Mason Stone has come to your firm in a panic–he has been sued. He bought a large crane last year from a very nice businessman, Slick Stan. Slick Stan had parked the crane on Environmental Erin’s land, without permission. When Erin learned the crane was parked on her land, she was furious, as the land was virgin land, which she was going to use as a Nature Preserve. She expected to sell the Nature Preserve for over a million dollars. After the deadline to move the crane had passed, Erin went to check her land. She was thrilled that the crane was no longer on her property, but astonished to see that it had leaked several gallons of oil and other fluid, ruining her land. Erin questioned Slick Stan about the oil–he said he knew nothing about it. Erin wasn’t sure who caused the oil spill–Slick Stan, or your client, Mason Stone when he was removing the crane after purchasing it. Therefore, she has sued both Mr. Stone and Slick Stan, for negligence in damaging her property.
Mason Stone has come to the firm searching for help, as he is certain the oil was already spilled all over the land when he purchased the crane. He recalls seeing the puddle when he went to look at the crane before he purchased it. He has asked your firm for advice. What advice should your supervising attorney give Mason? Since he did not cause the spill, can he just ignore the Complaint against him? How long under your home state’s rules would he have to file a crossclaim? What does a crossclaim entail? Who should he file the crossclaim against? If Mason files a crossclaim, does he still have to answer the complaint? Mason is furious with Slick Stan, as he has now learned that the crane is inoperable due to the oil leak. Can Mason include his claims related to the broken machinery against Stan in his crossclaim? Why or why not?
Your assignment should be in memorandum format to your supervising attorney, Jack Crackle. It should be 2-3 pages in length, and cite to appropriate legal resources, statutes, and/or case law.