Assignment 2: In Defense of Negligence


1. Summarize the relevant facts and include an identification of the party that would be a plaintiff
and the defendant in a lawsuit.

Simply rephrase the statement of facts from the article.  Discuss the bus driver, where he was going, passengers, and the facts of the accident and subsequent investigation notes.

The plaintiffs would be injured passengers or family members of the dead passengers against the bus driver, the defendant.

2. Identify the four (4) elements of negligence.

In this case, the bus driver had a duty to drive the bus safely and reasonably navigate the passengers on the bus. This includes reasonably preparing to drive the bus and the actual driving -- his behavior on the roadways.

It appears he may have breached his duty by speeding and getting insufficient sleep.

His speeding and lack of preparedness to drive the bus physically caused the crash.  He swerved onto the shoulder, hit the guardrail, and hit two sign posts that damaged the bus and injured and killed passengers.  "But for" his negligent speeding and tiredness, the crash would not have happened.  In terms of proximate cause, he should have known that 78mph in a 50mph zone while exhausted would foreseeability result in a crash that injures his passengers.

Finally, 15 passengers died, and 18 were injured physically.

4. Determine whether the plaintiff should proceed with a lawsuit. Explain your reasoning.

Yes, the survivors should proceed given the investigation results and evidence of speed.  78mph is 28mph over the posted limit, which is not a reasonable speed for a bus carrying dozens of passengers.  Plus, when working in that capacity, a reasonable person would not drive when severely fatigued.  His lack of sleep and unsafe speed caused an accident that injured passengers.  Both actual cause and legal cause are established.  Under Palsgraf, the passengers were in the zone of danger and were foreseeable plaintiffs if injured.  Finally, the injuries satisfy physical harm because they required medical attention or caused death.  There are economic damages for medical expenses, perhaps lost wages, and recovered care.

5. Use at least two (2) quality references. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not quality as
academic resources.

Cite the website and Palsgraf.  I'll email you separately the APA cite for a case

    • 8 years ago
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