Court observation paper
Court observation paper
What courthouse did you attend?
King County Superior Court Seattle
What date(s) did you attend?
February 17, 2015
Berns, Elizabeth – Jeremy v. Crimston.
What type of proceeding was it (criminal or civil)?
What was the subject of the case (e.g. murder, personal injury, divorce, assault, etc.)?
1. Breach of Contract. Jeremy v. Crimston
What stage of the proceeding did you observe (direct testimony, cross-examination, voir dire, etc.)?
1. Trial. Jeremy v. Crimston.
Students are attending court cases often expand their knowledge on how different cases are handled by the judges. It also helps students to determine the various types of cases that are usually in the courts and their proceedings. Attending a court case demands knowledge of the overall proceedings because of the tight regulations that are often put in the courts. Most individuals have decided to take up jobs in the courtroom as clerks or judges simply from attending different cases that do not concern them.
One civil case at King County Superior Court in Seattle involved Jeremy v. Crimston. The case was in the trial stage, and the Jury had the opportunity to collect the evidence at hand and make a judgment. The situation was in court pertained to issues of breach of contract, where one member does not fulfill his part of the bargain. The trial judge Berns Elizabeth was present in the morning from 9.00 AM to deliver her judgment on the case at hand. After calling the case from the files, which were handed to her by the clerk the plaintiff and defendant stood to continue with the proceedings of the day.
According to the proceedings, Jeremy’s leg was burnt with an oven when he was a young boy back in their home in Seattle. Crimston who was by the time a medical doctor from California was a friend to the Jeremy’s mother. Crimston on one of his visits to their home looked at the scars on the feet of Jeremy and promised to make them heal within a short period after some medical attention. Jeremy loved football, and in his youthful years he feared playing his favorite game because of the scars he had. It was after his high school years, after years of the accident.
Jeremy’s mother thought that this was a good idea and decided to inform Crimston to remove the scars through a surgery process of grafting that was to cost the family some amount of money. After the agreement, the doctor promised the family and Jeremy that he was going to heal fully from the scars and lead a normal life. The grafting procedure that the doctor used was not familiar to him, and this made it hard for the problem to be solved fully. After using a skin from the chest region of Jeremy, hair grew around his foot, and this made both Jeremy. The family bitter about the issue leading their desire to use the court process to solve the case.
Apparently, Crimston was not familiar with the process of grafting, and this led to the thick hairy region on the foot of Jeremy. Later, after periods of intervening the family sued the doctor under breach of contract from the pain of surgery and the damage that has been already caused to the hand of Jeremy. After the case hearing, the case went on trial where witnesses were called on the stand, and the doctor was made to pay for the damages caused to Jeremy and the pain that was witnessed by his family.
The matter before the court was what kind of damages Jeremy should be awarded due to the loss and pain he incurred. The court ruled that the total amount of payable damages was to be equal to the promised guarantee of full healing and what he eventually received from the treatment. Jeremy did not receive full healing as promised by a thick hairy region that was not promised by the doctor prior to the operation in the hospital.
The case was placed under expectation interest which usually places the plaintiff in an equal position if the contract was not breached in the first place. The court, however, dismissed damages on the pain as it held that the suffering caused as a result of pain was not easily eradicated as it is usually the norm during any surgery process.
Accordingly, the case was seen out of the principle of expectation as there were many other measures that would have occurred in the event of the surgery. Another damage that was identified was the total cost to be used in case the leg was to be fixed again by a different doctor. The court later found out that another measure was what Jeremy received as opposed to what he expected to have after the final completion of the surgery.
According to the mother of the child, the doctor had promised full recovery that he never did. The mother was a witness and was able to narrate the whole story to the court without any fault. Her information was clear as she provided both dates and time where Crimston met them and informed them of the issues of healing Jeremy. Being the parent to Jeremy it is possible for the mother to take sides and ensure that her son is paid for damages. The lawyer representing the family cross-examined the doctor with different questions that later indicated he was wrong because he promised full recovery whereas he was not able to heal Jeremy fully as required.
During the proceedings of the case, the jury was ready with her files that were presented to her by the court clerk. She was able to go through previous mentions and ready to hear what the two groups had to say in accordance to the stated case. The courtroom was quiet, and everybody was eager to know the verdict of the court. It was clear from the faces that there were some people who had come to stand together with Jeremy, and this was also true for Crimston. Both groups must have anticipated a win on the part of the person they came to represent during this proceeding. When the court opened its operations, it was clear that there were some people who were murmuring perhaps getting to ask their colleagues what had transpired during this period.
The verdict of the court was not the expectation of many as it is usually hard to promise full healing to an individual more so when going for surgery. It is vital to note that most people who visit hospitals for treatment often go there optimistic that they will receive their healing, but this is never guaranteed. Since no proof was provided in court about the issue of guarantee of the healing process, it should have been the prerogative of the court to be lenient to the doctor and provide a lesser charge other than paying for the difference of healing which is never guaranteed in any surgery or treatment process.
Breach of contract case usually involves damages that are under expectation or dependence. This enables the judge to make comparisons of where the plaintiff would have been if the contract was not breached in the first place. It leads to the calculation of the total amount of money that should be awarded to the damages that have already been caused. The nature of the case should also be considered because the information provided by the doctor is only verbal but constitute a contract in the case. The information that the leg would heal fully becomes a binding contract between the two parties. It leads to the assumption that a breach of contract is breached under the affirmation made by the doctor. The damages should have been made on the condition that the leg is not fully healed as promised by the doctor.
Conditions found in Restatement Sections 2 and 4 confirm that all lawyers and judges should be informed about the available principles of contract law. It is one of the commonly used legal papers that are often used among various courts in the US and the world over. It is an authority that is not binding in the field of contracts.
It later emerged that a supreme court overruled the judgment and confirmed that they were not correct. The Supreme Court held that in accordance to the law of contract the evidence presented before the court would be better if an amount was stated to cover for another surgery to ensure full recovery of the leg. The court did this after careful follow-up on the issues of contract breach. The measure was also set at the value of the contract as it was and as it was broken by the doctor. Through the expectation damages rule judges currently are not sure of the total amount of damage or pay that should be placed on suffering and pain when there are issues of breaching a contract.
The expectation of damages according to the rule of law is all the damages that occur as a result of breach on a contract, and this is usually placed on the party that was to ensure full follow-up of a contract. The expectation of damages provides an award to the person who is injured and not provided for the provisions promised in the contract. The main purpose of this scenario is to place the non-breaching party in the same position as the situation created.
In conclusion, the issues surrounding breach of contract and expectation of damages require that two parties that have reached an agreement continue to provide the desired promise to the satisfaction of the one being promised. Failure to which the aggrieved party should be provided with an award that puts them in the same position they should have been if the contract became reality. Such instances require that when people make promises they should always try and fulfill them to the best of their ability. This will make them stand strong in the case of any breach of contract issue.