Explanations will be posted here after we complete our discussion of the materials.
In addition to doing the problems below, study the handout, Non-mutual collateral estoppel (issue preclusion)
1. Non-mutual collateral estoppel against non-litigant. Sally pays her rent 1 day late. Landlord invokes a penalty clause of her lease and sues Sally for a $100 penalty for late payment. The court holds that the penalty clause is valid. Landlord later sues Bobby for paying his rent a day late. Bobby argues that the penalty clause is invalid as against public policy; the Landlord counters that the issue of the clause’s validity was settled in the suit against Sally. Is Landlord correct?
2. Defensive non-mutual collateral estoppel. Sally pays her rent 1 day late. Landlord invokes a penalty clause of her lease and sues Sally for a $1 million penalty for late payment. After the parties vigorously litigate the issue of the penalty’s validity, the court holds that the penalty clause is invalid as against public policy. Landlord later sues Bobby for paying his rent a day late. Bobby argues that the penalty clause was shown to be invalid in the first suit. The Landlord counters that non-mutual estoppel cannot be used against him. Is Bobby correct?
3. Offensive non-mutual collateral estoppel. Paul sues D for products liability involving a computer keyboard that is alleged to cause carpal tunnel syndrome. In a special verdict, the jury finds that D is liable under a strict liability theory and awards P his sought-for damages of $100,000 for his specific injuries, which included an expensive surgery, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Penny then sues D in the same court for products liability involving the same computer keyboard for her injuries, which involved some physical therapy and lost work time, totaling around $10,000. Penny argues that liability and damages are established by offensive non-mutual collateral estoppel. Is she correct?
Updated Apr. 24, 2015 (fixing link)