Seriousness of the harm is compared to the risk of

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and the only other option was to shut down the ground which was also to serious a consequence. Seriousness of the harm is compared to the risk of harm The greater the risk, the greater the care that must be taken However, even if the risk is very small, one still needs to consider how easy and cheap any precautions would be 13
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Romeo v Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory (1998) 192 CLR 431 (CB 221) Facts: P fell off of a cliff because she thought it was path. Maj. HC: A reas. person would not erect a fence. The high cost of building a fence compared with the low risk of someone falling off did not require that a fence be built. Mc Hew ( Dissent): The risk was low but the consequences where very serious. Also precautions need only be taken in this spot not all along the path, and this cost was not prohibitively expensive. (ii) Likely Seriousness of Consequences The graver the consequences if the risk eventuates, the higher the standard of care required The defendant’s knowledge may be relevant to assessing the gravity of those consequences Paris v Stepney Borough Council [1951] AC 367 (CB 227) Facts: P lost sight in one eye during the war. Worked as a mechanic for D, it was not uncommon for dust to fall. One day rust fell causing him to go blind in the other eye. P sued saying that D should have provided goggles. Risk calculus varies between employees. ( In this case goggles need to be provided due to high risk.) (iii) Practicality of Avoiding Risk The higher the cost of eliminating the risk, the less likely it is that a reasonable person would take precautions However, in extreme cases, if precautions are impractical the defendant may be required to cease the activity in question Caledonian Collieries Ltd v Speirs (1957) 97 CLR 202, 221-5 (CB 230) Facts: Tram ran out of control and hit a car. P sued D saying that D should have installed a catchpoint ( which derails the tram). D said that: a) Derailment may harm people on board. b) All level crossings would require catchpoints making financially not viable. HC majority disagreed with D saying that gravity was serious ( in this case P’s husband died) and said that installing catchpoints at this crossing would not be prohibitively expensive and that it was necessary to install catchpoints at all crossings. **Conflict between Paris and Caledonian, but he tension is an issue of fact. 14
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The most stringent precaution is to stop an activity completely. Courts will be very reluctant to take the most stringent option but in extreme cases the court will conclude that a reas. person would cease the activity entirely. (iv) Social Utility of Defendant’s Activity Applies to: - blood banks - drivers of emergency vehicles - NOT: profit related, assisting friends etc. The greater the benefit to other people of the defendant’s activity, the less likely it is that a reasonable person would take precautions which interfered with that activity E.g. a different standard of care applies to emergency vehicles than to ordinary vehicles Watt v Hertfordshire County Council [1954] 1 WLR 835 (CB 238) Facts: Woman trapped under a vehicle. Clear that she was seriously injured possibly dying. Jack was
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