Answer the following questions:


Based on what you have learned in Torts and Contracts, what claims do you think the plaintiff can bring, and who can the plaintiff bring them against?

What defenses do you believe can be asserted against those claims?

Your answer should include an explanation of the legal standards (or elements) for the claims and defenses, and an application of the relevant facts to those standards to support your conclusions.



Paul Petersen lives in Northern California. He owns a BMW car worth about $20,000. He wants to take a trip to Nevada with his girlfriend Patricia, who lives in Los Angeles. He takes his car into Danfield’s Auto Express in Northern California for an oil change. Danfield’s is a chain of retail facilities that work on all types of cars throughout Northern California and Oregon. Danfield’s is incorporated in Delaware and its headquarters and administrative offices are in Oregon. While Paul’s car is being worked on, the mechanics at Danfield’s notice some problems and recommend that Paul have some repairs done. The repairs include completely replacing all of the parts for the front and rear brakes, and performing a 60,000 mile maintenance service. The maintenance services include a transmission service, fuel injector cleaning, cooling system flushing and refill, replacing heater hoses, recharging the air conditioner, and various filter replacements. The total cost for the work is $3,248. Of that amount, the brakes cost $1,650. Paul pays by check. Paul agrees to have all of the work done. When he picks his car up, he receives a “lifetime guarantee” on the brake parts, which is a document that Paul and the Danfield’s service manager both sign. Among other things, the document says, “If your brake parts should wear out due to normal wear and tear during the life of your vehicle, Danfield’s will replace them at no charge for the parts.” The document also includes a 30-day workmanship warranty for all of the labor performed by Danfield’s that states: Danfield’s warrants that your service repairs are made with the quality and skill required to meet industry standards and to protect your safety. We promise that your car will be fixed right the first time. If the automotive repair or service was performed improperly, then we will re-perform the service at no additional charge to you, during the established warranty period. Paul and his girlfriend start their trip on February 5, 20xx, the day after his car is ready. They are about 45 miles into Nevada when Paul notices that his car does not seem to be running quite right. He slows down to pull over and the brakes start squeaking and grinding. He calls Danfield’s where the work was done, and is told that the squeaking is probably normal, but the grinding may be an issue, and he should bring the car back in for them to look at the brakes, or go to any nearby Danfield’s store. Paul is worried that the car is not safe to drive back to California, and there are no Danfield’s stores in Nevada. He finds a small, local repair shop nearby called Derek’s Car Repair. Derek’s only has one location, it is solely owned by Derek, and it is incorporated in Nevada. He tells the owner, Derek Davison, who is a mechanic, that his car is not running right and the brakes are making noises. He asks Derek to take a look at the car. Derek initially declines, saying that he does not work on BMWs, but Paul explains his situation and says that he just wants to be sure that the car is safe to drive. Derek takes a look and says that he does not see anything out of the ordinary, and that the brake noises could just be the new brake pads settling in. He again reminds Paul that he does not work on BMWs, and tells him that he should take it back to Danfield’s to make sure it is safe. Paul is relieved that nothing is seriously wrong. He tells Derek that he will head back to Danfield’s where the work was done in Northern California. It is about 200 miles away. Things go well for the first hundred miles, but while they are in Lake City, Northern California, the car begins to overheat and various dashboard lights start flashing. While trying to get off the road, Paul notices the cars in front of him have stopped suddenly. He slams on the brakes, but they do not stop the car. He swerves to miss the cars in front of him, goes off the road into an embankment, and the car flips over. Paul and Patricia are both taken to the hospital. Both have injuries to their backs, necks and faces from the collision. Paul also has a broken hand and arm. They are both released from the hospital after a day of care and observation. Paul requires home nursing assistance for two weeks because he is unable to move around well, and he cannot perform many of the daily tasks necessary to care for himself. After the two week period, he begins physical therapy. His doctor tells him that he will have permanent problems with his neck and back that will require ongoing physical therapy, and perhaps surgery. His back and neck pain, and the cast on his hand and arm, also prevent him from working. Paul is a web application specialist who helps people utilize the internet and social media. After a few weeks, he tries to return to work, but he is unable to do so because of the pain and the inability to use his hand and arm. His employer tells him that they have to replace him and he is fired from his job. Paul’s job paid him $85,000 in annual salary. During his hospital stay, Paul managed to call his bank to stop payment on the check that he wrote to Danfield’s to pay for the work they performed. Paul’s auto insurance company has his car towed to a repair shop to estimate the damages and cost to repair the car. The repair shop determines that improper installation of a heater hose caused the overheating, and improper installation of the brakes caused the brake failure. It notes that the improper installation of both would be fairly obvious to a trained mechanic. It also determines that the cost to repair the car is greater than the value of the car, so it recommends totaling the car.