebeck. I was in the car with my grandson one day, and he drove up to a McDonalds drive-thru. He asked me if I wanted anything. Of course I did! It’s McDonalds! So, I got a cup of coffee. Hey, I was 79. I needed a little caffeine. They handed him his order (Big Mac, supersized, and my coffee). He pulled over to the side of the line so I could add some milk and sugar. I had the cup balanced on my knees and took the lid off, and hot coffee spilled all over me! I spent 8 days in the hospital having skin cut off my body and grafted onto my knees to replace the burned skin! It was awful! My cotton sweatpants absorbed the coffee, scalding my thighs, buttocks, and groin. I suffered third-degree burns on six percent of my skin and lesser burns over sixteen percent. I lost 20 pounds (nearly 20% of her body weight), I lost so much weight I only weighed 83 pounds, and had to undergo two more years of medical treatment.” (4 minutes)


5. Pass out copy of ”The case of…the Spilled Coffee,” from Street Law text, p. 240. Tell students they are either going to help Stella win some money as her attorney, or help defend McDonalds, by thinking of arguments. The paper has all of the facts they need. (1 minute)
6. Students stay in groups and are either plaintiff’s attorneys or defense attorneys (give them signs – one with a picture of Stella saying, “My coffee was too hot!” or one with a picture of McDonalds saying, “It’s not our fault you got burned!” and the word plaintiff’s attorney or defense attorney at the top. Only give them 5 minutes to come up with arguments. (5 minutes)

For Stella:

  • Coffee shouldn’t be that hot! (duty)

  • Coffee should be served in a better cup that is insulated or can’t be spilled! (duty/foreseeability)

  • Coffee cup should come with a warning that it’s really hot! (duty)


For McDonalds:

  • She shouldn’t have tried to balance it in her lap. (reasonable person)

  • It made a cup with a tiny sipping lid so that hot beverages don’t spill out. McDonalds can’t help the fact that someone took off the lid—that’s not our fault! (no breach because met duty)

  • A reasonable person waits for coffee to cool a little before removing the lid! (reasonable person)

  • We couldn’t foresee the fact that someone would spill coffee on themselves when it was still piping hot! (foreseeability)

7. Ask sides to present their arguments on either side. (5 minutes)


8. Judge (a teacher) tells them what actually happened in the case:

The jury decided McDonalds had a duty to serve coffee that wasn’t so hot that it could create second or third degree burns, that it breached that duty by serving coffee at 180 degrees and not realizing that someone might remove the lid and it would spill, therefore causing burns, that when the coffee spilled out it caused Stella to be burned, and therefore the jury awarded damages. (Explain that damages are an amount of money to be paid to a person as compensation for loss or injury). Then, the teacher/judge gives Stella a large fake check with a sum of $2.86 million written on it.


Though there was a warning on the coffee cup, the jury decided that the warning was neither large enough nor sufficient. But, the judge determined this $2.86 million was excessive considering the case involved hot coffee and a plaintiff who contributed to her burns by setting the cup between her knees. The judge then reduced the jury award to $640,000. (Tear up the check.) Later still, Stella and McDonalds met with their attorneys and settled. (5 minutes)
Teacher fills out chart on board that has a blank next to:

  • duty (serve coffee that is not too hot to be consumed, and if it could be hot, that they adequately warned her)

  • breach (served coffee that was 180 degrees—too hot!),

  • cause (that the breach of duty caused the…

  • damages, so their serving coffee that is too hot is what caused her burns).

