Questions related to the tort of negligence.

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(A) This question is related to the tort of negligence.

There are three elements that must be present for an act or omission to be negligent; (1) The defendant owed a duty of care towards the plaintiff; (2) The defendant breached the duty of care by an act or omission; (3) The plaintiff must suffer damage as a result - be it physical, emotional or financial.

The court might decide that Freddy (the plaintiff) was owed a duty of care by Elvis (the defendant) if they find that what happened to Freddy was in the realm of reasonable forseeability - any harm that could be caused to a 'neighbour' by Elvis' actions that he could reasonably have expected to happen. The 'neighbour principle' was established in the case of Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932). Donoghue was bought a ginger beer by her friend from an ice-cream parlour. She discovered a partially decomposed snail inside the opaque bottle. She claimed that she suffered from gastro-enteritis and nervous shock as a result, and sued the manufacturer. She could not sue for breach of contract (the contract being that the manufacturer would provide the consumer with products that would not harm her) because her friend had purchased it for her, so she sued for negligence. Lord Atkinson, who was the judge at the trial, said the case hinged on the question, do the manufacturers owe the consumer, as well as the buyer (the parlour), a duty of care? Is the plaintiff the defendant's 'neighbour', to whom the plaintiff owed a duty of care? Lord Atkinson said that a neighbour is anyone that you might closely and directly affect by your actions. So it was established that the manufacturer did owe a duty of care to Mrs. Donoghue, in that it was up to them to make sure that snails did not get into their bottles of ginger beer, as it directly affected Mrs. Donoghue's well-being.
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From this legal precedent, I would say that Elvis harmed his neighbour, Freddy, negligently, because he did closely and directly affect his well-being by not taking into account what might reasonably happen when he carelessly dropped some bricks.

(B) This case relates to negligence (as defined above) and the principle of Res Ipsa Loquitur - the facts speak for themselves.

In cases involving proven Res Ipsa Loquitur, the burden to show that the defendant was negligent (or whatever the tort may be) by the plaintiff shifts to the defendant, who must prove that there is another ...

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Written moderately well. The student should consider the problem of intentional torts committed by employees, and how this impacts on the rationale of vicarious liability, in more depth. 3 Stars.