What defenses may be available to BUGusa, Inc.? Explain your answer. The tort of negligence applies in this scenario. Negligence is described as a party who fails to act reasonably, even when the act is not intentionally, or it does not intend for harm to occur (Melvin, 2011). In this scenario BUGusa did not have direct intentions for the vendors, and its employees to get attacked and robbed, however; the company’s negligence to act reasonably and responsibly made it easier for the delinquents to attack the victims. BUGusa had the duty to make sure light bulbs were working properly, and all areas of the parking lots remained well lit up (Melvin, 2011).
However; BUGusa did not act responsibly, and imposed unreasonably risk to them, it breached its duty by not maintaining working light bulbs, therefore; failing to meet obligations to keep vendors and its employees working in a safe environment. The direct connection between the tortfeasor’s conduct, and the harm suffered by the vendor, and employees proves the tortfeasor’s conduct was the cause in fact of the damages suffered by the injured parties (Melvin, 2011). BUGusa was completely aware of the crime wave, and the danger in its parking lots and dock areas. This proves the proximity, and foreseeability that BUGusa’s negligence conduct caused the damages of physical harm for vendors, and robbery for its employees. The tort of negligence in this scenario includes the five essential elements of negligence, duty, breach of duty, the breach being the cause of injury, proximate, and the resulting damages (Lucas, 2008). In a case of negligence the individual or company may be held liable not only with negligence but sometimes with trespass, injury, and even mental or emotional harm (Lucas, 2008). However, the law requires these elements are proven in order to recover in a law suit against a torfeasor for negligence (Melvin, 2011).
The defenses that may be available for BUGusa can be comparative negligence, assumption of risk, and affirmative defense. The general idea of comparative negligence would be to lessen the amount of BUGusa’s responsibility by assigning liability to the vendors, and employees involved in the situation grounded basically on a computed extend of fault for which each is responsible (Melvin, 2011). BUGusa may claim employees, and vendor did not take necessary precautions when walking to their cars, or waiting in the dock parking lots.
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The general idea of affirmative defense would be for BUGusa to prove that its vendor and employees showed contributory negligence. BUGusa may claim that both parties had knowledge of the recent crime wave on its dock parking lots, and they still did not act responsibly, and cautiously. BUGusa may also claim that the vendor voluntarily entered into a relation with the company knowing that BUGusa will not safeguard the vendor against the risk of being in the parking lots at night (Melvin, 2011).
Lucas, Jeffery N (2008). Does a mistake constitute negligence?
Melvin, S.P. (2011). The legal environment of business: A managerial approach: Torts and Products Liability.
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