Instructions: Attached to these instructions you will find 3 case sceanrios (# 1 has 3 questions; #2 is on question and #3 has 2 questions). For each question posed in these 3 case scenarios, please provide an answer according to the analysis format we learned in class – which is:
1.Who will sue who?
2.What is the cause(s) of action?
3.What must the plaintiff prove to be successful? Will they be able to prove their case based on the facts given
4.What arguments are available to the defendant to avoid or lessen legal liability? Do they have the facts available to support their defenses?
5.Who do you think should win, and why?
Be thorough and precise in your answers. Examples of how to proceed have been provided in video lectures 6, 8 and 10.
There is no particular length or format required. However, please use headings and point form in your analyses
Case Scenario 1
Jan was an aspiring entrepreneur, who had just graduated from MacEwan University with a diploma in Business. She wanted to start his own business, and spent many days and nights considering various ideas which, she hoped, would make him buckets of money.
One day, she hit on what he thought was a brilliant scheme – services to seniors. The population was rapidly aging, and she couldn’t see how she would fail to make money with such a business focus. She decided to start “Sunny Daze for Seniors Ltd.”, which take seniors on various trips and adventures in and around Edmonton.
In her first summer of operation, she decided to offer canoe and biking trips for more agile seniors. She wanted to start small, since she didn’t want financial strain while building the business. So, she didn’t order much in equipment. She entered into a contract with Boat Stuff Inc. for canoes – 5 ultra lite, fiberglass, tip resistant beauties. As well, she entered into a contract with Wheels R Us, a well known supplier of all things with wheels, for bicycles – 5 ultra lite, super stable touring bikes. Delivery on both these items was to be May 1.
a.May 1 came and went, and there were no bikes delivered. The next day, Jan stormed down to Wes’ small workshop/office, and demanded to know where her order was. Wes, it turns out, had been going through a tough divorce, and had been drinking heavily over recent months. He was very drunk the day Jan placed her order – to the point where he had no recollection of Jan’s order, despite the fact that she produced the written copy. Jan thought that Wes seemed unfocused on the day they met to sign up the deal, and she had detected the smell of alcohol on his breath. But, she just thought he’d been partying the night before.
She we over to Wheels R Us office, and met with Wes. She told him that, drunk or not, she would sue him ‘til the cows came home! She’d lose thousands of dollars in profit, since she now had to cancel several specially booked private bike tours for visiting Japanese seniors! They had agreed to pay top dollar! Wes said, go ahead – his business is going under anyways and “you can’t get blood out of a stone!” Jan shouted, “Ya, well, what about your that fancy sports car you drive around in?! And your 6 bedroom villa at Mucamuca Lake?! I’ll take you for everything you’ve got!” Wes shook his head, left the office, got into his fancy sports car and drove off, leaving Jan standing there with her mouth open.
Discuss the potential lawsuits.
b.Fortunately for Jan, her canoes showed up on time. She anxiously anticipated taking a group of 10 seniors from a local activity centre on a trip down the Saskatchewan River, from Devon to Edmonton’s downtown. They had all registered and paid several weeks prior to the actual trip date, so Jan anticipated “smooth sailing” – both literally and figuratively.
On the bright, sunny morning in question, Jan met with her customers on shore, and went over the safety procedures with them. She also had them sign the following waiver:
“I understand that canoeing is a high risk activity, that that in the event the canoe capsizes, there is potential for bodily harm and even death. I agree to hold harmless Sunny Daze for Seniors Ltd. for any and all injury or harm, resulting from the canoe trip occurring on (date).”
All the customers signed it, including Vern Hamm. Vern was a veteran canoeist, who thought the whole waiver exercise was rather silly. He gave the form a cursory glance, and signed it while joking with his fellow canoeists. From there, all participants were fitted with helmets and personal flotation devices. Vern was especially perturbed about the helmet requirement – what was he going to bang his head on in a canoe? Turns out Vern had a bit of a large head, so his helmet was perched on the top of his head at a rather goofy angle, despite the fact that it was the largest helmet that Maggie had.
The canoes were launched, and the group started down the river. Maggie was in to boat to supervise. The water was somewhat rougher than Maggie had anticipated, since it was early in the spring. But, since she had the foresight to order the tip resistant boats, she wasn’t overly concerned.
But tragedy struck soon after. The seniors had a difficult time handling the rough water, and could not control the direction of their canoe. This was, in part, because the canoes were so light. In the resulting chaos, there was much screaming and many paddles flailing about. One paddle clipped Vern in the head, and caught him full forehead (which was not properly covered by his helmet). He is now in a coma, due to the resulting head injury, as the paddle caught him exactly in the spot where he had previously sustained a shrapnel injury from his days serving with the armed forces.
Discuss the potential lawsuits.
c.After the debacle with Wes and Vern, Jan decided she’d better take some serious steps towards marketing, if she was going to make any money at her business. So, she signed a contract with one Ken Barbie, who was well connected in the seniors travel industry. He agreed to approach his tour operator contacts, and try to get Jan some business through them. Jan dropped off a package of her promotional brochures, and waited for the phone to ring!
