Law Essay Critiques

I need 2 (4 total) paragraphs in regard to each of the essays below fitting the following reqs:


150 words in 1-3 paragraphs per essay.

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  • What did you learn from your classmate’s posting?
  • What additional questions do you have after reading the posting?
  • What clarification do you need regarding the posting?
  • What differences or similarities do you see between your posting and other classmates’ postings?


Essay #1



Negligence Business Law I – MGMT235-1402B-04 Phase 3 – Discussion Board

   Thank you for attending this important employee meeting on the topic of negligence. As many of you know, our organization can be held liable for negligent acts that are committed by our employees therefore the management team felt it was most important to provide all of you more information about negligence as it relates to Business Law. Please pay close attention to the topics presented in this session and consider your actions as you conduct your duties each day. While all of you are excellent employees, it only takes the negligent or irresponsible actions of a single employee to cause great harm to the general public, to the individual employee, and to the company as a whole.

   First, it is important to know that there are four elements that must be considered when discussing negligence.

   The first of these elements is Duty. A duty in this case is described as a legal obligation typically established in a contract. In order to be liable for negligence, the defendant of a lawsuit must have some established or owed duty to the plaintiff (NationalParalegal.Edu, 2010).

   The second element of negligence to consider is Breach. A breach is described as a violation of the duty or law. In cases of negligence, a defendant is not liable for negligence unless they breach their duty (NationalParalegal.Edu, 2010).

   The third element to consider is Cause. To be held liable for negligence, the breach of duty (on the part of the defendant) must have caused harm to the plaintiff (NationalParalegal.Edu, 2010).

   The final element to consider is Harm. In cases of negligence, the plaintiff must have suffered harm to be able to sue the defendant for negligence (NationalParalegal.Edu, 2010).

   When discussing the topic of corporate negligence and the fact that companies are liable for the negligent acts of their employers it is also important to understand respondeat superior. This legal doctrine holds that an employer is legally responsible for the wrongful acts of an agent or employee. This only holds true however if the acts occur within the scope of the employment or agency (, 2013). It is important for employers to be aware of this legal doctrine so they do everything within their power to hire, train, and incent employees to act in lawful and responsible ways – so as not to put the company at risk.

   To better illustrate the doctrine of respondeat superior, I am reviewing the case of Michael S. Barclay vs. the Estate of Christopher Eugene Richardson.

   This case was brought to court after a motor vehicle operated by Christopher Richardson crashed into a motor vehicle operated by Michael S. Barclay. This crash occurred after Christopher Robinson had worked a 22 hour shift as a longshoreman and attempted to drive home once his shift was complete. On his drive, he fell asleep at the wheel, crossed the center line, and caused a head on collision with the vehicle driven by Michael Barclay. The crash killed Mr. Robinson and caused catastrophic injuries to Mr. Barclay and his wife. The Barclays sued not only the estate of Mr. Robinson, but also the Baltimore Ports organization, the international longshoremen’s association, and the steamship trade association. They argued that these organizations were responsible under the doctrine of respondeat superior. The case stated that these organizations “breached their duty to the general public not to allow and/or encourage their employees to work in excess of a reasonable number of hours beyond the normal human tolerance,” knowing that the employees commuted to and from work in their personal vehicles.

   The attorney’s for P & O Ports argued that the Plaintiffs did not present any evidence to demonstrate that P & O Ports consented to Mr. Richardson using his personal vehicle at the time the accident occurred. Furthermore, the facts did not indicate that Mr. Richardson’s car was critically important to P & O Ports’ business. Specifically, the courts concluded that the employer control over Mr. Richardson’s private vehicle could not be inferred (Court of Appeals of Maryland, 2011) – thereby limiting the liability of the company.

   In this case, the court ruled first that Ports, the longshoremen, and the steamship trade association could not be held liable for Richardson’s acts. The judge stated: Liability may be imposed on an employer only the employee is operating a vehicle while carrying out the duties of his employment at the time when the accident occurs.

