Discussion on Torts

Doug LOVES donuts. He travels daily to the Dave’s Donut Shop for a delicious donut. One day while driving to Dave’s, Doug is at a stoplight, daydreaming of donuts. Doug is facing east, into the beautiful morning sunrise, at a stop light. While not paying attention, the light turns green, and Doug doesn’t realize it. Meanwhile, a young mother, Tabitha, is taking a van full of children to school and is travelling behind Doug, (east into the sun), and sees the light is green but she expects Doug to begin driving. Doug doesn’t move, because he doesn’t realize the light is green. Tabitha is overly distracted by the van full of kids, and turns around to maintain order in the van, while never slowing down believing Doug was going to accelerate through the green light. Tabitha at the speed limit rear-ends Doug causing a collision.            

The collision is more than a fender bender. Tabitha’s van is heavily damaged, but drivable and Doug’s car must be towed from the scene. Doug is furious, not only because his car is damaged, but he is sore and can already envision the medical bills he will face from whiplash. Doug also realizes that this event will cause him to not get to Dave’s Donuts before work, and he will not get his daily donut. This realization puts Doug into a blind donut-passion fueled rage. Doug is so frustrated that he can’t help but want to take some frustration out on someone, something, really anything to expel his frustration.            

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Doug sees J.R. on the sidewalk, walking his cat. Doug hates cats, and doesn’t understand why anyone would walk a cat on a sidewalk. Doug runs behind J.R. to exclaim “Don’t walk your cat, sidewalks are for dogs!”, but Doug doesn’t get the opportunity to do so, as J.R., hears his footsteps, jerks around violently and ruptures a disc in his back. J.R. later explained to medical personnel that he felt someone was going to attack him or his cat, so he turned around faster than normal to see what was happening, and he got hurt.             An ambulance is called to tend to J.R.’s injured back. While transporting J.R. to the hospital, medical personnel are faced with J.R.’s demands this is cat, Princess must accompany him to the hospital. Reluctantly, the medical personnel agree, if for nothing more than to keep J.R. at peace while in transit. While in transit, J.R. becomes furious that Princess was placed in an impromptu cage in the ambulance, and slaps a first responder whom was aiding in the transport. Eventually, J.R. is given medication to help him relax and he is safely transported to the hospital.   Identify all the possible torts in this scenario. For each tort, identify a) what is the specific tort, b) who is the plaintiff/defendant and c) do you think the plaintiff has a good case for damages?

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