You are the manager at the Paint-a-Plenty, a small independently owned paint supply store in Upper Northeast Maryland. Four weeks ago, one of your employees reported that there had been an incident on their shift where a customer had slipped and fallen when a small cup of coffee had been spilled near the cash register. The coffee had been spilled by the customer immediately ahead of the customer who had slipped and fallen. Since your employee was the only employee on duty at the time, he had finished the transaction for the customer, logged off the cash register, and asked the remaining customer to wait while he went to the back of the store to retrieve a mop to clean up the spill and warned the customer to avoid the spill. When the employee returned, that customer was on the floor after slipping in the spilled drink. Your employee offered to call an ambulance, but the customer declined and left the store to return to their car and drive away.
The owner called you into a meeting. She just received a letter from an attorney for Mr. Lott A. Cashe, who is the customer who slipped and fell in your store. Mr. Cashe is demanding that your store pay damages for the injuries he sustained when he slipped and fell in your store. Mr. Cahse maintains that he has sustained back, neck, hip, knee, and ankle injuries as a result of this accident with medical bills of $2,240. He states that he has missed work, incurring $2,500 in lost income. He asserts that he has been unable to care for his four children on his own and has incurred $1,600 in paying for unanticipated child care. He states that he has been unable to drive and has sustained $480 in hiring Uber to take him to necessary medical appointments. Additionally, he claims that there are other miscellaneous expenses related to his injuries, as well as the pain and suffering and inconvenience that cannot be quantified, that he believes to be compensable at $3,000. The total amount of damages he is demanding is $9,820.
The owner of Paint-a-Plenty has asked that you review Mr. Cashes demands and advise her as to how you think she should proceed since the incident happened on your watch and the owner knows you have taken a course in Business Law. She has held a preliminary consultation with her attorney for one hour. Her lawyer has estimated that the owner could make an immediate offer of settlement for the amount requested for no additional fee on her part. A negotiated settlement could require 20 30 hours of her time. Taking the case to court could take 100 hours or more of her time in preparation and an additional 10 hours in court. The owners attorney charges $150 per hour, with a charge of $300 for court time.
Outline your advice to the owner on how she should respond to Mr. Cashes demands and explain your reasons for your advice.
(attached are course notes)
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