Issue did the babysitter owe a duty of care to the

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Issue: Did the babysitter owe a duty of care to the land lord to take affirmative action to control the kids? HELD: Babysitter liable. Reasonably foreseeable that the damage would occur if she did not exercise her duty of care and control over the children. BREACH/STANDARD OF CARE Vaughn v Menlove FACTS: D built a haystack. There was a risk of spontaneous combustion if it was built wrong but he built it his own way anyway. It combusted and burnt down P’s house. HELD: Negligent. Doing your best is not enough. Objective test – reasonable person .
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NB: In cases where there is insurance, reasonable person = god-like. What Characteristics Can You Imbue Upon the Reasonable Person? Illustrative Cases: NB: This would not occur if he had been driving a car – not something a 12 yr old does cf. playing. NB: Disabilities also taken into account. E.g. blindness – though may raise standard if D is aware of the disability. particular skill the standard of care is what would reasonably be expected of a person McHale v Watson FACTS: A child threw a sharp bit of metal at a pole which then hit a girl and blinded her. She sued him in battery and negligence. HELD: Not liable in negligence. Court took into consideration defendant’s age Held to standard of reasonable 12 yr old. Can rely on limitation of forethought if it is shared by all others in the community. Adamson v Motor Vehicle Insurance Trust FACTS: D stole car, drove too fast and hit the plaintiff. He was suffering a schizophrenic episode whilst escaping. HELD: Still liable. Though insane , he was still in control of his body and able to steer. Still need to compensate plaintiff. Cook v Cook (Only used in special circumstances) FACTS: P (teacher) let D (learner) drive knowing that he had not been certified yet. D accelerated into a concrete pole and seriously injured P. P sued. HELD: Liable BUT standard of care lowered. Standard of care to other drivers on the road is of reasonable experienced driver – other drivers have no control over this. Standard owed to P = less. She accepted a modified standard = reasonable Phillips v Williams Whitely Ltd FACTS: P wanted her ears pierced and went to the D who was a jeweller. D knew about sterilisation so did what she though was right. P got a bad infection and sewed in negligence saying a doctor would have used more care. HELD: No breach. Skill claimed was as a jeweller NOT a doctor.
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NB: Standard should be determined at time of breach – not after ( Roe v Minister of Health ) NB: P need not know of the skill for D to be imbued with it. IS IT REASONABLY FORESEEABLE THAT THE KIND OF CARELESSNESS (particular) MIGHT CAUSE DAMAGE (general injury) TO THE PLAINTIFF’S PERSON OR PROPERTY?? NB: Reasonably foreseeable risks = significant risks. Section 48(1)(a): A person is not negligent unless – the risk was foreseeable (that is a risk of which the person knew or ought to have known).
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