Negligence - In a case of negligence there are four...

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In a case of negligence, there are four elements that a plaintiff must prove: duty, breach, causation and harm (Twomey & Jennings, 2014). Regarding the first element (duty) the plaintiff in our case, Ms. Jones, must prove that the defendant (TWS) owed a duty to Ms. Jones to exercise due care. Per common law, as a business TWS owes a duty of due care to customers who are on their premises. While TWS does employ a cleaning company that cleans at certain times of the day, TWS still has a duty to use reasonable care to keep its premises safe for customers (Anjou v. Boston Elevated Railway Company). Ms. Jones’ fall happened approximately two and one half hours after the cleaning company was schedule to clean and it happened at the entrance of the store, a heavily traveled area. Regarding the second element (breach), Ms. Jones must prove that TWS breached its duty by application of the reasonable person standard (Twomey & Jennings, 2014). The duty to use reasonable care to keep its premises safe also includes a duty to observe and remove objects which might interfere with customer safety. The banana peel was brown and squished, which may mean that it was not recently dropped and may be an indication it had been on the ground for a period of time prior to Ms. Jones slipping on it. In a similar case the element of “constructive notice” was a deciding factor as the court’s decision (Joye v. The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company) was that the supermarket in that case did not have actual notice of a banana peel on the ground. In our case there are twenty employees who work inside of the store and while Ms. Jones entered at a time when the store was not busy, the banana peel was located just outside the entrance. The next element needed to prove a case of negligence is causation; Ms. Jones must prove that there is a connection between the duty of TWS and its breach of that duty that caused her injuries. If we use the “but for’ test (Twomey & Jennings, 2014), it could be said that but for the banana peel lying on the ground outside the entrance, Ms. Jones would not have been injured. Ms. Jones must prove that the negligent act by TWS of leaving the banana peel lying on the ground was the proximate cause of her injuries. In our case causation becomes problematic. Ms. Jones suffered similar soft tissue injuries to her back approximately six months ago and while she underwent physical therapy, she still complained of aches and pains. Ms. Jones will need to provide medical evidence that the injuries she sustained in her slip and subsequent fall on the banana peel were a direct result of that fall.
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Finally, Ms. Jones will need to establish the actual losses caused by TWS’s breach of duty of care. If she proves that TWS was negligent, she would be entitled to monetary compensation for mental anguish, physical impairment, medical care and loss of earning capacity (Twomey & Jennings, 2014). In some cases punitive damages are awarded, but only if the defendant was outrageously careless or if the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious.
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