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University Degree: Tort Law

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  1. Outline the elements of the tort of negligence.

    Young (1943) and King v. Phillips (1953) both these cases established that the duty of care must be "foreseeable". It would be unreasonable and unjust to hold someone responsible for something that was unexpected, or of a freak nature. In recent years the duty of care has been furthered by the courts in Caparo Industries plc v. Dickman (1990). Which established the criterion that the claimant must be 'proximate' to the act that caused damage, Boardman v. Sanderson (1964), the act must also be 'foreseeable', and the pursuance of the case must be "just and reasonable."

    • Word count: 1255
  2. Causation may be broken by a supervening act. To what degree does a supervening act have to be to break the chain of causation?

    However, common sense must be used when assessing it. Knightley v Johns [1982] 1 WLR 349 The 1st Defendant negligently caused a car accident at the opening of a tunnel. The 2nd Defendant was a copper in charge at the scene. He's negligently forgotten to close the tunnel, and so sent the Plaintiff to go and close it. Whilst driving down the tunnel, he was hit by another car. He claimed that the 1st Defendant was more to blame. It was said that the chain of causation had been broken by a negligent act (i.e. that of the 2nd Defendant).

    • Word count: 1379
  3. For liability to be established one of the principle elements is that of whether a duty of care was owed by the defendant to the claimant, such as in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] A.C. 562.

    has been created by the Road Traffic Act 1988, by virtue of s 149, which bars any possible waiver of liability towards a passenger. However Julia only suffers minor injuries in the accident itself, so she may not wish to sue Bob, due to the cost of litigation. It could be said that Stan, the landlord of the pub, could have easily acted to prevent Bob and Julia driving home that night - Does Stan owe them both a duty of care?

    • Word count: 1686
  4. Negligence Problem Question - a fire at Amber Valley School damages Mark's property.

    The leading case, Smith v Littlewoods Organisation Ltd[3] has similar facts with the above statement. According to the Law lords, it is a matter of knowledge. Where the defendant has knowledge or means of knowledge that a third party has created or is creating the risk of fire, or indeed has started a fire, on his premises, and then fails to take reasonable steps to prevent any such fire from damaging neighbouring property, he may be liable for the damage.[4] In Smith, it was held that the occurrence of such behaviour was not reasonably foreseeable by Littlewoods because they had no knowledge of the wrongdoings at all as the observers did not inform either Littlewoods or the police.

    • Word count: 4710
  5. Given the difficulties in understanding and applying the tests for establishing novel duties of care in Caparo v Dickman, would it be better to return to the test set out in Anns?

    be a methodical approach in finding novel duties, the notions of foreseeability, proximity and fairness are very vague and abstract concepts which are incapable of giving explicit guidance to judges as to how these requirements can be satisfied. For instance, it does not tell the courts what facts need to be established for a given legal claim to arise. Lord Roskill referred the three requirements in Caparo as ?labels or phrases descriptive of the very different factual situations which can exist in particular cases?.[2] Due to the fact that the three stages are not capable of any precise definition, it is almost impossible for the courts to apply the test in ways which seem impartial to the public and critics.

    • Word count: 1433
  6. Tort Law Essay . The purpose of this essay will be to advise on claims for nervous shock, pecuniary and nonpecuniary losses, actions upon death and also liability of public bodies.

    The defendant would remain liable by acting in way clearly dangerously and irresponsibly. Lord Lloyd in this case described a primary victim as being ?directly involved in the accident and well within the range of foreseeable physical injury?. In Simmons v. British Steel plc[4] it was similarly held that it was sufficient for a defendant to be held liable by establishing that he had exposed the victim to a foreseeable risk of injury. The case of McFarlane v. EE Caledonia Ltd[5] confirmed the fact that claims for primary victim must involve being in actual danger at the time of the

    • Word count: 2895
  7. Tort Coursework Cases -traffic accident and medical cases

    To determine whether the defendant caused the harm the ?but for? test[4] must be applied. But for Bernice?s negligent driving would Andrea have suffered two broken legs? The answer is no, however, Bernice will be able to use the defence of contributory negligence under s.1 (1) of the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945[5] which states that ?Where any person suffers damage as the result partly of his own fault and partly of the fault of any other person or persons, a claim in respect of that damage shall not be defeated...but the damages recoverable in respect thereof shall be reduced...? Andrea had failed to stop at a red light and failed to slow down in time to avoid collision with Bernice?s car therefore she contributed to the negligence.

