Case law analysis – tort law ant | FPX3021 | Capella University

Introduction

When one party damages another party, in a non-criminal context, the aggrieved party is entitled to restitution. This is one of the most important concepts of tort law. In other words, making a party legally responsible for damages is the main purpose of tort law. A judge or jury will attempt to determine exactly what needs to be done when an aggrieved party can demonstrate damages, and what those damages should be in order to return the aggrieved party to the state that they were in prior to the alleged action. Of course, no one can go back in time and change what happened; therefore, damages are always paid in the form of money.

One reason why torts are important in a business context is that virtually all commercial enterprises deal with the public by providing products, services, or other commercially relevant activity. Unfortunately, consumers often suffer harm due to unintentional (or, rarely, intentional) damages caused by faulty products or negligent services.

Criminal penalties cannot be attached to business entities. If a crime is committed, the government charges specific individuals within the corporation who may be responsible, not the business entity. Yet, society recognizes that businesses, out of negligence, ignorance, or malfeasance, may cause injury to another party. Tort law imposes standards by which such injured parties can seek recompense from the corporation in civil court. Whereas an entire corporate entity cannot be tried in a criminal court, it can be a defendant in a civil court. Keep in mind that there is a significant difference between tort law and criminal law. Criminal penalties could be applied to individuals if there is evidence of an illegal motive or criminal negligence. Torts, on the other hand, typically involve negligence, which is a breach of a duty of care.

Overview

Tort law is based on the notion that if one party harms another intentionally or by being careless or reckless (“negligent”), then the aggrieved party may be entitled to restitution and be made “whole.” In some cases, there is strict liability, as in cases of defective products. If a product is found to be inherently unsafe or defective, strict liability is imposed; “strict” means that neither intent nor negligence needs to be proven.

Sometimes, a tort may also be a crime, as in the case of assault. Such a case can be brought both civilly and criminally. Here, we are only concerned with civil court cases. The court (using a judge or jury as fact-finder) will attempt to determine what damages are appropriate where a tort has been committed.

A court will attempt to determine exactly what needs to be done when an aggrieved party can demonstrate damages, and what those damages should be, in order to return a party to its state prior to the alleged action. This remedy is almost always money because, in reality, no one can go back and undo the wrongful action.

Preparation

The first step in preparing your case law analysis is to locate a published court decision and select an organization you believe would be impacted by the decision.

  • Choose a decision about tort law. To help you get started, use the Capella University Library Legal Research Library Guide and these well-known searchable databases of court cases. Try to imagine yourself as either the plaintiff or the defendant in the cases you review to make these cases meaningful to your life.
  • Select an organization not a party to the case that you believe would be impacted by that court decision. It can be an organization you work for or have worked for, an organization you would like to work for, or some other organization.
  • Use the following media simulations to help you with this assessment:
    • Analyzing a Case.
      • This multimedia walks you through a written court decision and explains each part’s purpose.
    • Business Law Foundational Concepts
      • This multimedia will help you to understand your reading materials and articles you find.
        • Click Transcript (after you open the multimedia, Transcript is found at the lower right corner of the screen).
        • In addition to your textbook, use the transcript as another resource to quickly look up some of the more common terms. This terminology will be useful in personal, scholarly, and professional settings.
    • Four Ethical Theories.
      • This multimedia sets forth several approaches to ethical thinking that can be applied to business.

The Case Analysis Report: Executive Briefing Exemplar [DOCX] shows a sample case law analysis. You may wish to refer to it as you work on your assessment.

Instructions

Once you have selected a decision and an organization impacted by the decision, assume you’re a senior manager in the organization you selected and that you were asked to prepare an analysis of the court decision and brief the executive team of the organization about the impact the case might have on the company. Your briefing should include a summary of the case, as well as an evaluation of how the court’s decision impacts the organization from a business, legal, and ethical perspective. Be sure to list your case citation in the References page at the end of your briefing.

Step 1: Exhibit information literacy skills as applied to business law.

  • Identify the court, the parties who are before the court, and the date of the decision.
  • Ensure that your briefing provides an accurate context in terms of who brought the lawsuit and the outcome of the case.
  • Report research from a recognized authority that adds insight into the meaning, history, or impact of the case with relevant legal research from credible databases or online sources.

Step 2: Summarize the facts and ruling of a legal case and its impact on businesses.

  • Provide a brief background and context associated with the case. Summarize the facts in no more than 1-2 paragraphs.
  • Identify the specific disagreement between the parties. Was there a dissenting opinion? If so, explain it.
  • Summarize the court’s ruling, including its rationale.
  • Analyze the impact of the case on businesses, including both negative and positive impacts.

Step 3: Explain how the court decision impacts legal and ethical compliance in a business environment.

  • Identify the ethical and legal implications for a business that were suggested by the court’s decision.
  • Discuss whether or not the conduct of a party in the case was ethical or unethical.
  • Propose and explain an ethical theory that describes why a party’s conduct was ethical or unethical.

Step 4: Explain how a legal case could impact a specific organization not a party to the case.

  • Explain the impact of the court’s decision on your selected organization. In light of the court’s ruling, how might the executive team of the organization make future decisions or policy?
Additional Requirements

Based on your executive audience, your executive briefing should be no more than three pages, in addition to a References page, and should be well organized and written in clear, succinct language. Follow APA rules for attributing content to sources that support your analysis and conclusions.

Your submission should meet the following requirements:

  • Written communication: Write in complete sentences free from errors that detract from the overall message.
  • Font and font size: Arial, 12 point.
  • Format and length: Double-spaced, 2-3 pages.
  • Citations: Include complete citations of your sources along with a References page. Review Evidence and APA for more information on how to cite your sources.

Review the assessment scoring guide for details on how your assessment will be graded.

Competencies Measured

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:

  • Competency 1: Articulate the importance, context, purpose, and relevance of law in a business environment.
    • Summarize the facts and ruling of a legal case and its impact on businesses.
  • Competency 2: Evaluate key judicial concepts that influence the decisions related to business.
    • Explain how the court decision impacts legal and ethical compliance in a business environment.
    • Explain how a legal case could impact a specific organization not a party to the case.
  • Competency 4: Develop information literacy skills as applied to business law.
    • Exhibit information literacy skills as applied to business law.
  • Competency 5: Convey purpose, in an appropriate tone and style, incorporating supporting evidence and adhering to organizational, professional, and scholarly writing standards.
    • Convey purpose, in an appropriate tone and style, incorporating supporting evidence and adhering to organizational, professional, and scholarly writing standards.
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