US Civil Procedure

Sarah who sustained injuries as she drove along a street in Hollywood should seek justice for the injuries she suffered. Sarah should seek jurisdiction over Ted and Crusty in California States at a District Migrate Court for the injuries she suffered when she was struck from behind by a truck. Her complain at the court of law will be to seek for compensation for damages she suffered when she was struck from behind by a truck that was being driven by Ted, an employee of Crusty Bakery. According to the law and rules of driving, vehicles that are behind should take good care for any vehicle that is front of them.

For this case, Ted who was driving behind Sarah should have taken good care of Sarah vehicle because at her position, he could see Sarah’s vehicle. Although Sarah was mistakenly driving in a “right turn only” lane instead of the left lane since she was not intending to turn to the right. It is immaterial that Ted could not see her pulling into the left lane to avoid hitting her vehicle. For this case, Ted should not in the first place be driving that first such that he would not avoid such unnecessary accident of hitting Sarah’s vehicles just because he suddenly pulled into the left lane.

Negligence as defined under the law of tort as defined by Judge Alderson in Blythe v Birmingham Waterworks Co. of 1856, “is the breach of duty caused by the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided upon those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do. ” It can also be defined that actionable negligence consist in the neglect of the use of ordinary care or skill towards a person to whom the defendant owes the duty of observing care and skill by which neglect the plaintiff has suffered injury to his person or property.

Sarah must prove that there was negligence on the part of Ted as he had a duty of observing ordinary care and skills to other motorist while driving on the road. For her to succeed in this case, she must maintain an action for negligence by proving that the Ted owed him a duty of care; that there has been a breach of that legal duty and that she suffered injuries to her person or property. It appears that the tort of negligence embraces the above mentioned three ingredients, and unless all of them are present, Sarah is not entitled to succeed in her action.

Sarah will definitely succeed in her action of suing Ted for negligence since she suffered in injuries and her vehicle was damaged, Ted breach a duty of observing ordinary care and skill of driving carefully while taking care of other motorist using the road and lastly, there was a breach of that legal duty. In dealing with the tort of negligence, we are not concerned with the breach of our moral obligation; their breach does not create any enforceable right in favor of a person who has suffered damages.

For example, failing to render any assistance to a person drowning in a river, but failing to exercise a reasonable standard of care, which may result in injury to a person or to his property, is an actionable wrong. On the other hand, it follows that the actionable negligence consists in neglect of the ordinary use of ordinary care and skill towards a person to whom the defendant owes such legal duty of care. This duty arises from a legal relationship based on contract or made under some statute.

Crusty Bakery that had employed Ted at the time of the accident too has a case to answer in regard to his employee’s accident Ted when he hit Sarah’s vehicle from behind as a result of negligence. For this case, there might be contributory negligence of the employee. Sometimes a particular duty is created by a statute. For example, a factory Act makes detailed provisions as to the guarding of dangerous machinery.

Such duties are absolute in their nature and any omission by the employer will render him liable to his employee, though the employer can plead contributory negligence as a defense. In case there is a breach of a statutory duty, it must be shown that the duty is owed to the plaintiff personally, and not to the public as a whole. For this case, Crusty must prove that Ted breached a statutory duty hence he is solely liable for the accident he caused even though he caused it in his line of duty.

On the side of Ted, he ought to defend himself against the complain filed by Ted by proving that even though he owed a duty of observing care and skills for other motorist while driving on the road, the accident would still have occurred. As a general rule, the burden of proving negligence normally lies on the party alleging it, but the court do not insist on the plaintiff to prove where an accident happens which in the normal course of things would not have taken place if the defendant was not negligent.

Sarah may argue in such a situation that the rule of res ispsa loquitur applies, i. e. the things speaks for itself, and then the burden lies on Ted to rebut the presumption of negligence by showing that the accident might still have occurred without negligence on his part. Where the defendant succeeds in proving that he has not been negligent or offer a reasonable explanation on how the accident could have occurred without his negligence, the burden of proof reverts to the plaintiff i. e. he must prove that the defendant was negligent.

Before the rule of res ipsa loquitur can be invoked, the following conditions must be met: there must be reasonable evidence of negligence on the part of the defendant; that the operation is under the control of the defendant, when the accident occurred and lastly is that the accident is such as in the ordinary course of things does not happen if those who have the duty use proper care. Ted may also argue that at the time of the accident, Sarah had suddenly turned to the left lane as she was using the right lane, the one meant for motorist turning to the right.

He may argue that he never expected Sarah to turn that fast without giving a reasonable signal to show other motorist that she intended to go back to the left lane. On the side of Crusty, he must argue that he did not in any way contribute to the injuries suffered by Sarah even though the accident happened in the normal course of duty on its employee. Ted being employed as a driver by Crusty, he ought to have exercised reasonable care to while driving on the road by obeying the rules and regulation that have been laid down.

For this case, Ted is solely liable for the damages he caused to Sarah and her vehicle since he did not take reasonable care of other users of the road. The court is left to decide on the case as argued by the three parties involved. For this case, the three parties are supposed to defend themselves and prove that there was no negligence on their part and the court would in turn give their ruling.


Jertz, A. and Miller, L. R, (2004): Fundamentals of Business Law, 3rd Edn, Macmillan Publisher, New York Penrose, R. (2005): Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe, Longman Publisher, Sydney