    • Word count: 1664
  8. Discuss the justification for vicarious liability and whether the recent developments in case law have overcome the limitations in vicarious liability in modern conditions.

    However, the doctrine of VL is a form of strict liability and has the repercussions of placing undue burdens on businesses with negative economic impacts while distorting the ideas of corrective justice. Secondly, it gives effect to the principle of loss distribution so that claimant is able to obtain compensation from a party who has the funds to actually pay. The rationale is that since the employers benefit from the work of their employees and ought to be liable for any damage the employee may have caused in his performance.

    • Word count: 2250
  9. Tort Law Case. It could be argued that in fact both Northwood County Council and the NHS trust could be liable in failing to prevent the negligence that occurred

    as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question.? In affect if the principle was Donoghue v Stevenson was to be taken alone then yes both Northwood County Council and the NHS trust would be liable, because Sophie is both of their neighbours and as she is an employee they owe her a duty of care. Although the case of Donoghue v Stevenson alone is merely not enough, the principle towards duty of care was furthered in the care of Caparo Industries Plc v Dickman[3].

    • Word count: 2523
  10. LLB CASE ANALYSIS (Law of Contract and Law of Tort)

    This case was overruled by the Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd (The Wagon Mound) v Morts Dock & Engineering Co. Ltd[5], whereby the test of foreseeability was introduced. In this case the defendant?s vessel leaked oil in the wharf where it was moored; some cotton debris became embroiled in the oil, which when sparked resulted in a fire that caused extensive damage to the wharf and some vessels. The judgement of the case departed from the previous precedent. It was held that ?there is no actionable breach of duty unless it can be shown that at the time of the act

    • Word count: 3010
  11. McLoughlin v OBrian [1983] AC 410, per Lord Bridge, at 441. Discuss the above statement of Lord Bridge in the context of subsequent developments in the law relating to compensation for psychiatric injury, caused by the negligent actions of a tortfeasor.

    This essay sets out to critically examine the current law of psychiatric injury. Then, it will turn to discuss and analyse the unsatisfactory of the Alcock mechanisms, which designed to narrow the number of claims. Afterwards, it shall aim to find out how the problems in Alcock extend to some special categories of claimants such as rescuers and bystanders. In concluding the purpose will be to expand on what can be done to resolve the matter and whether it is worth alleviating.

    • Word count: 4355
  12. Duty of Care Case Study.

    as can be illustrated in the case Donoghue v Stevenson 1932. For a negligence claim to be upheld there must be a breach in the duty of care, reasonable foreseeability, a degree of proximity between the defendant and the claimant and it must be fair, just and reasonable to impose such liability. This is illustrated in the case of Caparo Industries plc v Dickman 1990. It does not appear to be the case the Charles was driving recklessly or carelessly as he was driving ?below the speed limit? when Dan appeared on the road.

    • Word count: 1044
  13. Contract and Negligence Case law assignment.

    Vicarious Liability Vicarious liability can be defined to be a ?situation where someone is held responsible for the actions or omissions of another person? Acas (2009). Taking into consideration the business context, it can be perceived that an employer can be held responsible for the errors of its employees; provided that it can be evidenced that the laxity was committed in the course of employment. Elaborating on this further, in other words; vicarious liability can be referred to employee negligence at work.

    • Word count: 2144
  14. Tort law. In order to pursue a successful claim of negligence, The claimant must be able to prove the three elements.

    Receives a restricted reply. You must take reasonable care to avoids acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbor. Who then, in law is my neighbor? The persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to acts or omission which are called in question.? Lord Atkins neighbor principle as been used in a number of cases such as, Anns v Merton London borough Council [1978] AC 782, Caparo Industries plc v Dickman [1990] 1 AII ER

    • Word count: 2199
  15. In order to determine whether the claimant Kevin has any possible tort of negligence claim against the defendants; Miss Harriet, James and Lily, we must first establish whether there was a duty of care owed

    In this situation because Miss Harriet is Kevin?s teacher, thus responsible for ensuring the safety of her students, there is a strong proximity between the two parties and therefore duty of care is affective. Moreover, we must verify whether a breach of the duty of care has occurred, i.e. the facts of the case and determining what actually happened. ?Establishing breach of duty involves showing that the defendant?s conduct has fallen below the standard of care...the standard set by law is one of ?reasonableness?.[3] In aiming to advise Kevin, it is vital to make reference to the objective nature of the ?reasonable person test? as illustrated by Lord Macmillan in the case of Glasgow Corporation v.

