Case Study

 
Ron supervises delivery of flowers for a wholesale distributor of fresh flowers, Flowers. Inc. In order to accommodate one of the company’s best customers, Ron offers to immediately rush a delivery of fresh peonies. All of the delivery trucks are currently out on delivery. Ron directs an employee, Ruth, to use her own vehicle to deliver the flowers.
Ruth carelessly parks her car on a steep hill, leaving the car in neutral and failing to engage the parking brake. The car rolls down the hill, knocking down an electric line. The sparks from the broken line ignite a grass fire. The fire spreads until it reaches a gasoline station one mile away. There is a tanker truck off-loading gasoline to the station’s gas tanks. The fire ignites the gasoline being pumped into the tanks, and one of the tanks explodes, causing part of the station structure to fall on and injure a passing motorist, Jim.

Can Jim recover damages from Ruth; from Flowers’ Inc? Why or why not?
Identify the cause of action. Discuss each element of the cause of action, and relate them to your assessment of whether Jim has a cause of action against Ruth.
Discuss the legal doctrine under which Jim might also recover from Flowers, Inc.

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