In this assignment, you’ll need to decide whether Paula Plaintiff has any legal claims arising from a series of unfortunate events. After reading the scenario, answer the questions that follow, making sure to fully explain the basis of your decision.
Paula Plaintiff is shopping at her favorite store, Cash Mart. She is looking for a new laptop, but she can’t find one she likes. Then, realizing that she is going to be late for an appointment, she attempts to leave the store, walking very fast. However, before she can leave, she is stopped by a security guard who accuses her of shoplifting. Paula, who has taken nothing, denies any wrong doing. The officer insists and takes Paula to a small room in the back of the store. The guard tells Paula that if she attempts to leave the room she will be arrested and sent to jail. At this point, the guard leaves the room. Paula is scared and waits in the room for over an hour until the manager comes in and apologizes and tells Paula that she is free to go.
About this same time, Geoffrey Golfer is hitting golf balls in his backyard. Geoffrey decides to break out his new driver and hits a golf ball out of his backyard into the Cash Mart parking lot. The golf ball hits Paula Plaintiff on the head and knocks her unconscious just as she is leaving the store.
In a 6–10 paragraph paper, answer the following questions:
- What types of legal claims could Paula make against Cash Mart and Geoffrey? Consider the following:
- What are the possible tort claims that Paula can make against Cash Mart? Discuss the elements of the claim and how those elements relate to the facts in the scenario.
- Was Geoffrey negligent when he hit the golf ball that injured Paula? Discuss the elements of negligence and use facts from the scenario to support your decision.
- If Paula files a negligence claim against Geoffrey will she file in civil court or criminal court? Explain the difference between civil court and criminal court.