Question

Respond to the following prompt:

For your written assignment you should state which of the torts concepts apply. Is the answer based upon Negligence, Intentional Torts or Strict Liability. Explain each theory of tort law in great detail. In a law class you have to provide a 3 part analysis: 1) State the law i.e. theory of law negligence etc. 2) Apply the facts of the case to the law. 3) Give a conclusion based upon the facts and the law.

For negligence you must discuss duty, breach, causation and damages. Additionally, you must discuss if there are any affirmative defenses to negligence which may apply: Contributory, comparative negligence, assumption of risk, last clear chance doctrine.

For intentional torts, which intentional tort is it? For example, libel, slander, assault, battery etc.

For strict liablity, which type of strict liability is it? Discuss whether or not the law allows any affirmative defense in strict liability cases.

PART 2:
You must write a two page typewritten answer to your assigned essay question. Make sure to discuss any relevant theories of law and how they apply to your fact pattern.
Dr. Douglas is a psychiatrist. One of his patients, Robert, has been telling Dr. Douglas that he wants to kill his girlfriend, Tara. Dr. Douglas treats Robert with therapy, but does not inform the authorities or Tara. One month later, Robert kills Tara. Tara’s family wants to sue Dr. Douglas. What claims does Tara’s family have against Dr. Douglas? What elements would the family have to prove in order to recover against Dr. Douglas? What is the required proof and standard of care? What are Dr. Douglas’s defenses?

Solution Preview

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The case at hand—that of a psychiatrist being sued for failing to provide warning regarding the threat posed by a patient—is almost identical to the 1976 precedent-setting case, Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California. There, a patient, Prosenjit Poddar, in psychiatric care expressed that he planned on killing the object of his obsession, Tanya Tarasoff, and carried out the plan; the woman’s parents sued the doctor for failing to warn them about the danger posed by Poddar (even though the doctors did in fact inform police...

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