LAWS1012 assignment 1.docx - LAWS1012 Torts Assignment 1...

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LAWS1012 – Torts. Assignment 1. Tutorial Group 4 I NTRODUCTION Henry has suffered damage from being severely beaten then abandoned by Samuel. All available actions in trespass to the person are against Samuel, and they may lie in assault, battery and false imprisonment. Success in any of these claims will be governed primarily by whether the physical violations to Henry are determined to be direct rather than consequential, intentional or negligent, 1 or pure accidents. 2 However, it must first be established whether the facts constitute a highway accident, and if so, what the consequences are for Henry’s actions regarding the onus of proof. Highway Accident? A highway accident is an incident directly resulting from an inevitable risk exposed to a person or property associated with close proximity to traffic on a highway, such as a collision between a pedestrian and a motor vehicle. 3 The current facts are unlikely to be determined to meet this definition, as none of the torts can be reasonably said to be inevitable risks associated with a highway. Thus Henry only bears the onus of proof for the trespassory acts and not that Samuel was at fault. 4 The Motor Accident Compensation Act 1998 (NSW) is also unlikely to be relevant to any of Henry’s actions. Although s 3 extends the definition of a motor accident to ‘a dangerous situation caused by the driving of the motor vehicle’, 5 the only direct consequence of the driving was angering Henry, rather than the actual beating. Furthermore, it cannot apply to any actions in false imprisonment, as there was no injury suffered, which is the central element of a motor accident. 6 1 Williams v Milotin (1957) CLR 465, 474. 2 Weaver v Ward (1617) 80 ER 284. 3 Venning v Chin (1974) 10 SASR 229. 4 Platt v Nutt (1988) 12 NSWLR 231, 236-237. 5 Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1998 (NSW) s 3 6 Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1998 (NSW) s 3A. 1
LAWS1012 – Torts. Assignment 1. Tutorial Group 4 A SSAULT An assault is an act of the defendant which directly and intentionally causes the plaintiff to reasonably apprehend immediate unlawful contact to his or her person. 7 The confrontation between Samuel and Henry is clearly enough to constitute a direct act on Samuel’s part, as he became ‘irate’ from Henry’s abuse and moved to strike him, displaying the requisite subjective intent to make Henry apprehend immediate harm. 8 Any argument that Henry may not have been able to reasonably apprehend the

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