Explain that these are the elements of a tort – reference poster/handout listed in materials).
9. Quickly explain how criminal and civil law differ by giving an overview of torts. If the injured party can prove that the person believed to have caused the injury acted negligently – that is, without taking reasonable care to avoid injuring others – tort law will allow compensation. The state is not an actor here, and jail time isn’t a remedy.
10. Announce directions for next part: We’re going to work to identify these same elements of a negligence tort in some other examples. (5 minutes to work through 1 together, 10 minutes to work through 2 group examples, share their answers, and go over the right answers)
11. I DO: Pass out “Torts Troubles.” Walk students through the directions by pointing out the boxes filled in from the McDonalds example. Remind them to use the checklist at the top of the page.
12. WE DO: Do “Ke$ha” example as a whole group by asking a student to read aloud and modeling think aloud about how to fill in the boxes. If students struggle, do “Rob and Katrina” example the same way. If they are catching on, let them fill out with help from a partner. Call on one student for each box to share answers. Reveal chart on board with answers filled in.
13. YOU DO: Students work with a partner to fill in the “Milton Bradley.” example. Go over answers as a class and reveal chart on board with answers filled in.
14. If time remains, students begin homework independently.
Evaluation:

Performance on ”Tort Troubles.”


Homework:
The Case of the Spilled Coffee caused a lot of public debate. Some people thought that McDonalds was being unfairly punished. After all, coffee is supposed to be hot, and McDonalds was just trying to please its customers, especially those who might take their coffee to work or home before they drink it. They also thought that Stella received too much money because a reasonable person knows that coffee is hot and doesn’t try to balance it on her lap. Finally, they feared that people would try to bring lawsuits against major companies just to see if they could get a major windfall (a large amount of money, like Stella Liebeck received).
What do you think is fair? Should companies be punished when people get hurt by their products? If so, should there be a limit on how much they are required to pay?
A good homework answer: includes opinions, is supported with arguments, and, brings up policy-based answers (ex. if McDonalds is punished, it will pass on costs to customers)

Name:______________________________________


The Case of…

The Spilled Coffee
In 1994, 79-year-old Stella Liebeck bought a cup of coffee from the drive-thru window at McDonalds. While the car, driven by her grandson, was stopped to allow her to put cream and sugar in her coffee, she balanced the cup between her knees and attempted to remove the lid. The coffee spilled, causing third degree burns to over 6% of Liebeck’s body and causing her to spend eight days in the hospital and undergo skin graft operations. Liebeck sued McDonalds for damages.

McDonalds is a large national fast food chain that served its coffee at approximately 185 degrees, despite the fact that coffee at such a high temperature is too hot to drink. At the trial, McDonald’s quality control manager testified that the sale of any food over 140 degrees creates a “burn hazard.” McDonalds had issued surveys to many of its customers and found that many of them brought their coffee back home to drink or took it to work with them to consume it there. So, McDonalds served its coffee at a higher holding temperature to assure it was still hot when it was consumed. In fact, many of the surveys indicated that customers chose McDonalds over other restaurants because their coffee was served that hot. Between 1982 and 1992, McDonalds was aware of 700 claims by people burned by their coffee.


Plaintiff’s attorneys:___________________________




“My coffee was too hot!”


Defense attorneys:___________________________



“We’re sorry you got burned, but it’s not our fault.”

Name: ­­­­­­­___________________________



Torts TROUBLES – Student edition
checklist

State the duty.

Look for the breach.

Ask: did defendant’s conduct cause the plaintiff’s harm?

So, what damages does defendant owe the plaintiff?
McDonald’s: The Case of the Spilled Coffee


State the duty

Serve coffee at a temperature that isn’t too hot

Look for the breach

They served coffee that was WAY too hot—it was 180˚!

Did defendant’s conduct cause the plaintiff’s harm?

Yes. By selling Stella the hot coffee that could cause second degree burns.

What damages does defendant owe the plaintiff?

Money to cover her hospital bills, her legal fees and for her pain and suffering.


