Read the following case and answer the questions posed. Please be thorough in your answers.
Lori England, age 40, was entering Town’s Wholesale Club near her home in New Jersey when she was struck by the automatic door. The door was manufactured and maintained by AI Automated Entrance Systems. Ms. England sued both Town’s Wholesale Club and AI Automated Entrance Systems alleging premises liability and product liability.
She claims that she was struck due to a malfunction in the door and that Town’s should have had a contract in place for preventative maintenance.
AI Automated Entrance Systems did not have any previous notice that there was a defect in the door. Town’s claimed that the door was maintained by AI Automated Systems and that AI’s employees had done maintenance work on the door 4 days prior to the accident and had been advised the door was in proper working order.
Ms. England suffered tendon damage in her right, dominant elbow. She underwent surgery to repair the damage but developed an infection which required additional surgical intervention. She required two additional surgeries to fully repair the tendon damage. Ms. England claims she continues to experience pain in her elbow and states she has limited use of her arm. Her medical bills are $385,000 to date; she believes she will incur additional bills in the future. She is a landscaper but also handles office duties for the company she works for. She was out of work during the surgeries but collected a short term disability. She believes she may also have future lost wages based on her annual salary of $75,000 and is also seeking current and future pain and suffering.
The defendants, Town’s and AI, are questioning that this accident was the proximate cause of the injury. Based on a doctors’ report, they believe the injury may be pre-existing and caused by a repetitive stress issue rather than trauma.
- What is the basis for legal liability?
- What is the duty owed and who owes the duty?
- Are there differences in the duty owed?
- What factors and/or defenses exist for the plaintiffs for the claims made by Lori England?
- What is your assessment of fault? (use % if appropriate)
- What type of damages do you think are owed to Lori England?
- Is this loss covered by the CGL? If so, what coverage part and why?