With some understanding of the legal system, the Viral Clean (“Clean”) owners can now shift their focus to examining specific areas of law that create potential risks and liabilities for their business. The group knows from their business experience that companies face severe and costly risks and legal liabilities stemming from tort law.
Unintentional harm resulting from accidents, such as negligence, can result in costly litigation. The Clean owners are concerned about the possibility of accidents resulting in injuries to their employees that could occur during cleaning clients’ property.
Winnie and Ralph have given you the responsibility of analyzing and summarizing potential negligence claims and liability that Clean might face in its business operations. You decide to analyze a hypothetical fact scenario to present to the Clean owners to help explain Clean’s potential negligence liability for accidents occurring on clients’ property during cleaning. The analysis will be presented at the next meeting with Clean’s owners and TLG. Your analysis will address only the tort of negligence.
Background Facts You Need To Know: Jack, a Clean employee, was assigned to clean and disinfect Client A’s office building. Jack’s first task was to vacuum the floors in a wide hallway. Jack plugged Clean’s commercial vacuum cleaner into the hallway outlet with an extra-long electrical cord and began vacuuming. Before beginning vacuuming, Jack checked to ensure that the hallway was clear of obstacles and people walking. After checking the hall, he placed the cord to the side of the hallway out of the path of his pushing the vacuum. After vacuuming for a few minutes, Jack stepped to the side to turn the vacuum and tripped over two boxes that had been placed in the hallway by Client A’s employee since Jack began vacuuming. Jack did not know the boxes had been placed in the hall.
Jack fell and broke his ankle and was taken to the hospital ER via ambulance. A cast was applied after it was determined the ankle did not need surgery. Jack missed three weeks of work because of the injury.
Report You Need To Prepare: You must prepare a report addressed to Winnie and Ralph. Winnie and Ralph will use the report in discussion with the Clean owners. The report must address each of the following points:
1. Analyze whether Jack has a negligence claim against Client A.
2. Identify any potential defenses that Client A may raise in response to Jack’s negligence claim. The analysis must explain why the defense may be raised.
3. Given the negligence claim and the potential defenses, conclude whether Jack or Client A should prevail in the lawsuit. The facts and the law must support the conclusion.
TO: Winnie James, Ralph Anders
FROM: (your name)
RE: Clean Negligence Risks and Liabilities