Cy Anora, a professional civil engineer, prepares a new tilt-up design for prefabricated industrial buildings. Anora subcontracts the design work for the connection assembly to the concrete foundation to Yech Valstreet, an engineer in the country of Elbonia specializing in concrete. Valstreet speaks limited English. Valstreet prepares detailed specifications and drawings. Anora requests that Valstreet make changes in the design to reduce the cost. Valstreet makes the requested changes, but then attempts to tell Anora that although the changes will work, the new design will increase the risk of instability and has an increased risk of collapse if it receives a strong jolt, such as a moderate earthquake. Anora does not understand Valstreet very well and assures him that he has done a good job.
Three years later, outside in the yard of an industrial building built with the new prefabricated design, a forklift operator, Ure Toast, mistakenly shifts into reverse and slams his forklift backwards into one of the walls, shaking the whole wall and taking a small chunk out of the connection assembly of the wall to the concrete foundation. An eerie vibrating sound is heard and then the wall collapses. Toast is killed. Toast’s estate sues Cy Anora, for professional negligence respectively.
At trial, Toast’s lawyer introduces the testimony of an expert civil engineer who states that any competent civil engineer should have known from the revised plans and specifications that the connection assembly to the concrete foundation was dangerous, independently done new strength calculations, and therefore discovered the deficiencies in the design. Toast’s expert concludes that failure to detect the dangers and revise the design fell below the relevant professional standard of care.
Anora defends himself by claiming that it was not readily apparent from Valstreet’s plans and specifications that the design was unreasonably dangerous and that he was entitled to rely on the specific expertise of Valstreet, who should have put his warning in writing to be understood. Anora’s expert mirrored Anora’s testimony and testified Anora did not breach the professional standard of care.
PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
1. State Cy Anora’s specific professional standard of care for the circumstances of this case that Cy Anora was obliged to follow. Assume Cy Anora is responsible for the acts and omissions of Valstreet, who was obliged to follow the same professional standard of care as Anora; however, Valstreet is NOT a party to this lawsuit because he could not be served in Elbonia with the complaint.
2. Did Cy Anora breach the standard of care? Why or why not? Make full use of the facts, expert testimony, and relevant law.
3. If you find that Cy Anora breached the standard of care, was his breach an actual cause of Toast’s death? Again, make full use of the facts, expert testimony, and relevant law, including specifically using the but-for test.
4. If you find that Cy Anora breached the standard of care and was an actual cause of Toast’s death, was his breach a proximate cause of Toast’s death? Once again, make full use of the facts, expert testimony, and relevant law, including specifically the foreseeability test.
5. Comparative Negligence: Was Toast negligent in whole or in part for his own death? Make full use of the facts and relevant law, including comparative fault under the ordinary standard of care as to Toast. If you find both parties at fault, allocate fault on a percentage basis; the total must equal 100%.
Answer the five specific questions in the order given. Each question is worth 8 points. In answering the questions, you must discuss the proof or lack thereof for each element or defense.
SO, FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!!!!!!! BE SURE YOU ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You do not need to write a lot, but what you do write must make sense and be consistent from question to question.
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