Ke$ha: The Case of the Drunk Driver, as adapted from Street Law student textbook, p. 242 (focus: reasonable person)

Ke$ha is bartending at The Right Round, a nearby pub, because her new song isn’t selling very well. She sees Cee-lo, a regular customer at The Right Round, is clearly intoxicated. He asks her for one more round of drinks before he leaves. Not wanting to offend him in case he wants to collaborate with her on his next album, Ke$ha serves him, saying, “Let’s make this the last round.” Twenty minutes later, Cee-lo leaves the bar to go home. Just after Cee-lo pulls his car onto the highway, he swerves and hits another car head-on. Cee-lo and the driver of the other car are seriously injured.




State the duty



Look for the breach



Did defendant’s conduct cause the plaintiff’s harm?




What damages does defendant owe the plaintiff?




What do you think? Is Ke$ha responsible for the accident? Should Cee-lo be able to sue her and collect damages? Should the other driver?

Rob & Katrina: The AIDS Case, as adapted from Street Law student textbook, p. 243 (focus: causation)

Rob is has an STD. He is new to Seattle and does not want anyone to know about his illness. He meets Katrina and they start dating. They really like each other and eventually become exclusive. They have unprotected sex, but Rob does not tell Katrina beforehand about his STD. Katrina finds out later that she has the same STD Rob does after she goes to a doctor for a blood test.




State the duty



Look for the breach



Did defendant’s conduct cause the plaintiff’s harm?




What damages does defendant owe the plaintiff?




What do you think? Does Rob have a duty to tell Katrina about his condition? If he does, did he breach it, and should Katrina be able to recover damages from Rob? Would your answers change if Rob was HIV positive (being that there is no cure for AIDS)?

Milton Bradley: The Case of the Baseball Swing (focus: damages)

Milton Bradley is trying to give the Mariners a chance at a pennant win. To stay in shape, he practices his swing in the off-season. In fact, he likes to practice so much that he often practices in the game room so he can practice while he watches Sports Center highlights. One day, while practicing his swing in his game room, he loses his grip on the bat. The bat flies into the dining room and hits Ichiro’s wife’s friend in the head, causing minor injuries.




State the duty



Look for the breach



Did defendant’s conduct cause the plaintiff’s harm?




What damages does defendant owe the plaintiff?




What do you think? Sometimes the amount of damages can change. Let’s say the bat hit Ichiro’s wife’s best friend in the arm. Does that change the amount of damages? What if his wife’s best friend was a concert violinist and can’t play her violin anymore? Does that change the amount of damages?

Torts TROUBLES-teacher’s edition
checklist

State the duty.

Look for the breach.

Ask: did defendant’s conduct cause the plaintiff’s harm?

So, what damages does defendant owe the plaintiff?
McDonald’s: The Case of the Spilled Coffee


State the duty

Serve coffee at a temperature that isn’t too hot

Look for the breach

They served coffee that was WAY too hot—it was 180˚!

Did defendant’s conduct cause the plaintiff’s harm?

Yes. By selling Stella the hot coffee that could cause second degree burns.

What damages does defendant owe the plaintiff?

Money to cover her hospital bills, her legal fees and for her pain and suffering.


Ke$ha: The Case of the Drunk Driver, as adapted from Street Law student textbook, p. 242 (focus: reasonable person)

Ke$ha is bartending at The Right Round, a nearby pub, because her new song isn’t selling very well. She sees Cee-lo, a regular customer at The Right Round, is clearly intoxicated. He asks her for one more round of drinks before he leaves. Not wanting to offend him in case he wants to collaborate with her on his next album, Ke$ha serves him, saying, “Let’s make this the last round.” Twenty minutes later, Cee-lo leaves the bar to go home. Just after Cee-lo pulls his car onto the highway, he swerves and hits another car head-on. Cee-lo and the driver of the other car are seriously injured.




State the duty

Cee-lo has a duty not to drive while intoxicated. Ke$ha also has a duty not to serve someone who is visibly intoxicated.

Look for the breach

Cee-lo breached his duty to act like a reasonable person when he drove home even though intoxicated.

Ke$ha breached her duty when she served him another round even though Cee-lo was clearly intoxicated.

