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South University Negligence And The Concept Of Foreseeability Questions

Discussion Question 1: Yummy Ice Cream Case: Negligence and Foreseeability

The following discussion question presents a scenario involving negligence and the concept of foreseeability.

Penny Penelope drives an ice-cream truck for Yummy Ice Cream during the summer on a suburban route in Florida. Music plays through a loudspeaker on the truck to draw attention to the truck as it travels through the various subdivisions. On hearing the music, six-year-old twins Joey and Janey run for the truck, darting into the street between two parked cars. Joey is the first one to run out. He does not see a sports car speeding straight toward him. The car hits Joey, knocking him unconscious. The car speeds away without stopping.

Joey’s parents want to sue Yummy Ice Cream for negligence and for liability of the driver of the ice-cream truck. They have come for advice to the law firm where you work. Your lawyer asks you to evaluate the case in terms of:

  • Whether Yummy Ice Cream and its driver owed a duty to Joey and Janey.
  • Whether Yummy Ice Cream and its driver breached the duty.
  • Whether the breach of the duty was the proximate cause of the accident.
  • The damages, if any.

Also, analyze the role of the speeding car’s driver and answer:

  • Was it foreseeable that a car would come speeding down the road?
  • If it was foreseeable, is there anything Yummy Ice Cream could do to lessen the risk?

Include at least one (1) source outside of class materials in your responses, whether a primary or secondary source of law, and provide appropriate citation.

Discussion Question 2: Negligence and the Hasty Musician

A rising classical-music star is running late for a performance. He is carrying his guitar with him. Hailing a cab, he arrives at the Symphonic Hall. Quickly paying the driver, he grabs the strap of the guitar case and starts to exit the cab. The strap catches on the door, which slams shut. The cab immediately moves on to the next fare. The guitarist is yanked off his feet and dragged half a block, still holding the strap of the guitar case. The strap breaks, the cab keeps going, and the guitarist is hit by another car. With two badly broken arms, one broken leg, a few broken ribs and a concussion, he is taken to the hospital. Who is liable for the musician’s injuries? The cab driver, the second driver, both or neither? Discuss your answer, assuming jurisdiction is in Illinois.


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