Widget’s, Inc., a fictional company, has a flourishing lawncare business. The business has two full-time employees who have been with the company for five years. All employees are trained on using the lawn equipment and have signed a waiver-of-liability contract limiting liability for the company. The owner, Brian, told his employees not to worry—that the company would protect them if they got hurt.
One employee, Lori, was on the job cutting a lawn. Lori was riding a mower, a Ferrari 2000, which was three years old and in good working condition. The step-up on the mower had writing on it with a warning sticker to replace the sandpaper liner for traction every three due to normal wear and tear. It was replaced every three years. Lori stepped down off the rider, slipped because of moisture from the grass, and severed her pinky toe on the mower blade.
When she fell to the ground, the mower continued through the grass and proceeded by itself to cut and mulch a neighbor’s prize roses. Peta, the neighbor, was preparing for a rose competition with a potential grand prize of $10,000.
Write a 1–2 page paper answering the questions below. Remember to identify and explain the law and then justify your answers to the questions pursuant to the scenario:
- Pursuant to contract law, is the waiver of liability legal and do Brian’s verbal assurances become part of the contract? Why or why not?
- Does Peta have a product liability case against the mower manufacturer Ferrari for a design defect, manufacturing defect, or failure-to-warn defect?
- Does Lori have a claim for her injuries and can she recover pain and suffering damages or worker’s compensation?