Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co

Brief Fact Summary.

A white teacher sues a restaurant where she was denied service because she was with her Black students on two counts. She loses on one count for failing to prove it and loses the other on summary judgement.

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

In a motion for summary judgement the moving party has the burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue as to any material fact.

 

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Burnham v. Superior Court

Brief Fact Summary.

Husband and wife divorce and the wife moves across the country to California. The wife waits until the husband visits California in order to serve him with the divorce papers. The husband objects to personal jurisdiction  in California, believing it improper for him to be served just because he was physically present in the state.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A non-resident defendant is properly served if the defendant is physically located in the forum state and the forum state may exercise personal jurisdiction over them without violating due process.

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Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiffs bring a class action suit against communications companies for alleged conspiracy. The court determined that Plaintiffs’ complaint was not sufficient to show the conspiracywas plausible.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

In order to state a claim under § 1 of the Sherman Act, the complaint must contain enough factual information to suggest that an agreement existed between defendants.

To prove an illegal conspiracy under § 1 of the Sherman Act, the plaintiff must introduce evidence that tends to exclude the possibility that the alleged conspirators acted alone.

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Baker v. General Motors Corporation

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiffs sue GM and attempt to subpoena a former GM employee to testify, even though the former employee is bound to an injunction requiring him not to release confidential information about GM.

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

The Full Faith and Credit Clause does not require one state to enforce an injunction issued by another state when the injunction impermissible controls proceedings over which the first state does not have jurisdiction.

 

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Ashcroft v. Iqbal

Brief Fact Summary.

Man detained after 9/11 attempts to sue the former U.S. Attorney General and FBI Director for the harsh conditions he faced during his confinement.

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

In order to survive a motion to dismiss under Twombly, a complaint must have non-conclusory facts that, if taken as true, state a claim that is facially plausible.

 

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Asahi Metal Indus. Co. v. Superior Court

Brief Fact Summary.

A Taiwanese company is being sued for product liability in a California court and the Supreme Court is deciding whether California’s jurisdiction over the Taiwanese company is proper.

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Under the Due Process Clause a foreign company’s awareness that its products will reach a state within America in the stream of commerce is not sufficient to establish the minimum contacts required to exercise personal jurisdiction.

 

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Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz

Citation. 471 U.S. 462 (1985)

Brief Fact Summary. Two men jointly buy a Burger King franchise and fail to make payments. Burger King sues the men in Florida and Defendants object to personal jurisdiction.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A court must look at a defendant’s actions directed toward the forum state in determining minimum contacts.

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Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Sunnen

Brief Fact Summary.

The IRS attempts to tax a Defendant on royalties in subsequent years for a contract that happened almost a decade before. The court using res judicata says the IRS cannot do it.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Collateral estoppel only bars relitigation of tax liability in various years if the second matter is identical to the first and the controlling facts and legal rules are the same.

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Hannabalson v. Sessions

Brief Fact Summary.

Neighboring parties sought court action in a battery dispute.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A property line extends from the center of the earth to the sky in a trespass.

Facts.

The plaintiff and defendant, who did not get along, lived beside each other with a fence separating the properties. When the defendant’s ladder was hanging on the fence, the defendant claimed that the plaintiff tried to remove the ladder. The plaintiff stated that her arm was merely resting over the fence and the defendant struck her arm. The defendant claimed that he gently touched the plaintiff’s arm, asking the plaintiff to stay on her side of the fence. The plaintiff sued the defendant for assault and battery. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff.

Issue.

Does the property line extend from the center of the earth to the sky in a trespass?

Held.

Yes. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. The force used by the defendant to remove the plaintiff’s arm was reasonable.

Discussion.

A property line extends from the center of the earth to the sky in a trespass. A person does not need to walk onto the property of another to be held liable for trespass. Any part of the body that is over the property line constitutes trespass. A property owner may use reasonable force to remove a trespasser from his property.

Hutchinson v. Proxmire

Brief Fact Summary.

Hutchinson sued Proxmire for defamation because Proxmire gave Hutchinson’s federal sponsors an award for sponsored work that is considered a waste of tax dollars.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

The Speech or Debate clause does not protect statements made by members of Congress, outside of Congress, if the statement is not critical for legislative considerations.

