Questions 7-8 are based on the following fact situation:
Pellum was employed by Denner as chief field mechanic. When he received his salary, Pellum noticed that he had not been paid for the overtime which he had worked the previous month. When he complained to Denner about it, Denner said that all company employees were expected to put in extra time when necessary, and that he had no intention of compensating Pellum for the excess hours. Pellum resigned immediately and advised Denner that he would hold the tools which Denner had issued to him until he received payment.
7. Assume for the purpose of this question only that after Pellum’s resignation, Denner wrote him a letter in which he said, “You were never any good as a mechanic, and in addition you were the most dishonest employee this company ever had,” and that these statements were false. Pellum’s mother, who lived with Pellum and frequently opened his mail, read the letter as soon as it arrived. In an action by Pellum against Denner for defamation, a court should find for
(A) Pellum, because Denner’s statements were published to Pellum’s mother.
(B) Pellum, only if Denner had reason to know that someone other than Denner would open and read the letter.
(C) Denner, because the statements contained in the letter were communicated only to Pellum.
(D) Denner, because of the employer’s privilege.
8. Assume for the purpose of this question only that Pellum applied for a job with Nuco, and that Nuco wrote to Denner asking for an evaluation of Pellum’s honesty and ability. Denner wrote a letter to Nuco which stated, “When Pellum left my company a valuable set of tools left with him. This disappearance has never been properly explained or straightened out.” As a result, Nuco did not hire Pellum. If Pellum asserts a claim against Denner for defamation, Pellum should
(A) lose, if Pellum did not return the tools which he took when he left Denner’s employ.
(B) lose, because Denner’s statement was made in response to a specific request by Pellum’s prospective employer.
(C) win, because Denner’s statement could not have benefitted Denner’s own business interests.
(D) win, if Denner’s statement accused Pellum of stealing the tools.
9. Arnold was driving north on Canal Street. As he approached the intersection of First Avenue, he noticed that the traffic light was red against him. Preparing to stop, he stepped on his brake pedal. Because the brakes were not working properly, he could not stop, and continued into the intersection. Burger, who was driving east on First Avenue, saw Arnold go through the red light. Because the light was green in his favor, however, Burger did not stop, but continued into the intersection, believing that he could avoid striking Arnold by steering around him. The two vehicles collided in the intersection. Although damage to Arnold’s car was minimal, Burger’s car was totally destroyed. The jurisdiction has a statute which prohibits entering an intersection against a red traffic signal light and another statute which adopts the all or nothing rule of contributory negligence.