Law/One of the elements that the Chumleys must prove in their negligence action is a breach of duty./Can the Chumley’s use Negligence Per Se or Res Ipsa Loquitur to establish breach of duty?
Read attachment before doing assignment:
One of the elements that the Chumleys must prove in their negligence action is a breach of duty.
Can the Chumley’s use Negligence Per Se or Res Ipsa Loquitur to establish breach of duty?
How would they do that?
Ensure that you define both terms and match the available facts to these definitions to support your analysis.
They had spent the day shopping. Charles Chumley, 60 years old, was driving while Julia, his wife of 35 years, was in the passenger seat beside him. They had visited a larger town about 30 miles away and had spent the day at the mall. Now they were heading home. They had lived in the town of Cling for almost 20 years. Charles had a job nearby as a shift supervisor at a plant that made wooden chairs and tables. Julia had worked at city hall as a secretary until she retired last year. For the past few months, they had enjoyed taking little shopping trips together on the weekends. Charles was looking forward to his retirement. He used to joke to her that they would get a camper and drive all over the country. Julia didn’t like driving, especially on long trips, but she would play along with him. Around 4:30 that Saturday afternoon, theyreached the outskirts of town and turned down their street. Morgan Street hadn’t changed much in 20 years. Just short of their house, a railroad track crossed Morgan Street. There wasn’t a stop sign or a mechanical gate, just one “cross-buck” sign that read “Rail Road Crossing.” Charles had driven across that track at least twice a day, five days a week for 20 years. The thick evergreen trees that grew near the intersection made it hard for him to see down the track.
What happened next has been pieced together from the facts. There is no dispute that when the Chumley car crossed the tracks, it was struck broadside by a 32-ton train, owned by National Railroad Company. The impact sounded like a small bomb going off, as some neighborhood people said later. The car was impaled on the front of the locomotive engine and pushed about 100 yards down the track, before the car finally rolled off the front of the railroad engine and slid into a ditch. Charles was severely injured, and Julia was killed instantly.
Fortunately for Charles, a fire station was only two blocks away, and it was equipped with an ambulance. Fire and rescue got to the scene in less than three minutes. They cut Charles out of the car, but there wasn’t anything they could do for Julia. Charles was airlifted from the scene to a nearby city and spent several months in the hospital there. Although he almost died in intensive care, he managed to pull through. He has no memory of the collision. He walks with a cane now. He has severe, permanent injuries that prevent him from ever returning to work or even driving a car again. His wife is dead. His life has been devastated.
Charles Chumley has just walked into your law office. He wants to sue the railroad.
This is a torts case.