Facts.

Hutchinson sued Proxmire for defamation because Proxmire gave Hutchinson’s federal sponsors an award for sponsored work that is considered a waste of tax dollars. The court of appeals held that the Speech or Debate clause protected Proxmire’s statements.

Issue.

Whether the Speech or Debate clause protects statements made by members of Congress, outside of Congress, if the statement is not critical for legislative considerations?

Held.

No. The judgment of the court of appeals is reversed. Statements that are made that are not critical for legislative deliberations are not protected by the Speech or Debate Clause.

Dissent.

(Brennan, J.) Public criticism of unnecessary expenditures should be protected by the Speech or Debate clause.

Concurrence.

(Stewart, J.) Phone calls to federal agency officials are routine and should be protected.

Discussion.

The Speech or Debate clause does not protect statements made by members of Congress, outside of Congress, if the statement is not critical for legislative considerations.

Impellizerri v. Jamesville Federated Church

Brief Fact Summary.

The Impellizerries brought suit against Jamesville Federated Church (Church) when their son who suffered from a neurological disease was kept awake by the Church’s bells.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

An action must cause an unnecessary effect on the health and comfort of an ordinary person in a similar situation in order to constitute private nuisance.

Facts.

Impellizerri lived in close proximity to Jamesville Federated Church where the church’s bell rang loudly three times on Mondays-Saturdays and four times on Sundays. The Impellizerris brought suit against Jamesville Federated Church (Church) when their son who suffered from a neurological disease was kept awake by the Church’s bells. The Church filed a motion to dismiss when the Impellizeris classified the Church’s bells as a nuisance.

Issue.

Whether an action must cause an unnecessary effect on the health and comfort of an ordinary person in a similar situation in order to constitute private nuisance?

Held.

Yes. The Church’s motion to dismiss the claim is granted. The Church is not liable for nuisance due to the Impellizerri’s son’s hypersensitivity.

Discussion.

An action must cause an unnecessary effect on the health and comfort of an ordinary person in a similar situation in order to constitute private nuisance. Hypersensitivity is not calculated into the determination of whether a nuisance is unreasonable. Rather, the determination of an unreasonable nuisance is based on the experience of an ordinary person.

Johnson v. Stratlaw, Inc.

Brief Fact Summary.

Johnson’s parents sued for wrongful death after their son got into a car accident and died when he worked for a pizza shop owned by Stratlaw, Inc.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

An employee is acting within the scope of employment if the employment creates a special risk, and the employee sustains injury within that risk.

Facts.

Johnson got into a car accident and died when he worked for a pizza shop owned by Stratlaw, Inc. (Stratlaw). Johnson’s parents sued for wrongful death. Johnson’s parents argued that the shift was not under the scope of employment because Johnson worked longer than eight hours in violation of the state’s labor laws. The trial court granted Stratlaw’s motion for summary judgment.

Issue.

Whether an employee is acting within the scope of employment if employment creates a special risk, and the employee sustains injury within that risk?

Held.

Yes. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. Johnson would not have been on the road at 2:00 am if it had not been for his shift at the pizza shop. Similarly, Johnson working an excess of eight hours and being tired on the way home is a risk distinctive to Johnson and greater than the risk to the general public.

Discussion.

The special risk exception of the going-and-coming rule deems an employee to be acting within the scope of employment if the employment creates a special risk, and the employee sustains injury within that risk. The special risk exception applies where: (1) the employee would not have been in the area where the injury took place without the employment, and (2) the risk is greater to the employee than to the general public.

Kaplan v. Newsweek Magazine, Inc.

Brief Fact Summary.

Kaplan filed suit for libel against Newsweek Magazine, Inc. (Newsweek) after Newsweek published an article listing a course taught by Kaplan as one that requires little work to achieve a good grade.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

An opinion does not constitute defamation.

Facts.

Kaplan filed suit for libel against Newsweek Magazine, Inc. (Newsweek) after Newsweek published an article listing a course taught by Kaplan as one that requires little work to achieve a good grade. The district court granted Newsweek’s motion to dismi

Issue.

