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Torts keyed to Best
Warner Fruehauf Trailer Co. v. Boston
Citation:654 A.2d 1272 (D.C. 1995)
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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:
William Boston was a supervising mechanic for the Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO). On one Sunday morning, Mr. Boston was responding to an emergency call for a power outage. He obtained a truck that he hadn’t used prior, and, with the help of a colleague, began to unload it so that he could re-load it with tools for the morning’s work.
After he and his crew had unloaded some of the more heavy objects, a crew member placed the truck liftgate in a vertical “closed” position. Mr. Boston approached the closed liftgate to attach safety chains. While he was doing this, the liftgate suddenly malfunctioned. The 1050 pound metal platform fell, striking Mr. Boston in the hip and causing injury.
The liftgate was distributed by Warner Fruehauf. The liftgate was powered by a one-cylinder hydraulic mechanism and had no back-up safety mechanism. Over ½ of all these kinds of liftgates had previously malfunctioned in an identical manner, and Warner Fruehauf was aware of this issue. The liftgate also contained two warning labels. One was 189 words long and only contained a vague warning of malfunction causing free-fall, and the other only warned to stay clear when the gate was in use.
Mr. Boston and his wife filed suit against the liftgate manufacturer and distributor, Warner Fruehauf for loss of consortium, and damages from his injuries.
- 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.