Background: With some understanding of the legal system, the GC owners can now shift their focus to examining specific areas of law that create potential risks and liabilities for their business. The group knows from their business experience, that businesses face serious and costly risks and legal liabilities stemming from tort law.
Unintentional harm resulting from accidents, such as negligence, can result in costly litigation. For example, Madison’s roofing business was sued by a client who was injured when one of Madison’s roofing employees accidentally dropped a ladder on the client’s leg.
The GC owners are concerned about the possibility of accidents resulting in injuries to their employees that could occur during the cleaning of GC clients’ property.
Winnie and Ralph have given you the responsibility of analyzing and summarizing potential negligence claims and liability that GC might face in its business operations. You decide to analyze a hypothetical fact scenario to present to the GC owners to help explain GC’s potential negligence liability for accidents occurring on clients’ property during cleaning. The analysis will be presented at the next meeting with GC owners and TLG. Your analysis will address only the tort of negligence.
Background Facts You Need To Know: Jack, a GC cleaning employee, was assigned to clean Client A’s office building. Jack’s first task was to vacuum the floors in a wide hallway. Jack plugged GC’s commercial vacuum cleaner into the hallway outlet with an extra-long electrical cord and began vacuuming. Before beginning vacuuming, Jack checked to ensure that the hallway was clear of obstacles and people walking. After checking the hallway, he placed the cord to the side of the hallway out of the path of his pushing the vacuum. After vacuuming for a few minutes, Jack stepped to the side to turn the vacuum and tripped over two boxes that had been placed in the hallway by Client A’s employee since Jack began vacuuming. Jack did not know the boxes had been placed in the hallway.
Jack fell and broke his ankle and was taken to the hospital ER via ambulance. A cast was applied after it was determined the ankle did not need surgery. Jack missed three weeks of work because of the injury.
Report You Need To Prepare: You must prepare a report addressed to Winnie and Ralph. Winnie and Ralph will use the report in a discussion with the GC owners. The report must address each of the following points:
Analyze whether Jack has a negligence claim against Client A.
Identify any potential defenses that Client A may raise in response to Jack’s negligence claim. The analysis must explain why the defense may be raised.
Given the negligence claim and the potential defenses, draw a conclusion as to whether Jack or Client A should prevail in a lawsuit. The conclusion must be supported by the facts and the law.