Whether stating an opinion constitutes defamation?

Held.

No. The judgment of the district court is affirmed. A critique of a course is not indicative of the professor of that course. The article did not discuss Kaplan or Kaplan’s professors.

Discussion.

An opinion does not constitute defamation.

Kelley v. R.G. Industries, Inc.

Brief Fact Summary.

Kelley filed a tort suit against R.G. Industries, Inc. after being shot during the robbery of a store.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A defendant can be held strictly liable for an activity that is abnormally dangerous in relation to the area that the activity occurs.

Facts.

Kelley was shot while he was working in a store in Maryland. The gun that was used was assembled by R.G. Industries, Inc. (R.G.). Kelley filed a tort suit against R.G. Industries, Inc. after being shot during the robbery of a store.

Issue.

Whether adefendant can be held strictly liable for an activity that is abnormally dangerous in relation to the area that the activity occurs?

Held.

Yes. The defendants are not liable on a theory of strict liability. The manufacture and marketing of a gun is not abnormally dangerous in respect to where the activities occurred.

Discussion.

A defendant can be held strictly liable for an activity that is abnormally dangerous in relation to the area that the activity occurs. The abnormally dangerous activity only occurs where the defendant is an owner of land.

Knight v. Jewett

Brief Fact Summary.

Knight filed a negligence suit against Jewett for injuries during a football game.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A person active in a sport breaches a duty of care to other participants if the participant injures another player and it is outside of the normal activity of the sport.

Facts.

Knight filed a negligence suit against Jewett for injuries during a football game. Knight claimed that Jewett ran into her and stepped on her hand after Knight caught the ball. The trial court granted summary judgment to Jewett and the appellate court affirmed.

Issue.

Whether a person active in a sport breaches a duty of care to other participants if the participant injures another player and it is outside of the normal activity of the sport

Held.

Yes. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. Jewett did not breach any duty that was owed to Knight.

Discussion.

A person active in a sport breaches a duty of care to other participants if the participant injures another player and it is outside of the normal activity of the sport.

Krebs v. Corrigan

Brief Fact Summary.

Krebs filed suit and against Bronson and his principal, Corrigan, after Bronson destroyed four of Krebs’ sculptures.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A prima facie case of negligence is established under the doctrine of res ipsaloquitor if the cause of the accident is known, the instrumentality causing the accident is under the exclusive control of the defendant, and the instrumentality is not likely to do harm without the negligence of the person in control of the instrumentality.

Facts.

Bron’s car was parked in Krebs’ art studio when Krebs’ spotted Bronson and his car flying through the air. Bronson and the car fell on four of Krebs’ sculptures.Krebs filed suit and against Bronson and his principal, Corrigan, after Bronson destroyed four of Krebs’ sculptures. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion for a directed verdict.

Issue.

Whether a prima facie case of negligence is established under the doctrine of res ipsaloquitor if the cause of the accident is known, the instrumentality causing the accident is under the exclusive control of the defendant, and the instrumentality is not likely to do harm without the negligence of the person in control of the instrumentality?

Held.

Yes. The judgment of the trial court is reversed. The cause of the accident was known, as Bronson fell on the sculptures; Bronson’s body was under the control of Bronson; and a person’s body is not likely to do harm without the control of the person. Kreb has presented enough evidence to support the doctrine of res ipsaloquitor.

Discussion.

A prima facie case of negligence is established under the doctrine of res ipsaloquitor if the cause of the accident is known, the instrumentality causing the accident is under the exclusive control of the defendant, and the instrumentality is not likely to do harm without the negligence of the person in control of the instrumentality.

Lowell v. Mother’s Cake & Cookie Co.

Brief Fact Summary.

The trial court dismissed Lowell’s complaint after Lowell brought suit against Mother’s Cake & Cookie Co. for intentional interference with prospective business advantage.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A claim for intentional interference with prospective business advantage cannot be dismissed for failure to state a claim based on the defendant’s justification of privilege, unless the facts in the complaint do not show justification or privilege.

Facts.

