Introduction to Legal Research Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 1 May 2016

Introduction to Legal Research

Facts: Samantha Smith, a young and single mother, was shopping in the bath aisle of the local grocery store in Indiana. At approximately 1:30 pm she slipped and fell on a clear shampoo that had leaked out of one of the bottles and onto the floor. The aisle had been inspected, logged as clear of any dangerous hazards at 1:00 pm by an older employee who requires glasses. As a result of the fall, Samantha was transported to the hospital where she was admitted overnight and diagnosed with a broken hip. She will require many months of physical therapy. Samantha has no healthcare insurance coverage to cover any of her expenses and is responsible for a two year old son.

Issue: Did the grocery store have knowledge of the hazardous substance on the floor, therefore being held liable for the injuries that Samantha sustained?

Rule: The grocery store can only be held liable if it had knowledge of the hazardous condition. Breach of duty is defined as “the violation of a legal or moral obligation; the failure to act as the law obligates one to act; especially a fiduciary’s violation of an obligation owed to another.” Black’s Law Dictionary 214 (9th ed. 2009) Negligence is defined as “the failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in a similar situation; any conduct that falls below the legal standard established to protect others against unreasonable risk of harm.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1133 (9th ed. 2009) 

Analysis: Samantha is not able to prove that the grocery store had any knowledge of the hazardous substance on the floor; therefore, the grocery store was not negligent in its duty to the customer and cannot be held liable for Samantha’s injuries. Conclusion: It is not likely that Samantha will be awarded damages for her injuries because she cannot show proof that the grocery store had any knowledge of the hazardous spill on the floor. Vaughn v. National Tea Co., 328 F.2d 128 (7th Cir. 1964) 

Facts: The Plaintiff, Vaughn, slipped and on a piece of lettuce and fell on the floor while shopping at National Tea Company. The store employee stated under testimony that she did not recall cleaning or picking up anything off of the aisle the day before the slip and fall occurred. The lettuce had multiple step marks on it which indicated that it had been there for a while. As a result of the slip and fall, Vaughn ruptured a disc in her back that resulted in the need for surgery. Vaughn filed a lawsuit against the National Tea Company for damages for the injuries she sustained. A jury found the Defendant guilty and awarded damages to Vaughn in the amount of $25,000.

National Tea Company appealed the case stating there was no proof of negligence. Issue: Did National Tea Company have any knowledge of the lettuce on the floor which would ultimately hold them liable for the Vaughn’s injuries? Rule: Negligence is defined as “the failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in a similar situation; any conduct that falls below the legal standard established to protect others against unreasonable risk of harm.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1133 (9th ed. 2009) Evidence showed that the lettuce had been stepped on multiple times and, therefore, the jury could find that it was on the floor ample enough time for someone at the store to have a duty to clean it up. Analysis: The jury held that National Tea Company was negligent and a breach of duty occurred because they lettuce was on the floor for a long enough time period to be noticed and removed; therefore, Vaughn was awarded damages.

Carmichael v. Kroger, 654 N.E.2d 1188 (Ind. Ct. App. 1995)

Facts: Carmichael was shopping in the dairy aisle at Kroger and at approximately 2:00 pm slipped on a broken egg. As a result, Carmichael filed a lawsuit against Kroger for damages as a result of the slip and fall. Records show that a Kroger employee checked the dairy aisle just after 2:00 pm the same day and confirmed that there was no hazardous material on the floor. Carmichael was unable to prove to the Court that Kroger knew about the broken egg on the floor; therefore, Kroger was not found negligent or liable for Carmichael’s injuries.

Issue: Did Kroger know about the broken egg on the floor which in turn would hold them liable for Carmichael’s injuries?

Rule: Liability cannot be imposed if Kroger was not aware of the broken egg on the floor. Negligence is defined as “the failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in a similar situation; any conduct that falls below the legal standard established to protect others against unreasonable risk of harm.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1133 (9th ed. 2009) 

Analysis: Carmichael failed to prove to the Court that Kroger had any knowledge of the broken egg on the floor that created a hazard; therefore, Kroger was not negligent in its duty of care to Carmichael and cannot be held liable for Carmichael’s injuries. Conclusion: The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision that Carmichael failed to prove negligence and breach of duty.

Free Introduction to Legal Research Essay Sample

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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 1 May 2016

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