Problem 1

Guy Mackendrick was injured while attending a party at the office of Sterling Cooper, P.C., a New York advertising agency that handles advertising for Mackendrick’s business. During the party, a Sterling Cooper employee named Lois Sadler, who was drunk, drove over Mackendrick’s foot with a John Deere riding lawnmower.

As a result of this incident, Mackendrick has lost all of the toes on his left foot. He will require reconstructive surgery and extensive physical therapy. He has also experienced recurring nightmares about the incident, and has developed a morbid fear of garden tools, leaving him unable to enjoy his previous hobby of gardening.

Mackendrick hires you to represent him in a suit over his injury. Draft a complaint (using this form) asserting the following claims:

a. A claim against Sadler for her negligence in operating the mower.

b. A claim against Sterling Cooper seeking to hold them vicariously liable for Sadler’s negligence.

What are the elements of each claim? What additional facts, if any, might you need to satisfy the pleading requirements under the FRCP?

Problem 2

After working at the Sterling Cooper advertising agency for about 18 months, Peggy Olson was very much surprised when her boss, Don Draper, called her into his office and told her she was being fired for poor performance. Olson believes the real reason was her rejection of Don’s repeated and unwelcome advances.

Olson sues Sterling Cooper in federal court, asserting a claim for wrongful termination in breach of her employment contract. Assume that the court has personal and subject matter jurisdiction.

Olson’s complaint includes the following allegations:

  1. Olson entered into a contract of employment with Sterling Cooper on January 1, 2018.

  2. Olson’s contract provides that she is to be employed by Sterling Cooper for a term of three years.

  3. Olson’s contract further provides that, during the stated term of employment, Sterling Cooper may not terminate her employment without cause, and that “cause for termination includes, but is not limited to, employee misconduct, dishonesty, or unsatisfactory performance of assigned duties.”

  4. On July 30, 2019, Don Draper, managing director of Sterling Cooper and Olson’s immediate supervisor, called Olson into his office. Draper told Olson, “Peggy, you’re fired,” and handed her a letter stating that her employment was terminated effective immediately. The letter did not identify a reason for the termination of Olson’s employment.

  5. Before leaving Draper’s office, Olson asked why she was being fired. Draper told Olson, “I don’t have to give you a reason.” When Olson pressed further, Draper then told her, “I’m not satisfied with your performance. Leave my office, pack your things, and get out of here.”

  6. Prior to her conversation with Draper on the day she was fired, Olson had received only favorable employment reviews, and had received no complaints about her work performance. To the contrary, Olson received a substantial merit-based bonus in December 2018, based on her performance in the previous year. In February 2019, Draper told Olson, “I’ve got my eye on you. If you play your cards right, you will have a bright future at this place.”

  7. Defendant fired Olson without cause, in breach of her employment contract.

  8. As a proximate and foreseeable result of Defendant’s breach, Olson has suffered financial damages and severe emotional distress.

Under Hudson state law, the elements of a claim for wrongful termination in breach of an employment contract are as follows:

Sterling Cooper moves to dismiss for failure to state a claim under FRCP Rule 12(b)(6), asserting that the allegations in the complaint are insufficient to state a claim for breach of contract.

Should the court grant the motion to dismiss?