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Tort Law

Margie and Floyd Walker had been happily married for forty five years. Floyd worked for the railroad for many years. On Monday morning Floyd was getting ready for work, Margie had the uncomfortable feeling that something would happen to Floyd at work. Margie pleaded with Floyd to call in sick, Floyd refused saying he felt fine. That afternoon the phone rang and it was Floydâ??s supervisor. He said he had bad news and that Floyd fell from the train as it was going full speed and was killed. It appeared he became disoriented, opened the outside door of the train, and was pulled off the train step by a sudden gust of wind. Floydâ??s body was at Near Town Funeral Home and he could make arrangements to have the body transferred to a funeral home near Any Town. Margie felt like she had been hit by a truck. She told him to make the arrangements to have the body moved to Webury Funeral Home.

After the funeral she kept thinking it was all a dream. She did remember having to call the Near Town Funeral Home several times to have Floydâ??s personal effects forwarded to Webury. Webury delivered eh personal effects to her the day after the funeral.

It was almost a week after Folydâ??s death and Margie went through Floydâ??s personal effects. To her horror, in aplastic bag labeled â??personal effectsâ? she found a kidney, teeth, and fingers. AT the sight of her dead husbandâ??s body parts she fainted. A neighbor lady friend found Margie an hour later collapsed on the floor. She was hospitalized for extreme exhaustion for two days and her doctor put her on antidepressants medication.

When she had recovered she called Webury to complain. Weburyâ??s owner disclaimed all responsibility. The owner said that Webury had simply forwarded he plastic bag, at Margie's insistence, from the Near Town Funeral Home. The owner added that the Webury employees had no reason to check what was in the bag.

Margie still suffers from depression and has not had a good nightâ??s sleep since she opened he plastic bag. She keeps having nightmares about the employees of Near Town Funeral Home placing Floydâ??s body parts in the plastic bag and imagines them laughing as they labeled the bag â??personal effectsâ?. It also makes her angry that Webury seemed so unconcerned and did not even offer an apology.

Margie has hired your law firm to represent her in a possible lawsuit against the funeral home. The senior partner in your firm has asked you to research the law of the state of Minnesota and answer the following questions

1. What would Margie Walker have to prove to recover damages for the tort of interference with a dead body?

2. What are the elements of the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress, somethingâ??s called the â??tort of outrage"?

3. Will Margie Walker be able to hold Near Town Funeral Home and Webury Funeral Home liable for tors of interference with a dead body and intentional infliction of emotional distress?

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Tort Law/case study
Margie and Floyd Walker had been happily married for forty five years. Floyd worked for the railroad for many years. On Monday morning Floyd was getting ready for work, Margie had the uncomfortable feeling that something would happen to Floyd at work. Margie pleaded with Floyd to call in sick, Floyd refused saying he felt fine. That afternoon the phone rang and it was Floydâ??s supervisor. He said he had bad news and that Floyd fell from the train as it was going full speed and was killed. It appeared he became disoriented, opened the outside door of the train, and was pulled off the train step by a sudden gust of wind. Floydâ??s body was at Near Town Funeral Home and he could make arrangements to have the body transferred to a funeral home near Any Town. Margie felt like she had been hit by a truck. She told him to make the arrangements to have the body moved to Webury Funeral Home.

After the funeral she kept thinking it was all a dream. She did remember having to call the Near Town Funeral Home several times to have Floydâ??s personal effects forwarded to Webury. Webury delivered eh personal effects to her the day after the funeral.

It was almost a week after Folydâ??s death and Margie went ...

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