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Closed universe memorandum (Term Paper Sample)


A paper on negligence


Closed universe memorandum
Closed universe memorandum
Tort liability of municipality whether police, the fire department or emergency medical services is viable only when certain conditions are fulfilled. A petitioner has to prove that the defendant's failure to respond to the formers' call for help is the direct cause for their injury. The government entity is held liable for tort charges if it can be proved that there was presence of a duty by the county to the individual, if the county breached the duty, if the petitioner suffered injury and the breach of contract is the reason for the said injury. A county department can only be accused of negligence only if there was a duty to the plaintiff and the duty was breached.
In order for petition of negligence against a government entity, the plaintiff must prove without reasonable doubt that there was a form of privity established between the plaintiff and the county official. The county officials such as the police and fire fighters are protected under the constitution and are immune to cases of negligence by the public duty doctrine unless privity is established with the plaintiff. They are obliged to provide duty to the public and not to an individual. This means that duty owed to the public is duty owed to no one. However, a special relationship exists if there is a form of privity between the plaintiff and the public office.
In SINKS v. RUSSEL 34P.3d wash .APP. Div.2.2001, John Stocks and Gerald Stinks contacted 911 to report Cencich had threatened them. As a result the 911 operator told them to wait at the scene for a police officer. This qualifies as a special relationship between the plaintiff and police department. De novo for privity to stand there should be a telephone conversation followed by affirmative agreement to offer assistance.
In BEAL FOR MARTINEZ v. CITY OF SEATTLE 954 P.2d(Wash, 1998), Ms Fernandez called the city of Seattle police department to report that Melissa's (her daughter) was in danger from her husband, Fernando, who was refusing her to take her belongings. As a result, the 911 operator confirmed that a police was dispatched to the route. Thus there was a telephone conversation and affirmative promise for protection. This was not the case in Mary A. Cummins v. Lewis County 156 wash.2d 844. Here Mary Cummins, who was a personal representative of the estate of Leon V. deceased petitioner, argued that privity could be established not necessarily with a telephone conversation but so long as a call was made to the 911 emergency. Leon V., the decedent, called 911 and spoke,'1018E street, heart attack.' According to Mary Cummins, the proposition of revealing the location and condition was evidence for privity. This was denied since actual conversation forms basis for privity.
For a government entity to be held accountable for tort due to breach of duty there should be a form of assurance given to the plaintiff for the fulfillment of a duty; failure of which leads to injury to the plaintiff. In Babcock V. Mason County Fire Dist. No.6 30P.3d 1261(Wash. 2001), James C. Babcock, and Kiyocko Babcock (husband and wife) accuses Mason county fire department of negligence. The two identify that at the moment they got home their house was on fire but not the garage. The firefighters did nothing to salvage neither the garage nor their tent trailer 15 feet from the burning house. According to the plaintiff, the defendant was negligent for not preventing their property from damage. James C. Babcock, and Kiyocko Babcock claimed the defendant failed to honor their duty after providing assurance from an unidentified “lady fire fighter” who confirmed “they would take care of protecting our property”. The court dismissed the petitioned on speculation that assurance from some unidentified fire fighter was not viable.
In the case of Chambers Castanes v. King County 669 P.2d 451 (Wash 1983), Jim Chambers and Steve Ann Chambers Castanes moved a Petition against King County police department for negligence. After Jim Castanes was attacked by two men who emerged from a vehicle parked by the road, Ann Castanes called the police department and reported the case. The 911 operator assured her that help was on the way. Other witnesses reported the same and the operator still replied in the affirmative. There were a total of 11 phone calls to the police department and in the entire the operator assured that the police are on the way. This was valid assurance that showed that put the King County Police department liable for tort. A government entity cannot be in breach of duty if assurance to help that puts the entity under personal duty to the plaintiff cannot be established. In SINKS v. RUSSEL 34P.3d wash .APP. Div.2.2001, John Stocks and Gerald Stinks, were told by the 911 operator that an officer was being sent to the scene. This doesn't constitute assurance to the plainti...
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