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Law and Ethics Assignment

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For your submission, please do not convert this PDF to Word and answer the questions.

Please submit only your answers to the questions in a Word document. The exam consists of three (3) hypotheticals with multiple questions to each part. Please make sure to label your answers. For example, Part 1 has 3 questions. When you are answering Part 1, please write “1a” before you begin writing your answer, then write “1b” before you answer the second question, and so forth. By writing it like this, I can easily follow your answers.

I will not answer any questions regarding the exam now that it has been released. If you have a question regarding a hypothetical, please first explain your assumption in your submission, and then answer the questions based on this assumption.

It is your analysis of these questions that is receiving the full credit. Therefore, you must fully explain your answer to receive full credit. In answering the questions, to receive full credit, please make sure you have identified the issue, explained the relevant law, including any elements of the law that are necessary, and how the circumstances of the hypothetical given to you either meet, or do not meet, the elements of that law. You may also use cases we have discussed in class, if that helps to explain your answer.

If you attempt to just give an answer without a thorough analysis as explained here, then I cannot give any credit if the answer is incorrect. Moreover, I cannot give full credit for answers without a full analysis, even if the resulting answer may be correct. Please note that because this is a take-home exam I am expecting fully thought out answers, and not quick responses.

There are four (4) pages to this exam, including this cover page. Good luck and have a wonderful summer!

Part 1 (Worth 30 points)

Water Bird, Inc. (“Water Bird”) manufactures a product meant to enable a person to be lifted into the air, and basically “fly” behind a motor boat that is motoring around a lake or ocean. The product is called “Aqua Air” and basically consists of a lightweight seat with a mechanism on either side of the seat that catches the air as the motor boat begins to speed up. The seat also has a harness attached to securely lock in the person. After a few months of the product’s release, Water Bird begins to hear of injuries when riders fall into the water or into the boats.

The mechanisms that were designed to catch the air do not always adjust to the deceleration of the motor boat correctly, and instead of gently landing on the water as the boat decelerates, they may drop at the first change in speed. The company looks to see if there is anything they can do to modify the design. They find that a few adjustments will help, and they implement these adjustments to their Aqua Air 2 release; however, they are aware these adjustments will not help in all situations.

Suzy Summers has bought the Aqua Air 2. Her husband followed the safety instructions that came with the product on how to fasten the product to the boat, and how to fasten Suzy correctly in the seat harness. However, during the boat ride he had to decelerate quickly to avoid another boat and the Aqua Air came plummeting down onto the water. Luckily, Suzy walked away with only minor injuries.

In the meantime, the president of Water Bird decides to discontinue the Aqua Air product line and sell the remaining business (which is devices one can attach to their motor boats for water skiing, tubing, etc.) to Sport Boating, Inc. (“Sport Boating”). The president of Sport Boating is excited to purchase the assets at a bargain price, and he is aware of the issues regarding the Aqua Air products. Because of the potential liability that could come with the Aqua Air product line, they structure the sale as an asset sale. Sport Boating continues to manufacture the other product lines, but not the Aqua Air product line.

Please answer the following questions for Part 1:

  1. 1a)  As there have been many injuries with the Aqua Air product lines, all those injured want to file a class action law suit under the theory of product liability. Please give ALL arguments that the injured parties would want to make.
  2. 1b)  As the sale of Water Bird’s assets to Sport Boating is now completed, can the injured parties sue Sport Boating? Fully explain your answer.
  3. 1c)  If Sport Boating can be sued, identify and explain ALL the recoveries that the plaintiffs can ask for.

Part 2 (Worth 40 points)

Bertha works for Bad Co. as an executive assistant to the president. She is 50 years old, and has been employed for over 12 years by the company without a formal written employment contract. The company policy manual issued to all administrative employees 6 years ago promises that no employee may be terminated without 2 prior written warnings regarding poor job performance. Bertha has always received excellent job reviews.

Recently the president resigned, and was replaced by Fred, a vice president in one of the company’s divisional offices. Fred has promised to improve productivity by 20%. Bertha has just learned from Fred that she is being replaced by Sheila, who was Fred’s executive assistant at the divisional office, and is 35 years old. Sheila has been working for Fred for 12 years.

Please answer the following questions for Part 2:

  1. 2a)  Does Bertha have a claim for wrongful discharge based on any employment agreement she has with the company? Also explain the defenses Bad Co. will try to make.
  2. 2b)  Does Bertha have any claims for discrimination? If so, make sure to identify the type of discrimination claim including all legal elements that need to be met to make the claim. Additionally, identify and explain any defenses Bad Co. would try to make.

Part 3 (worth 20 points)

Lion Devices Inc. is a U.S. company that had received a U.S. patent for a medical device that relieves back pain. They received this patent approval 2 years ago, but it took about 2 years from date of application to receive approval. It can be worn like a belt and sends electrical pulses to the back, stimulating nerves and muscles. The application for a patent made claims that this device was to relieve back pain and any other aliments stemming from injury or disease of the spine.

Lion Devices Inc. is well known for its various medical devices and its packaging is golden in color with a white lion in mid-stride across the package. Any press releases or advertisements has this white lion mid-stride next to the name Lion Devices.

Mitch used to work for Lion Devices and was instrumental in there launch of the medical device belt that relieves back pain. He left the company after the launch and began consulting for other medical device companies. He now works for Panther Products Inc., a start-up medical device company that has developed a bracelet that one can wear that sends electrical pulses up the arm to relieve migraines. Furthermore, Panther Products has designed there packaging to be a dark yellow with a white outline of a panther sitting next to the name Panther Products.

Please answer the following questions for Part 3:

  1. 3a)  Lion Devices wants to sue for patent and trademark infringements. Please provide the claims they will use in their suit under these infringements.
  2. 3b)  What will be Panther Products defenses, if any, to each of these suits?
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