1. SCENARIO: On a Saturday night in mid-October, Dmitry and his friend Misha met
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On a Saturday night in mid-October, Dmitry and his friend Misha met up to experience The Haunted Witch Trials, a Halloween attraction in which the Salem Witch Trials were re-imagined into a haunted house type of attraction that took place on a 100-acre plot of land. Patrons would walk down a wooded trail where they would come across various features and character actors portraying the Village of Salem in 1692 with supernatural themed props, including a floating-specter (which consisted of an actor suspended from a wire invisible to patrons), a simulated witch being burned at a stake, and other disturbing and scary decorations.
Dmitry paid his admission fee at the front gate and was handed his entrance ticket.
Misha, however, didn’t pay the entrance fee and slipped past the gate attendant while he was busy with other patrons.
As the two friends traveled down the path, they were impressed with the level of authenticity in recreating the 17th century village. There were several small village houses, each of which had real fires burning several feet in front of the structure over which were large boiling cauldrons. Hidden fog machines and lighting added to the eerie effect. Curious as to what might be in the cauldron, the friends walked closer to see inside. Suddenly, an actress dressed in 17th century apparel came running out of the woods screaming that she was not a witch, startling Dmitry who fell against the cauldron and was burned by the hot metal.
Injured and wanting to get quick medical attention, Dmitry and Misha looked around for an employee but didn’t see anyone other than a few other patrons. The actress who had run out of the woods just moments before was nowhere to be found. Misha said, “This is ridiculous. We aren’t going to go through this whole attraction just to get out. It’s over 100 acres. Let’s just cut through the woods to get back to the entrance.” Although there was a sign posted near the tree line to the woods that said “Employees Only Beyond This Point,” they decided to disregard it.
Misha started to use a GPS-enabled app on his phone to guide them back to the entrance, but, in the darkness of the unlit woods, didn’t see a fallen tree and tripped over it, landing hard on his knee and scraping his hands. He also dropped his phone, cracking the screen.
Angry and frustrated, the two friends finally made their way back to the entrance gate where they found several of the attractions employees. Dmitry asked where they could find a first aid station, but the employees told them that the attraction didn’t have one. The friends got into their car and drove to the local emergency room. Dmitry was diagnosed with a second degree burn on his hand and Misha was diagnosed with a torn tendon in his knee.
What are some of the steps, as a business owner of The Haunted Witch Trials, that you might take to ensure your guests are safe and have an enjoyable experience beyond what might be legally required? What kinds of additional costs may be associated with those choices?
The business of renting specialized construction equipment is highly competitive. In 2010, your company, Franklin Property Group Co., purchased Roger’s Rental Co., a regional competitor. Two key employees of Roger’s learned of the purchase and decided to resign and form their own company, B&S Rentals, Inc. In an effort to grow their new business, B&S began contacting your largest construction clients. Part of their solicitation of your clients included advising them that the low prices they could offer would far outweigh any liquidated damages that they would have to pay by terminating their current contracts. Over the last three years, you have lost five of your top ten construction clients to B&S. What should you do, and what is the likely outcome?
Your company owns a strip mall and rents space to various businesses, ranging from a barber shop to a furniture store. Having never had issues in the past, your lease agreements are silent as to any obligations to maintain and repair common areas. One day, a regular customer of the strip mall decided to purchase a large recliner from the furniture store. When attempting to carry the recliner to his truck by himself, he tripped and fell on the sidewalk which resulted in severe injuries. When you arrived at the scene, it became clearly apparent that the customer had tripped over a 2-inch rise in a broken slab, most likely created by a freezing and thawing cycle. The furniture store owner supported this conclusion and further stated that he had been aware of the sidewalk’s condition for several months. What is your liability and the liability of the other parties?
You run an auxiliary office that is part of the Department of Transportation. Recently, in an attempt to improve the speed of processing vehicle titles, you instruct technical support to perform a data audit of all of the employees’ computers. The results of the audit show that one employee’s computer, in particular, is using an enormous amount of data. After work hours, you access the employee’s computer and discover a large amount of files taking up a majority of his local drive. You open and review the files and determine that he must be performing some type of freelance work from his workstation. With all of the fears surrounding the violation of workplace privacy, how do you approach the employee?