Depue v. Flateau

The judges state the facts of this case are unique.  Therefore, there is not a standard solution, and the judges cannot resort to a deductive way to resolve it.  It will be judged inductively based on the weight of its arguments.

1. Good Samaritan

a. In most circumstances, a person is not required to help one who is in distress.

Therefore, Flateau was not automatically required to help Mr. Depue.

2. Contractual relationship

a. A person is legally obliged to help another person if there is a relationship between the two (typically contractual or familial) which requires said help.

b. Mr. Flateau had a business relationship with Mr. Depue, and Mr. Depue came to Mr. Flateau’s house to partake in commerce.
c. However, Flateau was not contractually obligated to keep Depue in his house.

Therefore, Flateau’s and Depue’s relationship is a factor in this case, but it is not the deciding factor.

3. Hospitality

a. The owner of a location is responsible for the safety of his guests.

b. Mr. Flateau invited Mr. Depue to stay with him for dinner.

c. Mr. Flateau voluntarily detained Mr. Depue longer than was planned.

Therefore, Mr. Flateau was responsible for making sure this invitation did not lead to mischief for Mr. Depue.

4. Negligence

a. A person is legally responsible if he is placed in a situation in which his own negligence harms another person.  This principle is not limited to contractual relations.

b. Mr. Depue became sick while he was Mr. Flataeu’s guest.

c. Further investigation will determine whether the Flateaus were sufficiently aware of Depue’s condition.  If so, Depue would become their ward.

Therefore, if this argument is verified, it will likely render Flateau liable.

5. Ability to Help

a. A person’s liability is mitigated if he does not have the wherewithal to help another.

b. Another jury will determine which the Flateuas had such ability.

Therefore, evidence could substantiate or eliminate with the Flateaus’ best excuse.

The arguments presented seem to favor Mr. Depue, but we must consult another jury to determine more facts about the events.  In any case, the defendant’s call to abandon the case is rejected.

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