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Torts, Liability and Intellectual Properties

Please explain each of the following and give examples of real cases where possible:

What torts may occur in your workplace (Restaurant)?
What types of product liability may be applicable to restaurant?
Why is it important to protect intellectual properties?
What are the characteristics of a trademark?

Thank you!

Solution Preview

Please refer to response attached, which is also presented below. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

Briefly explain each:

1. What torts may occur in your workplace (Restaurant)?

Personal injury law, also known as tort law, is designed to protect you if you or your property are injured or harmed because of someone else's act or failure to act. In a successful tort action based on one of three theories-negligence, strict liability, or intentional misconduct-the one who caused the injury or harm compensates the one who suffered losses (see http://www.abanet.org/publiced/practical/books/family_legal_guide/chapter_13.pdf p.2 for more details).

Any of three-negligence (i.e., foreign object in food-- toothpick and hard object-see cases below); strict liability (i.e., in violation of food safety laws, getting sick following a restaurant meal, etc.), or intentional misconduct (i.e., tort of assault by restaurant worker assaulting a customer) can occur in your workplace (see http://www.abanet.org/publiced/practical/books/family_legal_guide/chapter_11.pdf for an chapter on the Workplace and Law). Every tort, regardless of its basis, whether intentional, negligence, or strict liability, has two basic issues-liability and damages. Was the defendant (the restaurant) liable for the damages you sustained, and if so, what is the nature and extent of your damages? If you can prove liability and damages, our justice system will award you compensation for your loss.

In restaurants, the vast majority of food safety law cases ending up in court are those emanating from prosecutions initiated by either the Health Department or municipal health officers. However, an unusual case earlier this year illustrates the powers of a court to award substantial civil damages (see example 2 below-toothpick case) even in a situation where there was no prosecution of the restaurant owner by any health authority.

a. Example of tort action based on negligence:

Restaurant Liable under Res Ipsa Loquitur for Patron's Broken Teeth

Poplar v. Dillard's Dept. Stores, Inc.,

2003-1023 (La. App. 5 Cir. 12/30/03), ___ So. 2d ___

Restaurant patron, Angel Poplar, broke several teeth when she bit into a foreign object in a shrimp po-boy at Dillard's restaurant. Poplar sued Dillard's for negligence urging that Dillard's was liable under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. Dillard's countered that, because Poplar could not show a specific action where Dillard breached its duty of care, Poplar was not entitled to prevail on her negligence claim. The trial court agreed with Poplar and awarded damages.

The Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that the requisite elements of res ipsa loquitur were met in this case. Under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur negligence may be inferred where: (1) the circumstances surrounding the event are such that they would not normally occur in the absence of negligence on someone's ...

Solution Summary

Through discussion and illustrative examples, this solution describes torts that may occur in a restaurant, as well as the types of product liability that may be applicable to restaurant businesses. It also explains why it is important to protect intellectual properties and lists the essential characteristics of a trademark.

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