SAMPLE MEMORANDUM OF LAW
TO: Charles Stewart, Associate
FROM: Leanne Edwards, Paralegal
RE: (Negligence Liability) ( Brown vs Grant’s Grocery Store) (Our File #12345/2019)
Date: March 24, 2020
I. Statement of Assignment
You have asked me to prepare a memorandum of law addressing the question of
whether our client, Grant’s Grocery, may be found liable for negligence.
II. Question Presented
Was Grant’s Grocery negligent when Ms. Brown fell in the store’s produce department
III. Brief Answer
Yes, in all likelihood our client will be found liable for the injury Ms. Brown sustained. The courts have ruled that a grocer will be found negligent if a store employee breached the store’s duty of reasonable care to its patrons and as a result of that breach, the patron was injured. White v. Major Foods, 551 F.2d 91 (1995).
IV. Statement of Facts
Our client, Grant’s Grocery, is being sued by Ms. Brown for negligence. Ms. Brown slipped on tomatoes, which had been left by a store employee, in the produce department on January 2, 20–. Ms. Brown sustained a fractured pelvis as a result of the slip and fall, had pain & suffering and missed work for 6 months.
V. Applicable Statute(s)
33 U.S.C. 1341 (a) (1) (2006) (If none- write: There are no relevant statutes)
VI. Analysis/ Discussion (discuss all of the elements of negligence using IRAC method to determine whether our client might be found liable.)
(Issue) Did Grant’s Grocery owe a duty of reasonable care to Ms. Brown?
(Rule) A store owner owes a duty of reasonable care to patrons. Smith v. Key Food,
554 NY2d 103 (2005). [Discuss relevant facts of Smith case]
(Application) Ms. Brown was a patron in Grant’s Grocery
(Conclusion) Grant’s Grocery owed Ms. Brown a duty of care
(Issue) Did Grant’s Grocery breach its duty of reasonable care to Ms. Brown?
(Rule) A store will be found to have breached its duty of reasonable care to a patron if a store employee fails to properly and regularly clean the floor of the store. Barnes v. Food Emporium, 505 NY2d 222 (2017) [Discuss case]
(Application) Grant’s employees had one hour to clean tomatoes before Ms. Brown fell but failed to so do
(Conclusion) Grant’s Grocery breached its duty of care to Ms. Brown
(Issue) Was Ms. Brown injured?
(Rule) A person must sustain a physical impairment to be considered injured. Young v. Davis, 111 F2d 322 (5th Cir 2013) [Discuss further]
(Application) Ms. Brown sustained a fractured pelvis which is a physical impairment
(Conclusion) Ms. Brown will be able to show that she was injured
(Issue) Was the breach the proximate cause of Ms. Brown’s injury?
(Rule) A store owner’s failure to clear debris from the store floor, resulting in an injury to a patron who slipped on the floor, was found to be the proximate cause of the patron’s injury. ID. at 325 [Discuss]
(Application} Grant’s employee was informed about the debris but failed to clean the floor
(Conclusion) Grant’s employee’s failure to clean was the proximate cause of Ms. Brown’s injury
(Issue) Did Ms. Brown sustain damages
(Rule) A person is damaged if he/she has pain & suffering and lost wages. Roberts v. Perez, 802 NY2d 787 (1999) [Discuss]
(Application) Here, Ms. Brown was hospitalized for one month and could not work for six months
(Conclusion) Ms. Brown sustained damages
Grant’s Grocery will probably be found liable because it breached its duty of care which was owed to Ms. Brown and as a result of the breach, she suffered injury and sustained damages.
Settlement negotiations are strongly suggested in this case.
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