To: Casandra Cardigan, CEO CARDWARE Inc.
From: Paul Clement
Re: Negligence Requirements and Potential Defenses to Myra’s Claim
CARDWARE has a new sweater line that is made of a thin and yet warm material. During the runway event in Fashion City that was held in Easton Hotel, Candie Cardigan was asked to model for CARDWARE. The modeling was aimed at giving good publicity to the new sweater line since the event was attended by many individuals involved in fashion and celebrities as well. However, during the runway, Candie’s shoes got caught in a small wrinkle at the end of the carpet, and she fell over onto the row of judges. Myra who is a world renowned model was one of the judges. She suffered a cut on her face from one of Candie’s shoes and a broken nose. Myra now wants to bring a lawsuit based on negligence against CARDWARE and Candie.
Elements to Establish
Negligence in law is seen as the injury caused to a person because of the careless actions of another (DeMitchell, 2007). The injury may be a car accident, personal injury or even a case of slip and fall. The legal principle of ‘negligence’ states that the person who acted in a careless way is legally liable for causing the harm. However, there is a basis for assessing and determining fault based on the elements of duty, breach of duty, proximate cause, causation, and damages.
In proving fault, in this case, the court must establish whether the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff (Owen, 2007). The duty of care arises when the law recognizes a relationship between the accused and the plaintiff, and as a result of this relationship, the defendant has an obligation to act in a particular manner toward the plaintiff. The law also needs to establish a breach of duty by the defendant towards the plaintiff. The defendant will be seen to violate duty by failing to exercise reasonable care in fulfilling’s his or her duty.
The court will also have to establish proximate cause which relates to a defendant’s responsibility in a case of negligence (Owen, 2007). The defendant in the case is just responsible for the harms that he or she could foresee with his or her actions. If the accused could not have planned the damages caused, the plaintiff cannot prove that the actions of the defendant were the proximate reason for the damages caused.
The plaintiff must also establish a damage that is recognizable by law (Owen, 2007). It could be in the form of personal injury or damage to property. The court must also establish the cause in fact in a negligence case. It means that they must prove that were it not for the actions of the defendant, the damage to the plaintiff could not have occurred.
Assumption of Risk
CARDWARE and Candie may use the assumption of risk (DeMitchell, 2007) in their defense in a court of law. Both defendants, CARDWARE and Candie, will need to prove that the plaintiff assumed the risk involved in an obviously dangerous activity. They will show that despite the danger of models tripping in a runway, Myra still opted to sit just below the runway.
The plaintiff may also use the case of contributory negligence (DeMitchell, 2007). The paralegal needs to prove that were it not for the wrinkle in the carpet, Candie could not have tripped over during the modeling. The plaintiff also could demonstrate that there was a bit of negligence on the plaintiff’s side. The plaintiff’s conduct fell below a certain standard necessary for her protection because she was situated just next to the runway. The defendants can prove that Myra did not take the right actions to protect herself and this is contributory negligence.
The case against the company has the potential to ruin its image. It may also affect the publicity of the sweater, and this may cause a reduction in sales. Therefore, both the company and Candie will have to provide as much defense as they can to avoid losing the case.