Ken did some investigation, entered found a fantastic deal for Jan. Magic Moments Tours Ltd. took a look at the brochures, and loved what Sunny Daze had to offer. Ken quickly entered into an agreement, on behalf of Sunny Daze, to provide bike tours on Edmonton River valley bike paths for bus passengers of Magic Moments Tours Ltd. Magic Moments was run a variety of bus tours across Canada, and their clients, while predominantly over age 40, were not limited to seniors.When Jan found out about the deal, she was most unhappy. She told Ken, “I can’t do bike tours! Didn’t I tell you that Wes messed me up on my bike deliveries, and now I’m limited to walking and canoeing tours!? And besides, I do tours for seniors, not everyone and his dog!” Ken said, “Ya, but, your brochure says bike tours, so I found bike tours! Surely you can scrounge up a few bikes?! And who care how old your money paying clients are?!”
Jan refused to provide the bike tours to Magic Moments. Discuss the potential lawsuits.
Case Scenario 2
Maggie was an avid recycler, small scale farmer and outdoor enthusiast. She lived on a small acreage just outside the Edmonton, Alberta city limits.
She really enjoyed her acreage, as it allowed her to pursue many of her outdoor passions. They greatest among these were her beloved chickens. On her property, she had several chicken coops and approximately 50 chickens. She used a few of the eggs they produced for her own use, but most of the bounty was sold at a local farmer’s market, once per week.
Her nephew, Alphonse, helped her with the transporting of eggs on those days and the actual sales. He also cleaned out the chicken coops twice per month. In return, Maggie gave him 10% of whatever they made on farmers market days.
All was well – until Fran, a new neighbour moved on to the small acreage next door.
Fran recently retired from a high stress career as a financial planner, and had been hoping to get away from the pressures of city life. But, alas, it was not to be.
Maggie’s chickens got up early in the morning…every morning. At about 5 am, Fran was awake listening to the sounds of cheery clucking and crowing. This would not have been so bad, if she had to be at work at 6am; but not so great for someone hoping to enjoy her retirement. Not to mention, the chickens smelled terrible. When the wind blew just the right way, the smell of chicken droppings was easily detectable in both Fran’s yard and house.
To add insult to injury, the chickens frequently found their way out of Maggie’s yard, and into Fran’s. They didn’t really do any damage, but they annoyed the heck out of her. Fran had to yell and scream and chase them out of the yard. Fran had told Maggie that if she continued to let the chickens wander about, she might find that they end up in her roasting pan! Maggie replied that any attack against her chickens is an attack against her, and that should Fran try anything of the kind, she’d better watch her back!
One day last week, as Fran was trying to herd some of the escapee chickens back to their own yard, she crossed over onto Maggie’s property, to ensure the birds was properly corralled in their own space. Unfortunately, in the process, she tripped over several rolls of chicken wire stacked up near the property line. The wire was quite difficult to see, given the growth of weeds and brush surrounding it. Fran broke her ankle as a result of the fall.
Then came the last straw. A small cesspool of chicken waste on Maggie’s property sprang a leak, and the putrid contents flowed over onto Fran’s property.
Discuss the potential lawsuits.
Case Scenario 3
You operate a small retail boutique specializing in the sale of quality leather goods. You sell items through your retail outlet in Edmonton, as well as on-line order across Canada.
a.Your business took off shortly after starting, particularly the on-line orders. Consequently, you needed to hire someone to specifically look after that part of your business.
You placed a job ad on several recruiting platforms, and Violet Birdsee applied for the job. She was an excellent candidate, with several years’ experience managing on-line orders for other retailers in Edmonton. You called her in for an interview, and were very impressed. You offered her the job on the spot, complete with a generous pay and bonus structure, and Violet accepted.
After she left, you decided to do a little social media research, and discovered from Violet’s Instagram, that she belonged to an animal rights group called “Say No to Animal Skins” (SNAS). Needless to say, she did not mention this in her interview!
You called her immediately, and revoked your offer of employment stating, “I simply can not employ someone sympathetic to SNAS. I’m sure you understand.”
Violet did not understand, and wants to explore legal action. Discuss.
b. Unfortunately, Violet wasn’t the end of your problems with SNAS. One year after starting your business, the Trade in Leather Goods Act was passed by the Province of Alberta. This action was taken by the government in response to major lobbying done by SNAS.
The key sections of the Act are as follows:
1 No person shall deal in, trade in, sell or advertise for sale any items made of animal skins anywhere in Alberta, or outside of Alberta for on-line purchase.
2. Anyone who contravenes s. 1 of this act may have their business license revoked for a period not exceeding 2 years, and be charged with a summary conviction offence.
You are very unhappy with the legislation, and think it is ridiculous that a special interest group like SNAS can undermine your business. You want to take the matter to court. Discuss. (10 marks)