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In litigation, lawyers need to rely on case law to support the outcome they are asking the court take. Lawyers will often ?brief? a case to obtain a better understanding of the case. In other words, lawyers will use a specific format to outline the most important points in a court?s decision. This activity will also assist you in understanding the cases discussed in this class.?

Unit 1 Assignment Case Brief Template

LAW204 ? Business Law I

Olympic Airways v. Husain Case Brief

Who are the parties to the case?

What is the citation of the case?

What are the basic facts of the case?

What Dr. Hanson?s estate argue?

What did Olympic Air argue?

What did the court decide?

Did the court apply statutory law, case law or both in reaching its decision?

References

Olympic Airways v. Husain

Case Brief

Who are the parties to

the case?

What is the citation of

the case?

What are the basic facts

of the case?

What

D

r. H

anson

?s

estate argue?

What did Olympic Air

argue?

What did the court

decide?

Did the court apply

statutory law, case law

or both in reaching its

decision?

References

LAW204

?

Business Law I

Unit 1 Assignment Case Brief Template

Olympic Airways v. Husain Case Brief

Who are the parties to

the case?

What is the citation of

the case?

What are the basic facts

of the case?

What Dr. Hanson?s

estate argue?

What did Olympic Air

argue?

What did the court

decide?

Did the court apply

statutory law, case law

or both in reaching its

decision?

References

LAW204 ? Business Law I

Unit 1 Assignment Case Brief Template

The Global Business Environment


Olympic Airways v. Husain Case Brief

Just as statutes may require judicial interpretation when a dispute arises, so may treaties. The techniques that court use in interpreting treaties correspond closely to the statutory interpretation techniques discussed in this chapter. Olympic Airways v. Husain, 540 U.S. 644 (U.S. Sup. Ct. 2004), furnishes a useful example.

In Olympic Airways, the U.S. Supreme Court was faced with an interpretation question regarding a treaty, the Warsaw Convention, which deals with airlines? liability for passenger deaths or injuries on international flights. Numerous nations (including the United States) subscribe to the Warsaw Convention, a key provision of which provides that in regard to international flights, the airline ?shall be liable for damages sustained in the event of the death or wounding of a passenger or any other bodily injury suffered by a passenger, if the accident which caused the damage so sustained took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking.? A separate provision imposes limits on the amount of money damages to which a liable airline may be subjected.

The Olympic Airways case centered around the death of Dr. Abid Hanson, a severe asthmatic, on an international flight operated by Olympic. Smoking was permitted on the flight. Hanson was given a seat in the nonsmoking section, but his seat was only three rows in front of the smoking section. Because Hanson was extremely sensitive to secondhand smoke, he and his wife, Rubina Husain, requested various times that he be allowed, for health reasons, to move to a seat farther away from the smoking section. Each time, the request was denied by an Olympic flight attendant. When smoke from the smoking section began to give Hanson difficulty, he used a new inhaler and walked toward the front of the plane to get some fresher air. Hanson went into respiratory distress, whereupon his wife and a doctor who was on board gave him shots of epinephrine from an emergency kit that Hanson carried. Although the doctor administered CPR and oxygen when Hanson collapsed, Hanson died. Husain, acting as personal representative of her late husband?s estate, sued Olympic in federal court on the theory that the Warsaw Convention made Olympic liable for Hanson?s death. The federal district court and the court of appeals ruled in favor of Husain.

In considering Olympic?s appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court noted that the key issue was one of treaty interpretation: whether the flight attendant?s refusals to reseat Hanson constituted an ?accident which caused? the death of Hanson. Noting that the Warsaw Convention itself did not define ?accident? and that different dictionary definitions of ?accident?

