Tort Reform

3035 words 13 pages
Tort Law and Cases:
A Comparison of Two Cases and Their Potential Frivolity8/22/2010


“A tort is a civil wrong resulting in injury to a person or property”; that is brought before a court to compensate the injured party (Bagley & Savage, 2010, pg 251). In order to prove an intentional tort, the following conditions must be met: 1) Intent 2) Voluntary act by the defendant 3) Causation 4) Injury or Harm.
The following tort cases, Pearson v. Chung and Liebeck v. McDonalds, have been a pinnacle “poster child” for tort reform in the United States. In 2002, frivolous lawsuits cost taxpayers over $233 billion (, 2006). What is considered a frivolous lawsuit? It is when an attorney
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MCI Communications Corp. (Alicke 1), where MCI rounded up the telephone bills to the next full minute. The court there ruled that a reasonable person would not be deceived by this billing practice, hence there is no negligent misrepresentation (Alicke 2). Based on the ruling of reasonable assumption, a reasonable customer would not interpret “Satisfaction Guaranteed” to mean the company is required to pay unreasonable demands and it does not constitute a violation of the CPPA (Pearson 20). In addition, the court ruled that since Mr. Pearson never requested “Same Day Service”, but if he did, he would have been accommodated, thus there no basis for misrepresentation. The court also ruled that having claim ticket stubs with the terms of service for the store on back does not violate the FTC regulations since the regulations were created in a “Bait and Switch” tactic, where, once you were lured into the store on advertised promises, the store added additional conditions to the advertisement . The court ruled that in reality, the pants that the Chungs returned were not his pants. It was determined that it was reasonable to assume this, since he frequently lent suits to his son, and it was possible the pants on the hanger were from a different suit. The court does not have a requirement to assume what happened to the pants. Mr. Pearson had an obligation to prove intent, that the Chungs intentionally misled him by returning the wrong pants; which he failed to do.


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