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Traditional choice-of-law approach for torts law of the place of the harm.

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Presentation on theme: "Traditional choice-of-law approach for torts law of the place of the harm."— Presentation transcript:

1 traditional choice-of-law approach for torts law of the place of the harm

2 Alabama Great Southern RR v. Carroll (Ala. 1892)

3 What if the Carroll's wife, who lives with Carroll in Alabama, had sued the railroad for loss of consortium. What law would apply?

4 § 391. Right Of Action For Death The law of the place of wrong governs the right of action for death.

5 D, in Mississippi, makes material misrepresentations by phone to P in Alabama. In reliance upon these representations, P sends goods from Alabama to D, in Mississippi. D keeps the goods. P sues D for fraud (a tort). Which law applies?

6 D, broadcasting in Alabama, slanders P. The broadcast is heard in Mississippi and Louisiana. P has a good reputation in both states, which is affected. Which state's or states' law applies?

7 § 377. The Place Of Wrong Rule 5. Where harm is done to the reputation of a person, the place of wrong is where the defamatory statement is communicated. A, broadcasting in state X, slanders B. B is well and favorably known in state Y and the broadcast is heard there by many people conversant with B's good repute. The place of wrong is Y.

8 D lives in Mass. His dog strays from Mass to NH, bites P there Mass follows the dangerous propensity (one free bite) approach – that is, a negligence approach negligence approach NH, has strict liability which law applies?

9 Place of the wrong determines: whether damages are recognized (eg psychological harm, loss of consortium, wrongful death limitations on damages, exemplary (eg punitive) damages standard of care (negligence, strict liability) whether contributory negligence or comparative fault applies – even when act of P’s negligence occurs in another state

10 By the law of Mississippi, due care requires that every locomotive be double checked for defective links. By the law of Alabama, there is no such requirement. The inspector for Alabama Great Southern RR checked for defects in Alabama once. The link broke in Mississippi and Carroll was injured there. Rather than suing the Railroad, Carroll sues the inspector in Alabama for negligent inspection (so Mississippi’s fellow servant rule is not relevant). Under the First Restatement, does Alabama or Mississippi law apply concerning the question of whether due care requires a double check for defective links?

11 § 380(2) Where by the law of the place of wrong, the liability-creating character of the actor's conduct depends upon the application of a standard of care, and such standard has been defined in particular situations by statute or judicial decision of the law of the place of the actor's conduct, such application of the standard will be made by the forum.

12 By the law of Alabama, a police officer has qualified immunity – liable for damages in course of duty only if reckless. No such immunity in Mississippi. Officer D, acting in AL, negligently but not recklessly shoots P in the course of an arrest of X P harmed in MS Is D liable to P?

13 § 382 A person who acts pursuant to a privilege conferred by the law of the place of acting will not be held liable for the results of his act in another state.

14 D in New York employs X to operate his truck in state Ontario. In the course of the day's driving, X drives several miles out of his way on a personal errand, during which time he negligently leaves the truck insecurely parked on a hill. The truck starts down hill and after crossing the state line from Ontario into Quebec, crashes into P's automobile and demolishes it. Under the laws of New York and Ontario, X was on a frolic of his own and outside the scope of his employment; under the law of Quebec, X was acting within the scope of his employment. Is D liable to P (do you use Quebec law)?

15 § 387 When a person authorizes another to act for him in any state and the other does so act, whether he is liable for the tort of the other is determined by the law of the place of wrong. Note: In order that the law of the state of wrong may apply to create liability against the absentee defendant, he must in some way have submitted himself to the law of that state. It is sufficient if he has authorized or permitted another to act for him in the state in which the other's conduct occurs or where it takes effect.

16 Scheer v Rockne Motors Corp. D in NY gave X car but did not authorize him to go to Ontario, X goes to Ontario law of Ontario created liability on D for X’s torts law of NY did not Does NY or Ontario law apply?

17 A court in Alabama is adjudicating a tort occurring in Mississippi An Alabama statute states that “no court of this state shall provide damages in tort in excess of $100,000.” Does the statute apply?

18 Substance v. procedure § 412. Measure Of Damages For Tort The measure of damages for a tort is determined by the law of the place of wrong. Comment: Rationale. The right to damages in compensation or punishment for a tort is to be distinguished from the right of access to the courts and from the procedure provided to obtain the damages. The creation of a right to have damages necessarily involves the measurement of that right in so far as the law can measure it. While the actual finding of the amount of damages is a function of the jury or other fact-finding body at the forum, the law that creates the right determines what items of loss are to be included in the damages. Since the right is created by the law of the place of wrong, it is measured by that law.

19 The [plaintiff’s] theory is that the employers' liability act became a part of [the] contract [between the plaintiff and his employer], that the duties and liabilities which it prescribes became contractual duties and liabilities, or duties and liabilities springing out of the contract, and that these duties attended upon the execution whenever its performance was required, in Mississippi as well as in Alabama, and that the liability prescribed for a failure to perform any of such duties attached upon such failure and consequent injury wherever it occurred, and was enforceable here, because imposed by an Alabama contract, notwithstanding the remission of duty and the resulting injury occurred in Mississippi, under whose laws no liability was incurred by such remission.

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