   I do believe that it is fair to hold companies accountable for the actions of their employees. I think that this incents companies to recruit honest, loyal, and hard-working people, to train their staff on safety measures and acceptable conduct in the workplace, and to ensure that their employees are acting in the best interests of both the company and the general public. While this obviously presents some risk to the company, I believe it is necessary to provide individuals who are in the employ of others some level of protection as well. This means that if an employee is acting responsibly on behalf of his or her company and an accident occurs, the employee is protected from personal liability. Finally, I believe that this is necessary to protect the interests of the possible plaintiffs in a case. In many cases, individual employees will not have many assets or means to repay a plaintiff in cases where significant harm or damage occurs. Making the company responsible for actions of the employee gives the plaintiff some more substantial assets from which to recover his or her damages.


   To summarize this paper, I do believe that the topic of negligence and the ramifications of negligence in the workplace is an important one to consider as individuals are recruited, trained, and promoted through the organization. Individuals who can or will not conform to a company’s standard operating procedures put all individual employees and the company as a whole at risk.




Essay #2


In this handout we are going to be discussing what employee negligence is and how it can affect you as employees. Employee negligence can be considered a lot of different things. When an employee does not receive enough training for their job this would be considered employee negligence. If an employee works a lot of hours in one shift, this would be considered employee negligence.  As the employer it is our job to protect our employees from harassment or discrimination. It is our job as your employer to make sure that the employee is taking care of and making sure you are in a very safe environment both physically and mentally. If any of you employees feel that this is happening to you or has happened to you, please report it or talk to someone about any issues you may be having.

When it comes to negligence there are four elements and they are duty of care, breach of duty, factual causation and damages.

1.     Duty of Care – this is the employer’s responsibility to take care of the employees

2.     Breach of Duty – This is when the employer has not taken care of their employees. This can mean multiple things, for instance if you work too many hours in one shift or if there is any type of discrimination.

3.     Factual Causation – You have to have facts to prove that the breach of duty took place. 

4.     Damages – Once the case was proven, damages are decided from the jury and it will be awarded to the employee. It all depends on what the occurrence was.

RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR – “A common-law doctrine that makes an employer liable for the actions of an employee when the actions take place within the scope of employment.” (Dictionary, 2008) This is an important legal concept and employers should be aware of respondeat superior because anytime something occurs in the work place the employer could be liable. As long as the care of duty of the employees is being taken care in the work place there should not be any problems with respondeat superior.

For all of you to understand respondeat superior below is a legal case involving RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR:

Piccadilly Cafeteria had their Christmas party for their employees in their restaurant and alcohol was provided on Christmas Eve. Two employees Charles Sayles and Stephen Belcastro left the party and Belcastro decided to drive knowing that they both had been drinking.  Belcastro lost control of the car and struck another car injuring Sayles. Because Belcastro was intoxicated as a result of having drinks provided by their employer at a company sponsored event, Sayles sued Piccadilly under the doctrine of respondeat superior. “The jury returned a verdict in Sayle’s favor and awarded him damages of $11.5 million.” (Respondeat, 2008)

            In my opinion, I do believe it is fair to hold employer’s responsible for negligent acts of their employees but I think it should be based on the situation.  In the above case I do feel that the employer should not have been responsible for the wreck even if alcohol was given at the employee’s Christmas party. It is our responsibility as adults to make the right decisions about drinking and driving. The two men should have known not to get in a car and drive off knowing that they had consumed alcohol. There are many things that the employees could have done to prevent this, one being calling a cab or friend to come pick them up. Now, that the company had to award him $11.5 million, I guarantee their Christmas parties will never have alcohol at them. This lawsuit affected many people because these men had to ruin it for everyone else. Because these men did not make the best decision they blame it on their work. My opinion is that, Piccadilly did not tell him to drink nor to get in the car and drive. Piccadilly did not cause the accident. It was the driver of the car. Now, let’s just say that an employee is having issues with sexual harassment in the office. I then believe it is the employer who should be at fault in this scenario. I just believe that it should be based on the situation to whether the employer is at fault or not. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and this is what I believe.

Overall, our actions as employer’s or employees should be to be responsible and know what is right and wrong when you are making decisions. As employer’s you should know what and how the duty of care should be in the working environment and the best decisions should be made regarding each and every employee. As an employee, if you are having any issues or concerns at work you should be able to go to your employer and discuss any issues.

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