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Approach from haber v walker ps husband was

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approach (from Haber v Walker- p’s husband was horrifically injured in an accident, became depressed and killed himself. P sued the driver of the other car, claiming he had caused the husband’s death. D argued that suicide was an intervening act; held that the suicide was not voluntary- see below ) is that an intervening act will break the chain of causation if it is either: o VOLUNTARY HUMAN ACTION o Human action will be voluntary when it is free, deliberate, and informal (Bennett v Minister of Community Welfare) o Mental ability irrelevant: However in Adamson v Motor Vehicle Insurance Trust the court suggested that insanity does not vary the reasonable
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person test. (In this case the D believing that his workmates were about to kill him, stole a car and hit the P and a cyclist. The issue was whether the insanity excused him from negligence. The court did not directly deal with the issue, finding that the defendant, even though he may not have appreciated it was wrong, had understood what he was doing at the time of the accident. o CAUSALLY INDEPENDENT EVENT A natural event will break the chain where: The event is causally independent of the D’s negligence The coincidence of this event is so unlikely as to be considered a natural coincidence. (For example, leaving a body next to beach. Very likely the tide will come and wash away; therefore hardly coincidental.) o NEGLIGENT ACT BY THIRD PARTY Subsequent cases show 3 rd requirement: Mahoney v Krustich Demolitions Pty Ltd: involves employee injured at work and sued employer arguing injuried due to employers negligence. Employer argued that P’s injuries exascebated by negligent treatment from doctor and made them worse. Employer argued docs negligence broke chain of causation. Court held medical negligence can break causation but only when grossly negligent or inexcusably bad. So only gross negligence will be an intervening act. o NEGLIGENT ACT BY PLAINTIFF Courts are reluctant to put P’s own act as negligent. (Rather use this in defence of contributory negligence. For example, the Plaintiff’s drunk state in March v Stramore. )
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LEGALLY RECOGNISED HARM o Physical injury o Property damage o What about loss of a chance??? (Different from increased risk.) Not a loss of chance case where D’s breach of duty caused harm to P. Is a loss of chance if P had already suffered harm in question but lost chance t recover from harm due to D neglect. Chappel v Hart: Kirby suggest loss of chance could sometimes make a legally recognised loss. England & Canada: loss of chance no! Haynes rejected it. Victorian Court of Appeal however says there is a chance it will be enough. Gavalas v Singh. 2001 Vic Court of Appeal: law will sometimes give damages for the lost chance of a more favourable outcome from treatment where that loss results from a doctor’s negligent failure to diagnose.
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R E M O T E N E S S Remoteness of damage is a question of law which marks the boundaries of the damage to which the tortfeasor will be responsible (Waganmound)
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approach from Haber v Walker ps husband was horrifically...

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