The following questions were adapted from various Harvard Law School First-Year Civil Procedure examinations of the past. The questions are reproduced almost exactly as they actually appeared, with only slight changes to the facts. The sample answers are not “official” and represent merely one approach to handling the questions.
Muenster Airways, Inc., is a small airline flying regularly scheduled flights between points in New Jersey, New York, and New England. It is incorporated in New Jersey and has its principal place of business there. Amos Stilton, a passenger on the ill-fated flight described below, is a citizen of Ames, a small midwestern state located between Indiana and Illinois.
In December 2007, Muenster conducted an advertising campaign in Ames and other midwestern states offering a special flying tour of New England in the spring of 2008, featuring stopovers in Tiverton, R.I., Worcester, Mass., and White River Junction, Vermont. Stilton, attracted by the advertisement, bought a round-trip ticket from an independent travel agent in Ames and was put into a group of Ames travelers who would be leaving on the tour on April 1 from Ames City. The agent, after selling the ticket, immediately listed Stilton (care of his Ames address), on Muenster’s reservation system as a passenger for the upcoming trip. Transportation to Newark, N.J., the starting point of the tour, was provided to Stilton and other tour participants by another airline.
Stilton and his fellow travelers arrived in Newark on the appointed day and boarded a Muenster plane for Tiverton, but the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Bridgeport, Conn., and although no passengers were killed, many (including Stilton) were seriously injured.
One of the passengers, Charlene Cheddar, brought a diversity action for $125,000 damages against Muenster in a New Jersey federal court. The case went to trial and the jury found Muenster liable but awarded only $500 to Cheddar, apparently rejecting her claim of serious injury. No appeal was filed.