Civil Procedure Keyed to Hazardback
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A homeowner hired a termite company to treat an older house to protect it from termite infestation. The termite company determined that it had to remove dirt from around part of the foundation in order to treat the house properly, and hired a subcontractor to remove the dirt with a backhoe. While removing the dirt, the subcontractor damaged the foundation of the house. The homeowner filed an action against the termite company in federal district court. The case went to trial, the termite company was found liable, and it paid the plaintiff $90,000 in damages. Because it was the subcontractor who actually damaged the house, the termite company now wants to sue the subcontractor to recover the money it had to pay the homeowner.
May the termite company maintain its claim against the subcontractor in an independent action?CorrectIncorrect
A homeowner sued a contractor in federal court for damages resulting from an unsuccessful roof repair. The court dismissed the case for lack of personal jurisdiction over the contractor. The homeowner then filed her complaint in a federal court that could properly assert jurisdiction over the contractor. In his answer the contractor asserts the affirmative defense of claim preclusion.
Should the court dismiss the case?CorrectIncorrect
Paul filed a jurisdictionally proper diversity lawsuit against General Motors in Michigan federal court, seeking compensation under a negligence claim for damages he suffered when the ignition of his car malfunctioned. After Paul obtained many documents and emails during discovery that apparently indicated General Motors’ longstanding awareness of ignition problems, General Motors stopped participating in the litigation. Shortly thereafter the court issued a default judgment under FRCP 55. Peter subsequently filed a lawsuit against General Motors in New Jersey federal court, seeking damages on the same theory put forward in Paul’s lawsuit.
Which of the following is true?CorrectIncorrect
A car driver was hit by a pickup truck driver and suffered severe injuries. The car driver properly sued the truck driver in federal court for negligence, based on diversity jurisdiction, claiming the truck driver ran a red light. The truck driver defended on the grounds that the car driver was contributorily negligent for speeding, which under the applicable law would completely bar the car driver’s claim.
The case went to trial, where all issues were vigorously litigated by the parties. The jury re- turned a verdict for the truck driver, specifically holding that (i) the truck driver did not run a red light and was therefore not negligent, and (ii) the car driver was negligent for speeding.
Thereafter, a passenger who was riding with the truck driver filed a diversity claim for negligence in federal court against the car driver for personal injuries from the same accident.
The passenger wants to preclude the car driver from relitigating the question of whether the car driver was negligent.
How will the court likely rule?CorrectIncorrect
A three-car accident occurred in which the drivers were citizens of different states. The State A citizen filed a negligence action against the other two in federal district court and lost his case.
After judgment, may the State B citizen assert and maintain a negligence action against the State A citizen seeking damages for the injuries the State B citizen sustained in the same accident?CorrectIncorrect
A plaintiff filed a single cause of action against a defendant on a claim based on products liability in state court. The plaintiff contends that a space heater that he was using during the winter short-circuited, causing a fire that burned down his house. In July, the plaintiff’s case against the defendant went to trial, and the jury determined that the fire was caused by faulty wiring in the plaintiff’s home. The following September, the plaintiff filed a breach of warranty action against the defendant in federal court, properly invoking the court’s diversity jurisdiction. The defendant, after properly being served with process, immediately files a motion to dismiss based on claim preclusion.
How should the court rule on the defendant’s motion?CorrectIncorrect