A woman by the name of Victoria Milquetoast, age 34, has come into the law office for an appointment. You are the paralegal who is sitting in with the two attorneys during the interview. She tells you that, almost two years ago, she was at home with her five year old daughter, Sophie. She is a stay at home mom with a high school education.
After Sophie came home on the bus from kindergarten, she asked her mother if she could play in the front yard. Victoria reluctantly agreed since she could watch Sophie from the front kitchen window as Victoria did the dishes. However, the Milquetoasts live on a busy two-lane highway that is adjacent to the freeway exit ramp, so Sophie was usually not allowed to play in the yard by herself.
As Victoria did the dishes she heard a car on the exit ramp accelerate down the ramp going too fast. The car lost control as it came to the highway and careened into the yard where Sophie was playing. Victoria witnessed all of this from the window and screamed for Sophie to watch out, but she did not hear her mother.
Luckily, the driver of the car was a NASCAR test driver who had excellent skills and was able to brake in time, but just missed from running over the frightened Sophie. Victoria, hysterical, ran from the house, screamed at the driver, and took Sophie into her arms. The driver pulled a fifty dollar bill from his wallet, flipped it at Victoria and said that he was sorry for damaging the yard, but that this should cover her loss.
Victoria has indicated that Sophie is fine, is now in the second grade doing well, but that she (Victoria) has been a nervous wreck. She freaks out when she hears cars exiting the ramp, does not leave Sophie out of her sight, and has trouble sleeping at night as she listens to the traffic, worrying about another close call. She takes over-the-counter sleep aids and has noticed that her weight has gone up from 124 pounds before the incident to 162 pounds now. She finds that the sleep aids do not work much, so she is considering going to see a psychiatrist for a stronger prescription.
Ms. Milquetoast spoke to someone at church who told her she should talk to a lawyer. The two attorneys in the interview, who are very busy, tell Victoria they will look into this and get back to her. They assign you to tell them if Victoria has a claim/cause of action in this matter.
- Review the hypothetical case located in your Research Project.
- Identify and discuss ALL of the following in a one-to-two page paper:
- The relevant facts;
- Explanatory facts; and
- Legally unimportant facts.
- Include your reasoning as to why each fact is relevant, explanatory, or legally unimportant.