1) What are the elements of negligence that Mr.Margreiter will need to prove against the hotel in order to win his case? List the five elements here.
2) Applying the facts you have from the case problem above only, lay out a case for negligence against the hotel. Use the elements to outline the case. Start with the first element, explain what facts you have for or against that element, and then continue through the five elements of negligence. If you do not have enough facts to make your case, explain what facts you would need to have in order to support a case of negligence.
3) What defense(s) does the hotel have on its side? List (and define) those here. Very briefly state why you think the hotel could use this defense
During an appeal, the appeals court is required to rely on the evidence submitted during the trial. The “record,” which is made by both parties during the trial, including all objections and other submissions of evidence, is binding on the appeals court, unless it was erroneous or not reasonable to believe or accept that evidence. Further, decisions of fact and credibility are typically left to the jury to make, and appeals courts prefer not revisiting those decisions (unless they are beyond the weight of the evidence or defy credulity.) Because the jury can weigh the body language of the witnesses during trial, and the record on appeal can’t show that, appeal courts prefer allowing juries to make “fact-finding” decisions. Judges on appeal try to look for legal theories to overturn cases (or uphold them.) They make the “law” based decisions, based on the record before them.
With that understanding, explain the decision of the appeals court in the Margreiter case. In doing so, discuss which facts the court relied on in its decision and which facts the losing party requested the appeals court decide the case on, although it refused to do so.
Now review the Nordmanncase. The Margreitercourt used this case to assist it with making its decision (see line two of paragraph #4 of the Margreiter opinion.) What did the Nordmann court say was the “duty of care” a hotel owes to a guest to protect him from injury by third persons? Provide that here. Then, review the facts that the Nordmann court relied on to determine there had been a breach of the duty by the Nordmann court. Briefly recite those here as well.
Notice that the Margreiter court doesn’t state which duty it imposed on the hotel – it simply recites as “precedent” the Nordmann case for its legal basis. Now that you know the duty of care that the Margreiter court used in its decision, briefly compare the two sets of facts from the two cases. Then answer these questions:
a) Do you feel that the Margreiter case had as strong facts as did the Nordmann case for holding the hotel liable? Why or why not?
b) Which facts do you feel most strongly weigh in favor of the court’s decision in the Margreiter case?
c) Which facts do you feel were a stretch by the court in Margreiter?
d) Which case do you feel was more of a “slam-dunk” case to decide and why?
Do you agree with the decisions by the Nordmannand Margreiter courts? Do you feel that the decisions were ethical in nature? Why or why not? Use one of your ethical dilemma resolution models to analyze the court’s decision of one of the two cases to help support your answer and include that analysis in your answer (i.e., Laura Nash, front page of the newspaper, Blanchard & Peale, Wall Street Journal). Make sure to set out the steps of the model and apply your reasoning and facts to the model in your answer.