Share
Explore BrainMass

Entrepreneurial legal liability

Read the entrepreneur's dilemma and the questions that follow. Identify the legal issue(s) and apply legal concepts and possible arguments for each question. Prepare a solution for each question using laws, cases, examples and/or other relevant materials. Identify potential ethical issues and propose a solution for each issue. Support your answers with information from the textbook and at least two outside scholarly sources. Prepare a 6 to 9 page paper that identifies the legal issues and potential solutions and answers all questions presented, supported by relevant legal authority. Properly cite all sources using APA format.

The Dilemma

In the five years since she started Critter Sitters in Orlando Florida, Lauren incorporated the business, rented a small building, purchased two mobile grooming vans and hired 16 employees. Critter Sitters services include walking, feeding, grooming, training and providing other services for pets. Some services are provided at the clients' homes and others are provided in the leased office space.

June, a Critter Sitters customer, was waiting for her Great Dane, Pooky Bear, to get a bath. While June was waiting in the lobby, Jason, a Critter Sitter employee, lost control of a dog he was bringing to a customer. The dog ran into June, knocking her to the ground. When June complained, Jason kicked her. About that time, the groomer brought out Pooky Bear and the dog bit Jason in the thigh, heavily damaging muscle tissue.
Is Critter Sitters liable for June's injuries? Be sure to establish a proper legal foundation for your response.
Which party is liable to Jason for the dog bite - June or Critter Sitters?
Explain what type of insurance, if any, Lauren should have for Critter Sitters. Justify your response.
Patrick and Alicia Allen worked for Critter Sitters as mobile groomers. The Allens were allowed to keep the mobile van at their home, because they routinely drove to work sites directly from their home. Alicia Allen was involved in a collision with Terrell Baker while driving the van home from work one day. At the time of the accident, Alicia had taken a detour in order to stop at the grocery store—she had intended to purchase a few items and then go home. Baker's car was totalled and he missed approximately two weeks of work recovering from his injuries. Baker sued the Allens and Critter Sitters. Alicia suffered a broken back and may be paralyzed.
Are Critter Sitters or the Allens liable for Baker's injuries? Why or why not? Discuss fully, citing to case law to support your position.
Assume Critter Sitters has insurance on the vehicles and the Allens maintain insurance on their personal vehicles. Which insurance company will be liable for payment of Alicia's claims?
Lauren's employees came from diverse backgrounds and Lauren considers herself an equal opportunity employer. Because of her religious beliefs, Lauren refused to hire homosexuals. Terry, a groomer with 10 years experience applied for a job at Critter Sitters. Lauren hired Sue, who only had five years experience. Terry felt that she was discriminated against because she was a lesbian.
Determine whether Terry will succeed if she files a discrimination lawsuit against Critter Sitters? Discuss state and federal laws that support your answer.
Ellie took Bruno, her Chihuahua, to Critter Sitters for a day of pampering. Ellie provides her phone number and signs the authorization form without reading it. While the groomers were bathing Bruno, he collapsed and died.
Using principles of bailment, determine whether Ellie should recover for Bruno's death.
On January 1, 2010, Lauren entered into a 5 year lease agreement with Warren. In 2011, Lauren discovered she needed more space and found a great deal on an office building with twice the amount of space. Instead of leasing, Lauren purchased the office building. Lauren knew that Warren would not let her out the lease, so she assigned her rights under the lease to Barry. Barry moved in and made payments until November 2012. Without Warren's or Lauren's knowledge, Barry moved out at the end of December owing two months rent.
Which party is liable for the remaining rental payments?
If the party liable for the debt does not pay and Warren obtains a judgment ordering payment from that party, what are Warren's options for seeking payment?
When Lauren purchased the office building, she obtained a mortgage from First Trust Bank.
Explain Lauren's rights in the property, including responsibilities for taxes, payments and future sale of the property.
What are Lauren's rights if she defaults on the mortgage and the bank forecloses on the property?
Identify and explain any ethical concerns that Lauren may face on any of the topics covered in 1-6.

Conclude your paper by providing suggestions for Lauren to help prevent future occurrences of these types of legal and ethical problems.
Support your answers with appropriate research, reasoning, cases, laws, and other relevant examples.

Submit the paper in APA format and properly cite sources on a separate page using APA.

Solution Preview

Be sure to put any references that you use at the end of the paper, and cite the reference in the text. A good APA format reference is this:
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ A lot of the words here are word for word from the reference, so you might want to rewrite them.

An Entrepreneur's Dilemma Part II

The Dilemma

1) Lauren incorporated her business, which is a good thing when dealing with a business with so much potential liability as pet services. An incorporated business is a separate entity from the owner. This legal distinction from a sole proprietorship reduces personal liability in the event of an unfortunate incident involving injury or even death of the pet or of an injured party.

Jason lost control of the dog that he was holding and the dog knocked June down. June complained, and Jason kicked her. Jason as an employee of the business had legal bailment of the dog and he lost control through negligence of an employee. So any injuries from that fall alone must be paid for by Critter Sitters, not the owner, because the business is incorporated.

"A bailee could be liable to a third person for additional damages. For example, if a dogsitter walks a dog and the dog attacks an innocent bystander, the dog sitter could be liable to the bystander for personal injuries. However, if the pet owner fails to inform the pet bailee that the dog has dangerous propensities, such as biting, then the pet owner, not pet bailee, would probably be liable."(Delott, p 2)

Reference:
1. Jeff Delott, Esq. Ask the Animal Attorney-The Bailees in Your Pet's Life, NAPPS Member Resource Library p 2 Retrieved from: http://www.petsitters.org/docs/Ask_Animal_Atty_Bailees.pdf

1b) Which party is liable to Jason for the dog bite - June or Critter Sitters?

However, Jason's kicking June because she complained about being knocked down by the dog that he was holding is straight assault. Jason was not kicking her as part of his duties as a groomer, nor was he defending himself from either a physical assault or a verbal threat. This was his response to her verbal complaint. Assault is a felony, and the business would not be held liable for the commission of a felony by an employee. June can sue Jason for hospital expenses and pain and suffering.

"Under a legal doctrine sometimes referred to as "respondeat superior" (Latin for "Let the superior answer"), an employer is legally responsible for the actions of its employees. However, this rule applies only if the employee is acting within the course and scope of employment. In other words, the employer will generally be liable if the employee was doing his or her job, carrying out company business, or otherwise acting on the employer's behalf when the incident took place.

The purpose of this rule is fairly simple: to hold employers responsible for the costs of doing business, including the costs of employee carelessness or misconduct. If the injury caused by the employee is simply one of the risks of the business, the employer will have to bear the responsibility.
But if the employee acted independently or purely out of personal motives, the employer might not be liable."

Reference:
1. Employer Liability for an Employee's Bad Acts Nolo.com Retrieved from:
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/employer-liability-employees-bad-acts-29638.html

If either the owner or Critter Sitters knew about the dog's propensity to bite, that figures into liability. But there wasn't evidence to that effect.

When someone is injured ...

$2.19