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Justify the Conclusion. The correct answer choice is (A)
This question deals with the issue of liability for extensive damage to the Mendel’s farm. As a result of the newspaper column in which Ms. Sandstrom described a “strange natural phenomenon,” the farm had many trespassers, which the Mendels claim Sandstrom could have reasonably expected as a result of her column. The author concludes that if the Mendels are right, and the damage could have been reasonably expected, Ms. Sandstrom should pay for the damage.
The stimulus is followed by a Justify the Conclusion question, so the correct answer choice will be the one that allows the author to reasonably draw the conclusion in this scenario: If the damage could have been reasonably expected, Ms. Sandstrom should pay for this damage.
Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice; it provides a conditional rule that confirms the author’s conclusion that Ms. Sandstrom should pay for the damage to the Mendel farm. This choice provides a basic conditional rule: If a person’s actions cause others to cause damage, and one could have reasonably expected the damage to result, then one should pay for that damage. This rule can be diagrammed as follows:
- Action leads others to cause damage
damage reasonably expected
Answer choice (B): This choice has it backwards, claiming that there is liability only if there was reasonable expectation of damage:
- liability for damage reasonable expectation of damage
Answer choice (C): The author doesn’t even mention whether or not the trespassers would be willing to pay for the damage to the Mendel’s farm, so this choice is completely irrelevant to the question of liability and can be safely ruled out of contention for this Justify the Conclusion question.
Answer choice (D): The conclusion of the argument is that if Ms. Sandstrom had such a reasonable expectation, then she should pay for the damage. This choice might be enticing, because it provides that she did have such knowledge, but it doesn’t validate the conclusion that such knowledge means she should pay. Since the author’s conclusion deals with whether or not liability results in such a situation, this choice can be ruled out of contention.
Answer choice (E): The stimulus already provided that the Mendels believe Ms. Sandstrom could have reasonably expected the damage that resulted from the article’s publication. This choice neither provides new information nor justifies the author’s conclusion, so it cannot be the correct answer choice.