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Negligence Case: James and Barbara Hopper

Please help with the attached problem.

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James and Barbara Hopper and their two-year-old granddaughter were staying at the Colonial Motel when David Wayne Clary, who was staying in the room directly above the Hoppers', accidentally, fired a handgun. The bullet went through the floor of Clary's room and through the ceiling of the Hoppers' room. It then struck and wounded Barbara. When Clary and Jason Michael Bird had checked into the motel a number of days earlier, they were being sought by the police for a number of theft-related incidents. Each day during their stay, Bird had paid at the motel office in cash. Clary and Bird had kept the curtains drawn and had directed the motel staff not to perform any housekeeping services in the room. Instead, housekeepers were to deliver clean bath towels to Clary and Bird through their partially open door. The room was normally left unlit. Neither Clary nor Bird had displayed a handgun to motel personnel, and no motel employee had been informed that either of the men had engaged, or was suspected of, criminal activity. The Hoppers sued the motel for negligence.

Hypothetically, if you were the judge in this case, how you would decide the case based on a negligence claim, and more importantly, indicating your legal analysis for deciding the case as you did.

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RESPONSE:

CASE:

James and Barbara Hopper and their two-year-old granddaughter were staying at the Colonial Motel when David Wayne Clary, who was staying in the room directly above the Hoppers', accidentally, fired a handgun. The bullet went through the floor of Clary's room and through the ceiling of the Hoppers' room. It then struck and wounded Barbara. When Clary and Jason Michael Bird had checked into the motel a number of days earlier, they were being sought by the police for a number of theft-related incidents. Each day during their stay, Bird had paid at the motel office in cash. Clary and Bird had kept the curtains drawn and had directed the motel staff not to perform any housekeeping services in the room. Instead, housekeepers were to deliver clean bath towels to Clary and Bird through their partially open door. The room was normally left unlit. Neither Clary nor Bird had displayed a handgun to motel personnel, and no motel employee had been informed that either of the men had engaged, or was suspected of, criminal activity. The Hoppers sued the motel for negligence.

1. Hypothetically, if you were the ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the negligence case presented in terms of how to decide the case based on a negligence claim, as well as the legal analysis for deciding the case.

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