Three friends – Abel, Baker, and Charlie – went hiking in a state park in State X. During the hike, the friends became lost and wandered onto Blackacre, a 100-acre parcel of wooded land owned by Owner, a private individual. There was no fence, sign, or other marking to indicate the hikers were entering private land.
Shortly after the hikers entered Blackacre, Abel fell into a deep hole in the ground and severely injured his head. The hole was part of an abandoned well that had become overgrown with brush and hidden from sight. Baker and Charlie were unable to raise Abel from the bottom of the hole. Baker ran off to seek help while Charlie remained with Abel.
While looking for help, Baker came upon a sign that read “Private Land. Keep Off.” Baker disregarded the sign and continued on his way, soon coming upon the residence of Owner. Baker told Owner about Abel’s accident, but Owner refused Baker’s request to use Owner’s telephone to call for help. Owner ordered Baker to leave Blackacre immediately, and directed Baker to a path off the property. The path led Baker to a wooden bridge located on Blackacre. While crossing the bridge, which had not been maintained for several years, Baker fell through some rotten boards and broke his leg.
When Baker did not return to the scene of Abel’s accident, Charlie decided to seek help himself. Charlie left Abel, choosing a different path from the one Baker had taken. As he ran, Charlie discarded his lighted cigarette in some brush. The smoldering cigarette eventually started a fire that destroyed 20 acres of timber on Blackacre.
After leaving Blackacre, Charlie found a telephone and called for help. When medical personnel reached Abel, they found him dead of his injuries. It was determined that Abel’s life could have been saved if help had arrived sooner.
Owner has retained you to advise him regarding any potential causes of action he might have against Abel, Baker, and Charlie. Identify/discuss the causes of action Owner may file and identify/discuss the defenses Abel, Baker, and Charlie would raise to Owner’s causes of action.
Furthermore, Owner has retained you to advise him regarding any potential causes of action Abel, Baker, and Charlie might have against him. Identify/discuss the defenses Owner would raise to Abel, Baker, and Charlie’s causes of action.
As part of the contract for representation, Owner wants you to agree to pay the cost of any litigation (that is attorney’s fees and court costs). You would be repaid only if Owner recovers money in the litigation. Discuss whether such an arrangement is permitted.
Learning Activity #2
Dizzy Annie was driving down the street at a great rate of speed, when she came to an intersection in which Teriffic Ted passed her, cut her off forcing her into a tree. Due to the impact of the car with the tree Dizzy was caused to be in a Dazed condition and began wandering around on the street not sure of where she was and attempted to kiss a dog, which there after chased her causing her to fall into an open manhole in which Mr. Manhole was working. The fall into the manhole by Dizzy injured both Dizzy and Mr Manhole. As a result of the manhole incident the ambulance came to the rescue but Dizzy in her condition, she thought that the ambulance driver Mr. Driver was a possessed Dracula and tried to put a tooth pick through his heart. After Dizzy got out of the hospital with two sprained legs which ruined her Olympic chances for the hop skip and jump, she began searching for Teriffic’s whereabouts which she learned of about an hour later.
Dizzy intent was to make Teriffic pay for her trouble, thereby procured a gun and went on the hunt. When Dizzy got to the house of Teriffic there were two people sitting on the porch Mr Ding and Mr Dong. Dizzy shot at Mr Ding whom she thought was Teriffic, missed him and the shot bounced off the wall striking Mr. Dong in the chest mortally wounding him. Mrs. Dong who was pregnant, was standing beside her husband, on the porch. Mrs. Dong prior to the gun shot went into the kitchen to take care or her elderly mother. More Dong. After the shot was fired both Mrs. Dong and More Dong, went out on the porch where Mr. Dong was lying. Mrs. Dong then had a miscarriage, while More Dong was having a heart attack.
Dizzy comes to you to ask you what her liability is as to all of the above people ?
State the liability of all the parties and to whom and the defenses each party may use and why.