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    Negligence Defenses in Law Cases

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    Douglas Margreiter was severely injured in New Orleans on the night of April 6, 1976. He was the chief of the pharmacy section of the Colorado Department of Social Services and was in New Orleans to attend the annual meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association. On Tuesday evening, April 6, Mr. Margreiter had dinner at the Royal Sonesta Hotel with two associates from Colorado who were attending the meeting and were staying in rooms adjacent to Mr. Margreiter's in the New Hotel Monteleone. Mr. Margreiter returned to his room between 10:30 P.M. and 11:00 P.M.; one of his friends returned to his adjoining room at the same time. Another friend was to come by Mr. Margreiter's room later to discuss what sessions of the meetings each would attend the next day.
    About three hours later, Mr. Margreiter was found severely beaten and unconscious in a parking lot three blocks from the Monteleone. The police who found him said they thought he was highly intoxicated, and they took him to Charity Hospital. His friends later had him moved to the Hotel Dieu.
    Mr. Margreiter said two men had unlocked his hotel room door and entered his room. He was beaten about the head and shoulders and had only the recollection of being carried to a dark alley. He required a craniotomy and other medical treatment and suffered permanent effects from the incident.
    Mr. Margreiter sued the hotel on grounds that the holel was negligent in not controlling access to elevators and hence to the guests' rooms. The hotel says Mr. Margreiter was intoxicated and met his fate outside the hotel. Is the hotel liable? [Margreiter v New Hotel
    MOllte/eolle, 640 F.2d 508 (5th Gr. 1981)]

    What are the elements of negligence which Mr. Margreiter will need to prove against the hotel in order to win his case? List the 5 elements here.

    Applying the facts you have from the case problem above only, lay out a case for negligence against the hotel. Use the elements to outline the case. Start with the first element, explain what facts you have for or against that element, and then continue through the 5 elements of negligence. If you do not have enough facts to make your case, explain what facts you would need to have in order to support a case of negligence.

    What defense(s) does the hotel have on its side? List and explain. Very briefly state why you think the hotel could use this defense.

    817 words

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    Solution Preview

    The five elements of negligence that apply to the case of Mr. Margrieter V. New Hotel
    Monteleone, Inc are Duty, breach, cause in effect, proximal cause and harm (damage suffered as a
    proximal result of the defendant's breach of duty). Duty refers to an obligation one has to another
    party. If duty "constrains and channels behavior in a socially responsible way" (Owen, 2007), then the
    Hotel Menteloene has a duty to take reasonable measures to protect its guests from harm.
    Breach, an improper act or omission, can also be viewed as an element that exists in this case.
    The hotel did not provide adequate security, as it did not replace the security personnel that had called
    in sick. It is particularly a breach if the hotel has determined that security is necessary to protect the
    property and its guests. It provided one employee to monitor the rear door, but the employee is not
    reported to have experience in security. Evidence of lack of security at exits and entrances,
    As well as lack of camera security monitoring and alarms are all actions that created a situation in which
    Mr. Margrieter could be abducted without notice, as could any other guest.
    Cause in Fact refers to the direct cause of one party's action leading to the harm of another.
    If the lack of adequate ...

    Solution Summary

    The expert examines the negligence defenses in law cases.