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Torts Keyed to Dobbs
D’Amario v. Ford Motor Co.
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Harris (P) suffered injury when the car he was riding in, driven by an allegedly drunk friend, crashed into a tree and burst into flames. The car was allegedly over speeding at the time. Harris (P) and his mother, D’Amario (P) , filed suit on the grounds that a faulty electrical relay switch in the car, which was manufactured by the Ford Motor Co. (D), caused the explosion and fire which was responsible for injuries besides those due to the collision with the tree. Ford argued that it was a case of third-party negligence. The parties had diverging theories as to the cause of the fire and Harris’ injuries. The plaintiffs’ had a theory of liability hinging on a defective relay switch which failed to cut off the power supply to the fuel pump. However, Ford argued that the relay switch and fuel pump were in good working order, and it was the bursting of the oil pan, caused by the collision, which led to the fire. The court accepted Ford’s allegations that the primary cause of Harris’ injuries was the driver’s negligence, and allowed an apportionment of responsibility as a defense, as well as evidence of the driver’s actions in causing the collision at first as support for this defense. The jury found that Ford was not at legal fault in causing Harris’s injuries. The trial court granted a new trial, but this order was reversed by the court of appeals who affirmed the verdict in favor of Ford. The state supreme court granted review.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.