Lowell performed delivery services for Mother’s Cake & Cookie Co. (Cake) for over five years. When Lowell sought to sell the company, an offer was contingent upon Lowell’s business relationship with Cake. Lowell told the prospective buyer that their business relationship with Cake will terminate after Lowell sold the company. All of Lowell’s potential offers withdrew shortly thereafter. The trial court dismissed Lowell’s complaint after Lowell brought suit against Cake for intentional interference with prospective business advantage.

Issue.

Whether a claim for intentional interference with prospective business advantage be dismissed for failure to state a claim based on the defendant’s justification of privilege?

Held.

No. The judgment of the trial court is reversed. Lowell claimed that Cake interfered with Lowell’s sale of the company by driving down the market price of the company so that Cake may purchase the company for itself. No justification or privilege existed on the face of the complaint.

Discussion.

A claim for intentional interference with prospective business advantage cannot be dismissed for failure to state a claim based on the defendant’s justification of privilege, unless the facts in the complaint do not show justification or privilege.

Maniaci v. Marquette University

Brief Fact Summary.

Manaici filed suit for false imprisonment against Marquette University after the Dean of Women had Maniaci institutionalized when they were unsuccessful in keeping Manaici from withdrawing from the university.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A defendant is liable for abuse of process if the defendant uses legal process to serve a defendant for any purpose other than what the process is meant for.

Facts.

Maniaci, a freshman at Marquette University, did not like college, bought a train ticket, and began to pack. The Dean of Women was unsuccessful in convincing Maniaci to remain at the school. When they were unable to reach Maniaci’s father, the doctor of the college had Maniaci institutionalized. Maniaci was released from the hospital when her father was reached. Manaici filed suit for false imprisonment against Marquette University after the Dean of Women had Maniaci institutionalized when they were unsuccessful in keeping Manaici from withdrawing from the university. The trial court granted judgment to Maniaci.

Issue.

Whether a defendant is liable for abuse of process if the defendant uses legal process to serve a defendant for any purpose other than what the process is meant for?

Held.

Yes. The judgment of the trial court is reversed. The confinement was lawful and did not constitute false imprisonment because the Deans followed the rules prescribed by the state. Maniaci may be able to plead a claim of abuse of process because the defendants followed Wisconsin law to place Maniaci in the hospital, but they did not institutionalize Maniaci out of concern for her mental health.

Discussion.

A defendant is liable for abuse of process if the defendant uses legal process to serve a defendant for any purpose other than what the process is meant for. Abuse of process includes using legal procedures to obtain an ulterior motive hat the process was not designed for.

Mavrikidis v. Petullo

Brief Fact Summary.

Mavrikidis filed suit after an independent contractor hired by Petullo crashed into Mavrikidis and spilled hot asphalt on Mavrikidis’ car.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A company is not liable for the negligent acts of an independent contractor if the company controls the equipment to be used, the way the work is supposed to be performed, and the employees of the independent contractor.

Facts.

Pascarello hired the Petullo Brothers, Inc. to supply asphalt and concrete for the purpose of renovating the station’s parking lot and service area. Petullo crashed into Mavrikidis and spilled hot asphalt on Mavrikidis’ car causing Mavrikidis to burn injuries. The trial court attributed 89 percent of the fault to Pascarello and the appellate court reversed.

Issue.

Whether a company is liable for the negligent acts of an independent contractor if the company controls the equipment to be used, the way the work is supposed to be performed, and the employees of the independent contractor.

Held.

No. The judgment of the appellate court is affirmed. Pascarellos’ acts had to do with the renovation the service station’s parking lot and not on the specific work being done by the Petullos. Pascarello cannot be held vicariously liable for the injuries caused to Mavrikidis.

Discussion.

A company is not liable for the negligent acts of an independent contractor if the company controls the equipment to be used, the way the work is supposed to be performed, and the employees of the independent contractor.

Miller v. Arnal Corp.

Brief Fact Summary.

Miller filed suit against Arnal Corp. when he suffered from hypothermia as a guest at the Snow Bowl Lodge.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A person who aids another person can abandon the aid unless they put the other person in a worse position than they were in prior to the aid.