29

exist, the Court looked to a precedent case, Air France v. Saks, 470 U.S. 392 (U.S. Sup. Ct. 1985), for guidance. In the Air France case, the Court held that the term ?accident? in the Warsaw Convention means ?an unexpected or unusual event or happening that is external to the passenger.? Applying that definition to the facts at hand, the Court concluded in Olympic Airways that the repeated refusals to reseat Hanson despite his health concerns amounted to unexpected and unusual behavior for a flight attendant. Although the refusals were not the sole reason why Hanson died (the smoke itself being a key factor), the refusals were nonetheless a significant link in the causation chain that led to Hanson?s death. Given the definition of ?accident? in the Court?s earlier precedent, the phrasing, the Warsaw Convention, and the underlying public policies supporting it, the Court concluded that the refusals to reseat Hanson constituted an ?accident? covered by the Warsaw Convention. Therefore, the Court affirmed the decision of the lower courts.

The Global Business Environment

Olympic Airways v. Husain

Case Brief

Just as statutes m

ay require judicial interpretation when a dispute arises, so may treaties. The

techniques that

court

use in interpreting treaties correspond closely to the statutory interpretation

techniques discussed in this chapter. Olympic Airways v. Husain, 540 U.S.

644 (U.S. Sup. Ct.

2004), furnishes a useful example.

In Olympic Airways, the U.S. Supreme Court was faced with an interpretation question

regarding a treaty, the Warsaw Convention, which deals with airlines? liability for passenger

deaths or injuries on

international flights. Numerous nations (including the United States)

subscribe to the Warsaw Convention, a key provision of which provides that in regard to

international flights, the airline ?shall be liable for damages sustained in the event of the deat

h or

wounding of a passenger or any other bodily injury suffered by a passenger, if the accident

which caused the damage so sustained took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of

the operations of embarking or disembarking.? A separate provi

sion imposes limits on the

amount of money damages to which a liable airline may be subjected.

The Olympic Airways case centered around the death of Dr. Abid Hanson, a severe asthmatic, on

an international flight operated by Olympic. Smoking was permitted

on the flight. Hanson was

given a seat in the nonsmoking section, but his seat was only three rows in front of the smoking

section. Because Hanson was extremely sensitive to secondhand smoke, he and his wife, Rubina

Husain, requested various times that he

be allowed, for health reasons, to move to a seat farther

away from the smoking section. Each time, the request was denied by an Olympic flight

attendant. When smoke from the smoking section began to give Hanson difficulty, he used a new

inhaler and walke

d toward the front of the plane to get some fresher air. Hanson went into

respiratory distress, whereupon his wife and a doctor who was on board gave him shots of

epinephrine from an emergency kit that Hanson carried. Although the doctor administered CPR

a

nd oxygen when Hanson collapsed, Hanson died. Husain, acting as personal representative of

her late husband?s estate, sued Olympic in federal court on the theory that the Warsaw

Convention made Olympic liable for Hanson?s death. The federal district court

and the court of

appeals ruled in favor of Husain.

In considering Olympic?s appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court noted that the key issue was one of

treaty interpretation: whether the flight attendant?s refusals to reseat Hanson constituted an

?accident which c

aused? the death of Hanson. Noting that the Warsaw Convention itself did not

define ?accident? and that different dictionary definitions of ?accident?

The Global Business Environment

Olympic Airways v. Husain Case Brief

Just as statutes may require judicial interpretation when a dispute arises, so may treaties. The

techniques that court use in interpreting treaties correspond closely to the statutory interpretation

techniques discussed in this chapter. Olympic Airways v. Husain, 540 U.S. 644 (U.S. Sup. Ct.

2004), furnishes a useful example.

In Olympic Airways, the U.S. Supreme Court was faced with an interpretation question

regarding a treaty, the Warsaw Convention, which deals with airlines? liability for passenger

deaths or injuries on international flights. Numerous nations (including the United States)

subscribe to the Warsaw Convention, a key provision of which provides that in regard to

international flights, the airline ?shall be liable for damages sustained in the event of the death or

wounding of a passenger or any other bodily injury suffered by a passenger, if the accident

which caused the damage so sustained took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of

the operations of embarking or disembarking.? A separate provision imposes limits on the

amount of money damages to which a liable airline may be subjected.

