University of Missouri - Columbia

School of Law

Torts § I - Mitchell

 

Mid-Term Examination

Thursday, September 20, 2007

4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Room 6

 

Instructions

 

1. You have one hour and thirty minutes to complete the examination.

 

2. Read the question carefully. Think before you write. Assume that the events took place in an unidentified American state. Therefore, you do not know if the jurisdiction follows either the majority or the minority.

 

3. Do not add facts to create issues not already raised by the facts given. Do not make implicit assumptions. Be sure to address all issues raised by the facts in accord with answering the question, even if you think a single issue is dispositive.

 

4. Special Instructions

a. Closed Book Exam: The mid-term is a closed-book exam. You may use an outline that you prepared in whole or in part. The use of commercial outlines, hornbooks, and any other material is prohibited. You may not consult anyone during the exam. You must turn in the exam at the end of the allotted time whether you have finished it or not.

b. Hand Written Exams

 

Please write in either black or blue pen only. Please write legibly and on only one side of a bluebook page. Please number your pages and, if you use more than one blue book, please number your bluebooks.

 


Essay Question

 

"Good Morning! It's 6:30 a.m.! Sorry to tell you folks but there is a forty percent chance of rain today."As he listened to the radio announcer, Robert thought to himself 'where did I put my umbrella? Oh yeah, I remember it's in the hall closet.' At the same time across town, Jim, a recent law school graduate who lived with his parents, was excited about his first day at work. Robert picked up the $5.00 umbrella that his father had left him, and while inexpensive, it carried a great deal of sentimental value and proceeded to work. Arriving in the lobby of the law firm of Over, Billing ("OB") promptly at 8:45 a.m., Robert stood in his customary spot at the rear of the crowd gathering in front of the elevators, so that he could be the last one in the elevator and the first one out on the Fifth Floor where his office was located. John, the personnel manager of OB, arrived drinking a latte and munching on a jelly donut that was leaking jelly. The newest employee at OB raced in at 8:55 a.m. and in his haste slipped on the jelly, and landed on his new $500.00 iPhone which was in his back pocket. Much to his dismay, Jim checked and sure enough the display was broken rendering the phone useless. Distraught at the damage to his new phone, Jim walked onto the elevator at OB at 9:00 a.m. John followed closely behind him and Robert got his wish entering the elevator last. For a Monday morning, the elevator was relatively crowded with OB employees. Robert recognized Sheila a third year associate, Bill the security guard, and Jack the paralegal, among others. Standing in the front away from everyone else, Robert nodded to the people he knew. As all employees of OB, were aware, Robert had an abnormal fear of germs and never shook hands with anyone, so Sheila waved and struck up a conversation with Jack about a case on which they were working. John, impatient and bored with the elevator ride, was in a playful mood and suddenly reached out to shake Robert's hand. Robert recoiled in horror. Jack who was looking in Robert's direction gasped, dropping the case files he was holding. John, grabbing Robert's hand, greeted him heartily. Jim, still disappointed at the broken iPhone and looking down at his shoes, was not paying attention to John's seemingly harmless behavior and did not see Robert lash out at John with his umbrella. Bill, standing behind Robert, tried to intervene but was not quick enough, but John was. He ducked but the unsuspecting Jim was hit on the head and fell to the elevator floor. Robert raised the umbrella again, which unbeknownst to him broke when it hit Jim's head, to strike John, but Bill seized the moment and snatched the umbrella from Robert. In all the excitement, Sheila dropped her new and very expensive glasses, which cost her $750.00. As the elevator came to a halt on the Fifth Floor, where most of the people on the elevator worked, Sheila and the others rushed to get out. Sheila slipped on the paper on the elevator floor and tripped over Jim falling out of the elevator and bruising her knee. Jim got up and he and all the others got off the elevator. Bill moved in front of the door, refusing to let Robert off, and in the process stepped on Sheila's glasses. On the Eighth Floor, walking ahead of him, Bill escorted Robert to the office of a senior vice president. Robert and Bill waited for the vice president for a quarter of an hour. Robert began to suffer from a migraine headache that began shortly after John shook his hand. The vice president, who was aware of Robert's issues, let Robert go. Eventually, Robert left early, went home and stayed there for two days because of the migraines.

 

Question:

 

Who is liable to whom? (Be sure to identify the intentional torts, available defenses, and likelihood of recovery.)