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Case Brief

In: Business and Management

Submitted By DSchnoor19
Words 384
Pages 2
Soldano v. O’Daniels
Court of Appeals of California
March 28, 1983

Statement of Facts

A patron of Happy Jack’s Saloon went across the street to the Circle Inn to talk with the owner of the two establishments. The patron then informed the owner that a person had been threatened at the saloon and requested to either use the phone or have the owner call the police. The owner refused both requests and the patron’s father was shot and killed. The patron then brought action against the Circle Inn Owner for negligence in the death of his father.

Issue

The issue in this case is whether or not a business should be liable for wrongful death when an employee denies the use of the telephone to one of its patrons. The patron was trying to call the police in a state of emergency.

Applicable Rule of Law

Section 327 of the restatement states “that if one knows that a third person is ready to give aid to another and negligently prevents the third person from doing so, he is subject to liability for harm caused by the absence of aid.”

Analysis/Application

There are several issues that come about in this case that make the owner of the bar liable. 1. The harm to the plaintiff’s father was foreseeable and could have been prevented. The owner should have known that people get more violent when they are drinking alcohol. 2. Although there is no rule requiring a business owner to assist a patron, the bartender owed a duty to the plaintiff to call the police since the phone was in a public part of the inn. 3. The facts of the case are almost identical to Section 327 of the restatement.

Conclusion/Holding

The appeals court reversed the original court order and permitted the case to go to trial, siding with the plaintiff.

Reasoning
The case meets some of the factors provided by the Supreme Court.
1. The harm to the decedent was...

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