Douglas Margreiter was severely injured in New Orleans on the night of April 6, 1976

Chapter 9 Questions 2, 3, 6

2. Douglas Margreiter was severely injured in New Orleans on the night of April 6, 1976. He was the chief of the pharmacy section of the Colorado Department of Social Services and was in NewOrleans to attend the annual meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association. On Tuesday evening, April 6, Mr. Margreiter had dinner at the Royal Sonesta Hotel with two associates from Colorado who were attending the meeting and were staying in rooms adjacent to Mr. Margreiter’s in the New Hotel Monteleone. Mr. Margreiter returned to his room between 10:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.; one of his friends returned to his adjoining room at the same time. Another friend was to come by Mr. Margreiter’s room later to discuss what sessions of the meetings each would attend the next day. About three hours later, Mr. Margreiter was found severely beaten and unconscious in a parking lot three blocks from the Monteleone. The police who found him said they thought he was highly intoxicated, and they took him to Charity Hospital. His friends later had him moved to the Hotel Dieu. Mr. Margreiter said two men had unlocked his hotel room door and entered his room. He was beaten about the head and shoulders and had only the recollection of being carried to a dark alley. He required a craniotomy and other medical treatment and suffered permanent effects from the incident. Mr. Margreiter sued the hotel on grounds that the hotel was negligent in not controlling access to elevators and hence to the guests’ rooms. The hotel says Mr. Margreiter was intoxicated and met his fate outside the hotel. [Margreiter v New Hotel Monteleone, 640 F.2d 508 (5th Cir. 1981)]

Is the hotel liable?

3. Rhodes tripped over a hospital cord while visiting a patient in the Detroit Medical Center. She fell and was injured. She filed suit against the hospital for negligence in the condition of its premises. The cord was black and the floor was gray. [Rhodes v Detroit Medical Center, 2006 WL 355249 (C.A. Mich. 2006)]

Should she be able to recover from the hospital?

Ads on Times Square that feature well-known personalities clad in brand-name items are not unusual. However, the building-size photo of President Obama in a Weatherproof Garment Company jacket in an ad touting the company’s apparel was out of the ordinary. The ad caught the attention of more than the millions filing through the public square. The office of White House Counsel also took note. “The White House has a long- standing policy disapproving of theuse of the president’s name and likeness for commercial purposes.” Mr. Obama had not granted permission for use of his photo. The photo used in the ad was one taken while the president was at the Great Wall of China in November. Freddie Stollmack, president of Weatherproof Garment Company, spotted the photo in the news and, using a magnifying glass, was able to identify the company’s logo and zipper. The company did pay the licensing fees for use of the photo, one taken by the Associated Press (AP). AP, however, noted that it is the user’s responsibility to obtain permission and clearances for how the photo is used. The New York Times, the New York Post, and Women’s Wear Daily turned down the presidential ads Weatherproof had tried to place with them. Weatherproof is known for its publicity-grabbing advertising techniques. In 2008, it issued a press release touting its unique approach of running the shortest ads on the Super Bowl—two seconds. A later press release confirmed that no ad would be run because two-second ads are not available during the Super Bowl. In 2006, Weatherproof photographed company representatives putting a coat on the Naked Cowboy, a well-known street performer in New York City. The White House legal counsel had its hands full with ads because during the week prior to the jacket hoopla, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ran an anti-fur ad that featured Michelle Obama on billboards in the Washington, D.C., area. Mrs. Obama had also not given permission. The White House did contact PETA about the ad but did not discuss whether the parties had reached a resolution.

What are the rights of those whose images or like- nesses are used for commercial purposes without their permission? Is there something different about public figures? What about First Amendment issues? Could Weatherproof argue that it was simply revealing what type of coat the president was wearing, just as news- papers reveal which designers the First Lady uses for her wardrobe? Evaluate the ethics of PETA and Weatherproof in their use of the First Family’s images. (Stephanie Clifford, “A Coat Endorsed by the President? The White House Says No, “New York Times, January 7, 2009, p. B3.)

Chapter 10 Questions 2, 4, 6

2. Under a 2007 mandate from Congress, the Army Corps of Engineers conducted a two-year study, called the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study, of the problem of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes via Chicago’s web of waterways. Asian carp are known as a “nuisance species” that quickly gobbles up the plankton, thereby threatening the food source of the sport fish in the lakes. Conservation groups want the Corps to block the access ways as quickly as possible, but sports fishers and commercial shipping companies worry that the impact of blocking the flow of the waterways will have on the lakes. The Corps’ 210-page study estimates the cost of blocking the waterways at $18 billion.

Explain what needs to be done under these circumstances and how the Corps should proceed. (Michael Wines, “$18 Billion Price Put on Effort to Block Carp. “New York Times, January 7, 2014, p. A10.)

4. In 1985, Manufacturers National Bank of Detroit issued a letter of credit for Z&Z Leasing, Inc., an industrial firm, to enable Z&Z to obtain bond financing from Canton Township, Michigan. After six years of operation, Z&Z was not doing well and had defaulted on its bond obligations. A consultant for the bank found underground storage tanks on Z&Z’s site. The tanks contained a yellowish liquid that was found to be a solvent and a hazardous substance. The bank paid off the Canton township bond obligation and foreclosed on the Z&Z property. By 1993, Z&Z had still not sold the property, and the EPA sought to hold the bank liable as an operator for the costs of cleaning up the tanks.

Can the bank be held liable? [Z&Z Leasing, Inc. v Graying Reel, Inc., 873 F. Supp. 51 (E.D. Mich. 1995)]

6. Joseph Marcantuone and Robert Gieson owned a shopping center in which one of the spaces was always leased as a dry cleaners. Eventually, the city of East Orange, New Jersey, took the property by eminent domain in order to expand the facilities for a school located next to the shopping center. In performing due diligence, the city learned that solvents from the dry cleaner operations had made their way into the soil beneath the property. The city asked that Messrs. Marcantuone and Gieson pay over $200,000 for the cleanup.

Can they be held liable for what the dry cleaner tenants did? [New Jerseys Schools Development Authority v Marcantuone, 54 A.3d 830 (N.J.Super. 2012)]

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