SESSION 10 - TORT OF NEGLIGENCE.pdf

Under normal circumstances cricket batsman could not

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Under normal circumstances, cricket batsman could not possibly have hit the ball so hard so as to reach her house. Evidence showed that over the past 30 years, this had occurred only 6 times. Held . Although there was a duty of care, the defendant had not breached the duty and hence were not liable. The court reasoned that the chances and probability of such a happening were so insignificant that it made little sense for the cricket club to take preventive measures. 31
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The more serious the likely injury, the higher the standard of care would be expected. So in Paris v. Stepney (the case of the ‘one - eyed’ worker who lost his remaining eye), the court held that the plaintiff’s peculiar condition had a great impact on the breach of duty based on the seriousness of the injury. 32
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Facts . The plaintiff had one eye and worked as a mechanic in the defendant’s garage. He sometimes had to do welding works. Normally, eye goggles were not supplied to men involved in such work. A piece of metal flew into the plaintiff's eye with the result that he became completely blind. Held . The defendant were liable, although they would not be liable to a person with normal sight. The greater the risks to the plaintiff meant greater care than normal had to be taken. 33
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If the risk of injury to the plaintiff is high, less weight would be attached to the costs of avoiding that risk. Conversely, if the risk is relatively low and the defendant had taken all necessary steps to avoid injuring others, then there may not be a breach of the duty of care. See Latimer v. AEC Ltd. 34
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Facts . Heavy rain flooded the defendants’ workshop and factory, which caused oil to be spread over the floors. The defendants used sawdust to cover the floors, but some areas of the floor remained uncovered. The plaintiff slipped and sustained injuries. He sued the defendants in negligence alleging that the workshop should have been closed and all employees sent home. Held . The defendants had done all that could reasonably be expected of them; it was not necessary to close the workshop as it was out of proportion to the risk involved. 35
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Finally, the breach of duty must have resulted in injury/damage suffered by the plaintiff. On this issue of resulting injury/damage, 2 issues need to be considered: Causation Remoteness 36
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The plaintiff’s loss, damage or injury must have been caused by the defendant’s breach of duty of care. The “But - For” test. If the proximate or overwhelming cause of injury/damage was something other than the defendant’s act or omission, then the defendant would not be liable. See Barnett v. Chelsea Hospital. 37
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Facts . The plaintiff had been poisoned with arsenic. Not knowing of his predicament, family members had brought him to the hospital’s emergency department after he had complained of stomach pains and great discomfort. The doctor in attendance was clearly negligent as he failed to examine him properly. The plaintiff was sent home and he died the next morning.
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