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Issue did the council owe a duty to use statutory

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Issue: Did the council owe a duty to use statutory powers? HELD: DOC to use statutory powers. Duty owed to Day’s NOT the tenant. Reasonably foreseeable . No unreasonable interference with autonomy to check. Vulnerable plaintiff – Tennant could have checked himself/Day’s vulnerable. Brennan: Can be DOC held against public authority where it is irrational not to act and it is a case of protecting a person or class of people. Irrational = a reasonable person would think failure to act as capricious, inexcusable bureaucratic inefficiency . Brennan: D was in control to an extent in the situation. Misfeasance NOT nonfeasance = they had already started acting.
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Special Relationship Between P and D Teacher/School and Pupils 21 Graham v Barclay Oysters v Ryan (2002) FACTS: Large group of people in NSW who ate oysters from Council area got hepatitis A. They sued the oyster growers, distributors, NSW and the Council . Council knew about septic tank use and had power to tell people to empty tanks to stop leakage into waterways. Council had limited resources so chose not to do this. Cleaning process for oysters was only available to the growers and distributors. HELD: Gummo & Hayne: Main reason why there shouldn’t be a duty = control . The council wasn’t REALLY in control of the risk to oyster eaters. Risk falls into the control of the growers and distributors (those closest to the oysters). Unreasonable to put all liability onto council. McHugh J: More likely that law will impose affirmative duty where the power invested is to protect the community from a particular risk and the authority is aware of a specific risk to a specific individual . Glesson J: Specific purpose of act was not to protect oyster eaters from hepatitis A. Geyer v Downs (1977) FACTS: 8 yr old girl was injured at school by softball bat in unsupervised playground at 8:50am – class started at 9:30, playground supervised from 9.00. Gates opened between 8 and 8:15. At this time there would be at least 100 kids in the playground. Rule was made that there should be no playing before 9:00. Kid sued school and headmaster. Defendant argued timing issue – principal didn’t have power to make teachers work before this time. HELD: DOC Assumption of care and control by opening the gates. Shouldn’t open gates until you can supervise. Knew kids were there and that there was a risk of injury – hence the rule. Usually hard to prove causation but on these facts it was proved.
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Parents and Children Prisoner Authorities/Prisoners NB: Employers/employees, doctor/patient (clear duty if asked for help), carrier/passenger, hotelier/patron, bailee/bailor of goods. Special Relationship Between D and 3 rd Party Who Causes Damage or Loss to Plaintiff - Obligation to step in to prevent 3 rd party from hurting the plaintiff in some occasional circumstances.
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