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Case Problem

Fast Frieda and her best friend Maria finally had it made. They both were promoted (on the same day, no less!) to vice presidents of their respective division within GiantMart Corporation. Frieda, who didn’t have family responsibilities, celebrated her success by buying herself a new BMW convertible, loaded, from Benton Motors, that very afternoon.

What a great car! Maria, who had a spouse and two kids to consider, planned to shop for a new fuel-efficient hybrid car over the weekend. In the meantime, she agreed to a little joyride with Frieda after both had spent the afternoon consuming many celebratory cold ones.   You can already predict what happened.

With Fast Frieda driving too fast and having had way too much to drink, the Beemer went off the outside edge of the highway. Frieda—unused to the car’s fantastically responsive steering mechanism—overcorrected. In an instant, she crossed the center line and hit an oncoming vehicle head-on. The paramedics found an ugly scene.

The passenger’s seat belt assembly had failed in the crash, or perhaps the seat belt hadn’t been fully fastened; it was impossible to tell from the wreckage. Maria was ejected through the windshield. Frieda’s chest was crushed.

Both women were dead when the paramedics arrived.   The oncoming driver, Larry Laidback, was headed home from his job at the local battery factory in his beat-up Ford pick-up truck, singing along with Jimmy Buffett on the AM radio, drinking an Orange Crush, and smoking a joint.

He was seriously injured—he will live, but he may never work again, and he’s probably going to need some help around the house. Good thing his kids are grown. Too bad his partner left him two years ago.     

Structure your answer as follows, discussing each issue, and associated rules, analysis, defenses, and conclusion separately:  

1. ISSUES: What cause(s) of action might Larry Laidback assert against Fast Frieda? What cause(s) of action might Maria assert against Benton Motors and BMW Inc.?  

2. RULES: Summarize the law relevant to each cause of action.   

3. ANALYSIS: After determining what facts are relevant to each element and the rules, analyze how the relevant facts apply.  

4. DEFENSES: State the defenses, summarize the law, and analyze how they might apply for each defense Fast Frieda might use if sued by Larry Laidback, and if she were sued by Maria.


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