Law Contracts Case Study
Barney and his 16-year-old son BamBam are riding in Fred’s car. Fred had taken some prescription medication that morning that stated on the bottle, “Warning, may cause drowsiness.” The truck in front of them suffers a blow-out, and swerves uncontrollably. The tire remnants fly into the road and Fred swerves and hits a car to his left. He avoids hitting the truck with the blow-out but suffers damage to the left side of his car. BamBam hits his head on the side of the car, getting a concussion and permanently losing the sight in his right eye. Fred has state law required auto insurance with the minimum policy limits. Fred’s wife, Wilma, immediately calls Betty, BamBam’s mom, and apologizes when she finds out about BamBam losing his eye. Wilma says to Betty, “Please don’t worry. We will pay for anything the insurance doesn’t cover, including the loss of BamBam’s sight and anything else he needs to recover and live a normal life.” Betty sobs and says, “You are too good to us. We can’t accept that.” Wilma says, “Of course you can.” Betty cries harder and says, “Thank you so much” and hangs up.
Barney buys BamBam a new car, specially designed for people with one eye. Wilma finds out and calls Betty, asking how much the car was. Betty says they are making payments on the car of $450/month for the next 4 years. Wilma writes Betty a check for $450, and sends her one every month for the next 8 months. Eight months later, BamBam is discovered to have more damage to his head than originally thought. He loses sight in his other eye and now is totally blind. BamBam’s parents sue Fred and Wilma again for personal injury, but the case is thrown out as the first case already decided the injury case. Fred refuses to pay more to BamBam, and he takes the checkbook away from Wilma when he discovers she’s been making BamBam’s car payments. The two families stop speaking to each other.
BamBam throws away his now useless eyepatch and becomes despondent. His dreams of being a drag racer seem to be over. BamBam’s attorney refiles the case, this time on grounds that Wilma’s statement to Betty was a binding contract that requires that Wilma pay any remaining damages to BamBam, for the remainder of his life. Was Wilma’s statement a binding contract? Using the law of contracts, explain why or why not. Does BamBam’s age have anything to do with your answer? Do the car payments give Wilma a better leg to stand on in court? Explain fully your answer to these questions.