By way of background, the common law rule is that you cannot sue someone for causing you emotional distress unless one of three factors is present: (1) the emotional distress was intentionally caused by the person you are suing; (2) the emotional distress is associated with some physical injury; or (3) the emotional distress is so severe that it has a serious physical manifestation. An example of factor #1 would be the jilted lover who posts lies about and compromising pictures of his ex-girlfriend on Facebook with the intention of causing her emotional distress. An example of factor #2 is someone who suffers a burn as the result of someone's carelessness and sees a hideous scar every time he or she looks in the mirror. An example of #3 is a grandparent who sees a texting driver heading directly for his or her grandchild and, even though the driver corrected the error in time, is so startled that he or she has a heart attack or stroke.
Discuss the following aspects of the case:
This case involves an incident that occurred in Washington and that involves Washington law. On what basis would the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon have jurisdiction in this case?
Could the plaintiff have filed his case in the Oregon state courts? Why or why not?
Why did the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals certify the question to the Washington Supreme Court? What does the Washington Supreme Court have to do with a case filed within the borders of the state of Oregon?
Read the Oregonian article “Juries raise a digital ruckus” (https://www.oregonlive.com/washingtoncounty/2008/01/juries_raise_a_digital_ruckus.html).
Do you think that the jurors, in this case, should be commended for their willingness to seek answers to the questions that weren't answered by the attorneys and witnesses in the case, or do you feel the opposite? Why? How should courts deal with the ability that everyone now has to conduct internet research and to access social media? Tie your answer to the role of the jury in our court system. Should the traditional role change?
Common law, also known as judicial precedent, is the body of law derived from judicial decisions of courts and similar tribunals. It is characterized by the sense that it arises as precedent. In cases where the conflicting parties disagree on what the law is, a common law court looks to past precedential decisions of relevant courts