Mother, and Bar v. Authorit-I
Under the common law, negligence requires that a defendant has a duty to avoid the foreseeable risk of injury to a plaintiff, defendant breaches that duty, defendant is the actual and legally proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries, and plaintiff suffers damages as a consequence of defendant’s actions.
Here, Cartman has the duty of due care of a reasonable person to avoid injury to Kenny and to the Bar, because this is the lowest standard applicable to any person in society. Furthermore, Kenny’s proximity to Cartman, and his location in the Bar, places Kenny and the Bar within the “orbit of danger,” which is an area where foreseeable injury is likely to occur. Cartman breaches his duty to avoid foreseeable risk of injury to Kenny and Bar, because he creates a fireball that could reasonably result in death or injury to other persons and property. Moreover, there is no social benefit to Cartman’s actions – the fireball is simply a reckless action. Cartman is the actual cause of Kenny’s and Bar’s injuries, because “but for” his creating the fireball neither Kenny nor the Bar would have been injured. And Cartman is the legally proximate cause of Kenny’s and Bar’s injuries, because the fireball that Kenny created could be reasonably foreseen to cause injury to others. Cartman could argue that no one would reasonably believe that a fireball from a silly stunt could kill someone else, but this argument is weak, because even if an instant death may be unlikely, death from a resultant fire is not. Finally, Kenny has suffered damages, because he is dead, and the Bar is damaged from the fire.
Therefore, Cartman is liable for negligence.
Under the common law, an employer is vicariously liable for the acts and omissions of an employee done within the scope of employment.
Here, Authorit-I is liable for Cartman’s negligence because Cartman was discussing business with Kenny at the time of the injuries, and even though this was not the original intent of the business, Cartman’s actions causing injury were entirely proximate to the conduct of business on Authorit-I’s behalf.
Therefore, Authorit-I is liable in respondeat superior.
Detour and Frolic
Under the common law, an employer is not liable for an employee who injures other while willfully diverting him/herself from his/her job duties.
Here, Authorit-I will argue that Cartman’s actions were an absurd detour from his job responsibilities. However, this defense will fail, because everything that was taking place right up until the moment of the fireball stunt was business related for Authorit-I’s benefit.
Kyle v. Cartman
Under the common law, assault is the intentional creation of an apprehension of imminent physical injury in another, without consent or privilege.
Here, Cartman undoubtedly terrified Kyle with the fireball stunt, because who wouldn’t believe that they were at imminent risk of physical injury upon seeing fireball instantly killing another person in close proximity to themselves.
Cartman can claim no defense here, thus he is liable to Kyle for assault.
Cartman v. Authorit-I
Under the common law, wrongful termination is the discharge of an employee in violation of public policy. However, in the absence of an express public policy statute, the “at-will” employment doctrine holds that an employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time, and for any reason – or for no reason whatsoever.
Here, because there is no public policy protecting an employee for negligently killing another person and destroying private property in the process, Cartman’s wrongful termination action will fail.
Under common law of a minority of jurisdictions
, an employee can sue for breach of contract where an employer fails to follow its own disciplinary processes.
Here, because Cartman was entitled to an interview prior to termination, he has an action for breach of contract. However, this is not a defense to wrongful termination, but rather an action on the employment contract. Therefore, this defense will fail to prevent Cartman’s termination.
Store v. Authorit-I
Conversion is the intentional unlawful exercise of domination and control over the property of another sufficient to warrant a forced sale.
Here, Cartman’s theft of the ring was clearly intended by his actions to take a “five-finger discount,” and it was obviously designed to exercise permanent dominion and control, because Cartman never returned the ring. However, employer’s are not liable for the intentional torts of their employees, because such actions are considered outside the scope of employment. Moreover, the theft occurred during a period of time where no business was taking place.
Therefore, Store’s conversion suit will fail.
Here, Store could argue that that Authorit-I failed to use due care in supervising Cartman. However, outside salespersons customarily have always acted with relative independence and it is unreasonable to hold Authorit-I liable under a theory that is never applied to other businesses in similar circumstances.
Therefore, Store’s negligence suit will fail, and Store’s recourse will be solely against Cartman for the cost of the ring.