Business Law for Commercial Contracts

| September 9, 2016

Case Study 2

Carol gained 30 pounds while in law school and could not fit into any of her business suits. Carol tried to cut back on the amount of food she ate and made an effort to take a walk every day, but she only lost 3 pounds in four weeks. After seeing a commercial for a new weight loss center, Carol made an appointment. The doctor provided Carol with a booklet that explained the components of the weight loss program, which included drinking a certain amount of water, eliminating sugar, exercising and taking supplements. The doctor collected blood and did an EKG in the office and then prescribed Beltermine, an appetite suppressant manufactured by GenPharma. Although the bottle containing medicine did not contain any information about side effects, the booklet listed side effect that included dizziness, trouble sleeping, dry mouth and increased blood pressure. Additional information stated that less than 5% of the population may experience damage to the mitral valve or severe liver injury. Excited about losing weight, Carol did not read the entire booklet. Carol lost 10 pounds the first week, 2 pounds the second week and 5 pounds the third week. Weight loss dropped to 1 pound a week for the next few weeks and Carol noticed she was having trouble breathing when working out. Carol’s family physician noticed an abnormality in an EKG and made an appointment for Carol to see a cardiologist. The cardiologist determined Carol had severe damage to her mitral valve.

Is Beltermine a defectively designed drug?
What theories of product liability law might Carol use to recover against the doctor or GenPharma?
Discuss the arguments for each party, determine which party should win, and provide legal support for your decision.
Case Study 3

Greg and Denise Lawson lived out in the country on a 10 acre lot. The couple planned a huge party for their 5 year old son, Rick. Greg rented a bouncy house and some other equipment from Palm Bay Party Rentals (Palm Bay). Since Greg declined the offer to have one of Palm Bay’s installers set up the bouncy house, the company provided Greg with written instructions for use and safety. The rental also came with warning and safety signs.

Greg followed the installation instructions and placed the sign on a post with the following warnings.

Maximum Capacity 500 lbs
Occupancy Limited to 4 Children
No Children under Age 5
Remove Glasses and All Items from Pockets
Zip Panel Closed When Entering and Exiting the Bouncy House
Children Must Be Supervised By An Adult
Despite these warnings, one of the parents who agreed to supervise the children allowed 6 kids in the bouncy house at one time. Jake pushed little Johnny and a fight ensued. Bobby, a four year old was pushed out of the house and broke his arm when landing on the ground. Bobby’s parents took him to the emergency room. After the accident, the party ended and everyone went home. Greg and Denise went to the hospital to check on Bobby, without deflating the bouncy house, as required by the rental contract and instructions when the house was not in use. Two 10 year old boys from the neighborhood saw the bouncy house and noticed the Dawson’s were not at home. The two boys jumped around in the house; however, a strong wind caused the house to fly 50 feet into the air. The boys were injured when the house bounced off the roof and landed on the driveway.

Discuss the potential liability of the rental company, the Dawsons and anyone else you feel may be held accountable for the injuries to the boys.

Does the rental contract between Greg Dawson and Palm Bay influence the case in any way? If yes, how? If not, explain why.

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