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URBN 7003: Municipal and Planning Law
Lab No. 1: Municipal Liability
The City of Nowhere has a garbage collection program that includes the collection of both recyclable materials and regular garbage. On Monday February 1st, 2009, garbage collection staff emptied the container at 34 Smith St. and placed the containers back on the curb in front of the property.
Unfortunately, this day was unusually windy in Nowhereville. Consequently, one of the empty garbage containers at 34 Smith St. went airborne as the result of the strong winds. The container was carried three blocks in the air before it landed on the windshield of a passing car. The container broke through the car windshield causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The vehicle then swerved off of the road and collided with a telephone post.
As a result of this collision, the driver, Betty Jones was seriously injured and sustained several injuries resulting in over $100,000 of medical bills and the loss of six months wages, an additional $40,000. She has also sustained long term pain and suffering injuries from the collision.
Betty Jones is now proceeding to sue the City of Nowhereville for her medical bills ($100,000); loss of wages ($40,000); and, long-term pain and suffering ($1,000,000). The total suit is then: $1,140,000.
You are the municipal lawyer for Nowhereville. As such, it is your responsibility to defend the City against the law suit of Betty Jones. Based on your knowledge of “municipal liability” you must now assess the validity of Ms. Jones law suit based on the criteria for negligence. The information you need is based on the course readings and the Week 2 Class Discussion.
Please prepare a two-page “legal opinion” on the pending law suit against the municipality using the materials covered. Your opinion must consist of a logical, well presented, legal argument with headings and professional report format and based on the criteria for municipal liability.

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