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Tort Law Essay

1937 words - 8 pages

In this case, Rangoon 5 was performing live in Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. A massive fire occurred during their performance, causing death of Ronny and John from the band. It is revealed that the fire was due to the negligent maintenance of the stage lighting system. The first issue is whether Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre owed a duty of care to Rangoon 5 and audience assuming there were no sub-contractors hired by HKCEC to manage the operation of the venue. If a duty of care of HKCEC exists, the second issue is to consider which parties can claim damages from HKCEC.To establish duty of care, the neighbour principle needs to be applied. According to Lord Atkin in Donoghue v Stevenson, the rule that you are to love your neighbor becomes in law, you must not injure your neighbor and you must take reasonable care to avoid acts of omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbor. The neighbor is the persons who are closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected that I am directly my mind to the acts. In this case, the neighbor of HKCEC would be the band members and the audience who came to the centre to watch the performance. Based on the reasonable man standard, HKCEC owed a duty of care to check carefully all the necessary equipments and systems prior to the show to avoid any acts that could injure its neighbor and ensure the safety of their neighbors which mean the band members and the audience. [1: DK Srivastava, The Law of Tort in Hong Kong 2nd Edition, Lexis Nexis P.160][2: [1932] AC 562][3: DK Srivastava, The Law of Tort in Hong Kong 2nd Edition, Lexis Nexis P.161]In Capraro Industries plc v Dickman, the Caparo's three-fold test also needs to be fulfilled in imposing a duty of care. The first test is whether the plaintiff's injury or damage was foreseeable by the defendant and that there was proximity of relationship between the plaintiff and defendant. In this case, checking the stage lighting system clearly belongs to HKCEC's ordinary course of things and negligently maintaining stage lighting system could potentially cause lights to fall down and even explosion because of the electricity and could injure band members and audience. HKCEC must have foreseen that the band members and the audience are likely to be affected by their acts or omission. And there was a sufficient proximity of relationship between HKCEC and the band members and audience as the stage lighting system was maintained by HKCEC, meaning there must be existence of management and control by them and the death of band members was caused by HKCEC's negligence in maintaining the system which established a cause and effect. The second test was whether it would be fair, just and reasonable to impose liability on the defendant. In this case, it would seem fair, just and reasonable to impose liability on HKCEC as this will help maintain a reasonable...

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