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Torts Keyed to Henderson
McCormack v. Hankscraft 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:
Donald McCormack (Plaintiff) purchased an electric Defendant steam vaporizer manufactured by Hankscraft Company, Inc. (Defendant), to be used as a humidifier for his three-year-old daughter, Andrea (Plaintiff). Plaintiffs read the instruction manual “cover to cover.” The vaporizer was placed on a kitchen stool about four feet from Andrea’s bed and was turned on for overnight use. During the night, Andrea got out of bed to use the restroom, knocked over the unit, causing scalding hot water to be spilled on her. Andrea suffered burns on more than 30 percent of her body, including third degree burns on her chest, shoulders, and back. She suffered from shock and was in critical condition for a period of time. Andrea twice required skin graft surgery and was hospitalized for an extended period of time. Due to the burns, Andrea suffered permanent injuries. It was later found that the water that spilled on Andrea reached 211 degrees (180 degree water will cause third degree burns on a child). Plaintiffs sued Defendant for negligence in its failure to warn of the inherent dangers of the vaporizer and in its adoption of an unsafe design. After a jury found against Defendant, the trial court judge granted Defendant’s motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict and granted a conditional new trial. Plaintiffs appealed.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- 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.