You own a lawn care service. Last week the following sequence of events occurred:
You provided lawn service including mowing, raking, and trimming bushes at the Oak Tree Apartment Complex. As you were finishing up and loading the truck, you inadvertently left a rake on the grass between apartment buildings.
Later that day a five-year-old child, Liam, was running between the buildings and tripped over the rake, falling and causing serious injury to his leg. His mom, Michelle, heard his cries and rushed out of her apartment to find out what happened. When Michelle saw Liamâ€™s injury, she scooped him up, loaded him into her car and took him straight to the hospital, forgetting that she had food cooking on her stove. By picking up and carrying Liam, Michelle suffered a permanent injury to her back.
An hour later, the burning food ignited and started a fire. The fire spread to the apartment below, occupied by Barney. Barney was able to get out of his apartment in time to avoid injury, but in his haste, he left his winning lottery ticket in his dresser drawer and it burned up with the rest of his furniture. The ticket was worth $500,000 but is now worth nothing. Barney had planned to use the money to pay for surgery for his 12-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, to fix a heart valve problem she has had since birth. Without the surgery, Jocelynâ€™s life expectancy is limited to approximately 2 more years.
Liam, Michelle, Barney and Jocelyn all filed lawsuits against you for causing their injuries and losses. Discuss the claims of each of these plaintiffs. Upon what legal theory would they likely Jane? What are the elements that they would have to prove? Do you have any defenses you might assert? What is the likelihood of their success against you?