Did defendant’s conduct cause the plaintiff’s harm?

Yes. By serving Cee-lo another round, Cee-lo got drunk. He then decided to drive and got into an accident. The accident caused the driver of the other car serious injuries.

What damages does defendant owe the plaintiff?

Medical damages (e.g., hospital bills, attorneys fees, reconstructive surgery)

What do you think? Is Ke$ha responsible for the accident? Should Cee-lo be able to sue her and collect damages? Should the other driver? Allow students to weigh in, either verbally or in writing. Or, ask students who finish early to consider these questions while other students focus on filling in the chart. Emphasize supporting opinions with arguments.



Rob & Katrina: The AIDS Case, as adapted from Street Law student textbook, p. 243 (focus: causation)

Rob is has an STD. He is new to Seattle and does not want anyone to know about his illness. He meets Katrina and they start dating. They really like each other and eventually become exclusive. They have unprotected sex, but Rob does not tell Katrina beforehand about his STD. Katrina finds out later that she has the same STD Rob does after she goes to a doctor for a blood test.




State the duty

Rob had a duty to inform Katrina of his STD, or, at the very least, to have had protected sex.

Look for the breach

Rob did not warn Katrina of his STD before having unprotected sex with her.

Did defendant’s conduct cause the plaintiff’s harm?

Yes. If Rob had not had an STD and not informed Katrina, then she would not have the STD to begin with (unless she knowingly slept with him).

What damages does defendant owe the plaintiff?

Doctor’s bills, medical damages, payment for emotional distress

What do you think? Does Rob have a duty to tell Katrina about his condition? If he does, did he breach it, and should Katrina be able to recover damages from Rob? Would your answers change if Rob was HIV positive (being that there is no cure for AIDS)?

Allow students to weigh in, either verbally or in writing. Emphasize supporting opinions with arguments.
Milton Bradley: The Case of the Baseball Swing (focus: damages)

Milton Bradley is trying to give the Mariners a chance at a pennant win. To make sure he’s in top form, he practices his swing whenever, and wherever, he can. In fact, he likes to practice so much that he often practices in the game room so he can practice while he watches Sports Center highlights. One day, while practicing his swing in his kitchen, he loses his grip on the bat. The bat flies into the dining room and hits Ichiro’s wife’s friend in the head, causing minor injuries.




State the duty

Operate/use a baseball bat with care in an appropriate area

Look for the breach

Taking practice swings inside the home with others nearby

Did defendant’s conduct cause the plaintiff’s harm?

Yes, without Milton’s practice swing, Ichiro’s wife’s friend would never have been hit

What damages does defendant owe the plaintiff?

Medical damages (e.g., attorneys fees, health care costs, and reconstructive surgery)

What do you think? Sometimes the amount of damages can change. Let’s say the bat hit Ichiro’s wife’s best friend in the arm. Does that change the amount of damages? What if his wife’s best friend was a concert violinist and can’t play her violin anymore? Does that change the amount of damages? Allow students to weigh in, either verbally or in writing. Emphasize supporting opinions with arguments. Stress the difference in damages that could be received between a concert violinist and a teacher (or engineer, singer, attorney, stay-at-home mom, etc.).

HOMEWORK
The Case of the Spilled Coffee caused a lot of public debate. Some people thought that McDonalds was being unfairly punished. After all, coffee is supposed to be hot, and McDonalds was just trying to please its customers, especially those who might take their coffee to work or home before they drink it. They also thought that Stella received too much money because a reasonable person knows that coffee is hot and doesn’t try to balance it on her lap. Finally, they feared that people would try to bring lawsuits against major companies just to see if they could get a major windfall (a large amount of money, like Stella Liebeck received).
What do you think is fair? Should companies be punished when people get hurt by their

products? If so, should there be a limit on how much they are required to pay?


База данных защищена авторским правом ©shkola.of.by 2016
звярнуцца да адміністрацыі

    Галоўная старонка