    • Word count: 1743
  16. Duty of care and economic loss - major cases.

    v. Foot and Mouth Disease Research Institute [1966] 1 QB 569. The defendants occupied premises where they carried out experimental work in connection with foot and mouth disease. Cattle in the are became infected with foot and mouth disease and, as a result, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food made an order closing two markets. The claimants were auctioneers who were unable to auction cattle at those markets during the closure. There action against the defendants was for loss of business. Widgery J held that the claimants were not owed a duty of care.

    • Word count: 2388
  17. Under what circumstances can an employer be held vicariously liable for the torts committed by his/her employees? Why should one person be held liable for the tortious acts of another?

    One of the most popular methods was to look at the degree of control exercised over that person?s work by the supposed employer. If a person was told not only what job to do, but also the way in which to do it, then he/she was regarded as an employee. (in a factory, for example, a staff member working full-time helping to produce the goods the company sells). Another alternative was the integrative test, according to which a person would be an employee if their work was an integral part of the business.

    • Word count: 1311
  18. Economic Loss Problem Question. Jessica is unable to do any sewing for several weeks, and consequently receives no money from Fast Clothing.

    The papers were prepared by AHR Auditors for a private client interested in taking over Total Investments. Jessica decides that Total Investments looks like a good investment to assist her in running her business and buys several shares in it. She successfully obtains a loan from her bank. During the same period, Jessica has earmarked premises from which to run her business. She approaches Creditwise Mortgage Company for a mortgage to buy the premises. Creditwise Mortgage Company appoints Stephen, a valuer, to conduct a survey of the premises.

    • Word count: 2639
  19. Liability Without Fault

    Cases are contested strenuously by the insurance companies raising all sorts of technical objections for minimizing their own liability. The net result is that proceedings of these bleeding cases drag on for years and any award is passed by the Claims Tribunals. Not only this, often the time consuming and costly litigation makes the award of compensation, if and when made, virtually meaningless. The Law Commission in its 85th report made many efforts to see that the remedies must be found out to minimize the litigation and the poor victims should be able to get compensation at the earliest without facing much of technical objections raised by the insurance companies and the owners of the offending vehicles[1].

    • Word count: 4511
  20. Defamation Law: A Comparative Study of the US and the UK

    Ct.) ________________ ________________ Gertz v Robert Welch Inc, 418 US 323 (1974) (United States Supreme Court) ________________ ________________ Global Green v CBS inc., 286 F 3d 281(United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.) ________________ ________________ Greenbelt Cooperative Publishing Ass?n v Bressler. 398 U.S. 6 (1970) (United States Supreme Court) ________________ ________________ Karaduman v. Newsday, Inc. , 51 N.Y.2d 531, 554 (1980) (New York Supreme Court) ________________ ________________ Lehman v. Discovery Communications, Inc. , 332 F.Supp.2d 534, 539 (United States District Court, E.D. New York.) ________________ ________________ New York Times Co. v Sullivan, 376 US 254,270(1964) (United States Supreme Court). ________________ ________________ Ollman v Evans, 471 U.S. 1127 (1985) (United States Supreme Court)

    • Word count: 5749
  21. How courts determine causation

    Causation is fact seeks to resolve whether ?the defendant?s act (or omission) should be excluded from the events which contributed to the occurrence of the claimant?s loss. If causation in fact cannot be established, the case ends as there is no connection between the defendant?s action and the claimant?s loss.?3 ________________ 1 V Bermingham & C Brennan, Tort Law DIRECTIONS (1st edn, OUP 2008) 43 2 K Horsey & E Rackley, Tort Law (2nd edn, OUP 2011) 222 3 W V H Rogers, Winfield & Jolowicz on Tort (17th edn, Sweet & Maxwell Ltd 2006)

    • Word count: 2511

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