Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Graff v. Beard case brief

Graff v. Beard case summary
-The Graff’s held a party.
-A guest left the party in vehicle while intoxicated, en route he collided with a motorcycle injuring Beard, who sued both guest and the Graff’s.

-Is there a duty to the D, where someone other than the D. has created a risk?


-Considerations of public policy in regards to imposing a new common-law duty.
-Considerations include: social economic and political questions.
1. Extent of the risk involved.
2. Foreseeability and likelihood of injury weighted against the social utility of the actor’s conduct.
3. Magnitude of the burden of guarding against the injury.
4. Consequences of placing the burden of the Def.
(no general duty exists to control the conduct of others)
[Two assumptions made here]:
-That the host can reasonably know of the guest’s alcohol consumption and possible intoxication, and possess the right to control the conduct of the guest.
[Otis]: Decision premised on: “the employer’s negligent exercise of control over the employee rather than on a general duty to prevent intoxicated people from driving.”


[Exclusive Control]
-It is far from clear that a social host can reliably recognize a guest’s level of intoxication.
[If intoxicated: host must prevent guest from driving.]
-Cannot assume that guests will respond to host’s attempts.


-The imbiber maintains the ultimate power and thus the obligation to control his own behavior.

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