The Olympic Airways case centered around the death of Dr. Abid Hanson, a severe asthmatic, on

an international flight operated by Olympic. Smoking was permitted on the flight. Hanson was

given a seat in the nonsmoking section, but his seat was only three rows in front of the smoking

section. Because Hanson was extremely sensitive to secondhand smoke, he and his wife, Rubina

Husain, requested various times that he be allowed, for health reasons, to move to a seat farther

away from the smoking section. Each time, the request was denied by an Olympic flight

attendant. When smoke from the smoking section began to give Hanson difficulty, he used a new

inhaler and walked toward the front of the plane to get some fresher air. Hanson went into

respiratory distress, whereupon his wife and a doctor who was on board gave him shots of

epinephrine from an emergency kit that Hanson carried. Although the doctor administered CPR

and oxygen when Hanson collapsed, Hanson died. Husain, acting as personal representative of

her late husband?s estate, sued Olympic in federal court on the theory that the Warsaw

Convention made Olympic liable for Hanson?s death. The federal district court and the court of

appeals ruled in favor of Husain.

In considering Olympic?s appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court noted that the key issue was one of

treaty interpretation: whether the flight attendant?s refusals to reseat Hanson constituted an

?accident which caused? the death of Hanson. Noting that the Warsaw Convention itself did not

define ?accident? and that different dictionary definitions of ?accident?

Due Date: 11:59 p.m. EST, Sunday of Unit 1
Points: 100

Overview:

In litigation, lawyers need to rely on case law to support the outcome they are asking
the court take. Lawyers will often ?brief? a case to obtain a better understanding of the
case. In other words, lawyers will use a specific format to outline the most important
points in a court?s decision. This activity will also assist you in understanding the cases
discussed in this class.

Instructions:

? Listen to the oral arguments in the Olympic Airways v. Husain case. Read
about the case.

? Read about how to brief a case.
? Using the template provided, complete a ?brief? about the case, including the

following:
o Who are the parties to the case?
o What is the citation of the case?
o What are the basic facts of the case?
o What did Dr. Hanson?s estate argue?
o What did Olympic Air argue?
o What did the court decide?
o Did the court apply statutory law, case law or both in reaching its decision?

Requirements:

? Use APA format for non-legal sources such as the textbook. Use Bluebook
citation format for any legal citations.

o Include the resource to the case and oral arguments.
o You do not need to use any sources other than your text and the audio

recording of the oral arguments.
? Submit a Word document using the case brief template.
? Maximum two pages in length, excluding the Reference page.

Be sure to read the criteria below by which your work will be evaluated before
you write and again after you write.

LAW204 ? Business Law I

Briefing a Case

Evaluation Rubric for Briefing a Case Assignment

CRITERIA Deficient Needs
Improvement

Proficient Exemplary

0 ? 44 Points 45 ? 59 Points 60 ? 74
Points

75 Points

Case Brief Does not
concisely and
clearly answer
questions
about the
case. Case
brief is not
succinct.

Somewhat
concisely and
clearly answers
some questions
about the case.
Case brief is not
overly succinct.

Mostly
concisely,
succinctly,
and clearly
answers all
questions
about the
case.

Concisely,
succinctly, and
clearly answers
all questions
about the case.

0 ? 5 points 6 ? 7 points 8 ? 9 points 10 points
Paper Length More than 2

pages
n/a n/a 2 pages or less

0 ? 8 points 9 ? 11 points 12 ? 14
points

15 points

Clear and
Professional
Writing and
APA/Bluebook
Format

Errors impede
professional
presentation;
guidelines not
followed.

Significant errors
that do not
impede
professional
presentation.

Few errors
that do not
impede
professional
presentation.

Writing and
format are
clear,
professional,
APA/Bluebook
compliant, and
error free.

  • Overview:
  • Instructions:
  • Requirements:
  • Evaluation Rubric for Briefing a Case Assignment
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