Discuss The Legal Position In Tort With Respect To The Liability Of Bill For The Harm Suffered By Sally, Ranjit And Jane.

1839 words - 7 pages

In Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] it was held that all owe a 'duty of care' to 'their neighbour'. However, the 'guidelines' which can be taken from Caparo v Dickman 1990 are that there are three separate pre-requisites to the imposition of a duty of care. Firstly, it must be 'foreseeable' that if one party acts carelessly. the other party will suffer injury or damage; secondly, there must be a sufficient degree of 'proximity' between the two parties, that is a sufficient 'closeness' between them; and thirdly, the imposition of a duty of care must be 'fair, just and reasonable'. There is no doubt as to whether Bill committed a negligent act. I will be discussing the liability of Bill for the harm suffered by Jane, Sally and Ranjit.In advising the potential parties as to whether Bill is liable for the harm suffered we must consider which parties have been wronged and then establish if they are owed a duty of care, whether there was a breach of that duty and whether the breach caused the damage. The accidents themselves were caused by Bill; he clearly owed a duty of care as a motorist and was negligent. Applying the 'but for test', but for the actions of Bill Ranjit would not have sustained damage to his shop window and products therefore should be held liable of damages of £2000. 'Foreseeability' means whether a hypothetical 'reasonable person' would have foreseen damage in the circumstances. Bill would have forseen that if his car was to go into a shop window that damages would have occurred. Smith v Littlewoods Organisation Ltd [1987] Taking Bill's age into consideration, Children cannot plead infancy as a defence to a tort. However, children and young people will usually be judge by the objective standard of the ordinarily prudent and reasonable child of the same age See Mullins v Richards [1998] if a young person deliberately commits an action with an obvious risk of harm, they may be judged by the standards of an adult. See William's v Humphrey, The Times, February 20 1975. Bill will be negligent by falling below the standards of the ordinary reasonable person in his situation, i.e. by doing something which the reasonable man would not do or failing to do something which the reasonable man would do. See the statement of Alderson B in Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks Co [1856]. The most popular definition of the reasonable man is that he is the ordinary man, the average man Hall v Brooklands Auto Racing Club [1933]. It would be reasonable to consider whether Bill fell below the standard of the reasonable man. The standard of care owed by Bill is the same standard of care expected by a qualified driver. As he has chosen to drive a vehicle he is therefore responsible for the damage caused by his driving a similar ruling were made in Nettleship v Weston [1971] and Wells v Cooper [1958]. The decision in Mullin v. Richards 1998 stands as a reminder that the question of the child's objective foresight of the risk of harm in such a case must be judged...

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