Facts.

Miller and four friends left a snow lodge to go on an overnight hiking trip. When a snowstorm hit, the four friends left Miller to seek assistance for Miller as she contracted frostbite. Although Clay stayed with Miller, the four friends were not able to get a sheriff to locate Miller and Clay until the following morning. When Miller suffered severe hypothermia, and got his feet and his finger amputated, he filed suit against Arnal Corp. (Arnal) the owner of the lodge. The trial court granted judgment to Arnal.

Issue.

Whether a person who aids another person can abandon the aid unless they put the other person in a worse position than they were in prior to the aid?

Held.

Yes. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. Miller was left in the same position he would have been in if there was no rescue mission. Arnal is therefore not liable for the harm suffered by Miller between the abandonment and when he was found by the sheriff.

Discussion.

A person who aids another person can abandon the aid unless they put the other person in a worse position than they were in prior to the aid. If the actor puts the victim in a worse position than they were in prior to the aid, the actor has a duty to provide reasonable care to continue the aid or abandon the aid so that the victim is not subject to an unreasonable risk of harm.

Nader v. Allegheny Airlines, Inc.

Brief Fact Summary.

Nader filed a suit for fraudulent misrepresentation after being removed from his flight with Allegheny Airlines, Inc. in accordance with the airline’s overbooking policy.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A statement in a business transaction constitutes fraudulent misrepresentation if the information is materially misleading due to the lack of a qualifier.

Facts.

Nader bought a ticket with Allegheny Airlines, Inc. (Allegheny) and received a flight confirmation. Nader filed a suit for fraudulent misrepresentation after being removed from his flight with Allegheny Airlines, Inc. in accordance with the airline’s overbooking policy.

Issue.

Whether a statement in a business transaction constitutes fraudulent misrepresentation if the information is materially misleading due to the lack of a qualifier.

Held.

Yes. Alleghany is liable to Nader for fraudulent misrepresentation. Without information indicating that a passenger is subject to removal due to an overbooking policy, a passenger has reason to believe that a ticket confirmation will ensure their seat on a flight.

Discussion.

A statement in a business transaction constitutes fraudulent misrepresentation if the information is materially misleading due to the lack of a qualifier. A defendant is guilty of fraudulent misrepresentation if the plaintiff can prove that the defendant made a false representation regarding a material fact, the defendant knew that the statement was false, made the statement in order to deceive the plaintiff, and the plaintiff relied on the false representation.

Neff v. Time, Inc.

Brief Fact Summary.

Neff filed suit against Time, Inc. when a picture of him in Sports Illustrated showed him with his “fly down” at a Pittsburgh Steelers game.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A person can be held liable for invasion of privacy if an individual uses the name or likeness of another person for his own benefit.

Facts.

Neff filed suit against Time, Inc. when a picture of him in Sports Illustrated showed him with his “fly down” at a Pittsburgh Steelers game. Neff claimed that the image was embarrassing and Time moved for summary judgment.

Issue.

Whether a person can be held liable for invasion of privacy if an individual uses the name or likeness of another person for his own benefit?

Held.

Yes. Time’s motion for summary judgment is granted. Sports Illustrated in protected for the publication of Neff under the First Amendment.

Discussion.

A person can be held liable for invasion of privacy if an individual uses the name or likeness of another person for his own benefit.

Neumann v. Shlansky

Brief Fact Summary.

Neumann sued Shlansky for negligence after being hit with a tee at a golf course.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A child engaging in adult activities are held to the standard of care of an adult.

Facts.

Neumann sued Shlansky for negligence after being hit with a tee at a golf course. The defendant was an 11-year-old at the time of the incident but played golf approximately three times a week. The defendant played better than most adults and the jury was instructed that Shlansky should be held to the standard of care to adults.

Issue.

Whether a child engaging in adult activities are held to the standard of care of an adult?

Held.

Yes. The defendant acted as an adult when he hit the plaintiff with a golf ball. It was not an error for the court to hold the defendant to the standard of care of an adult.

Discussion.

A child engaging in adult activities are held to the standard of care of an adult.