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Question: Psychological Injury – Problem Question
A coach, full of young children coming back from a day trip to the theatre, is involved in a multiple vehicle pile-up on the motorway, caused by negligent driving of Steve, the driver and owner of one of the cars in the pile-up. One of the children, Abbey, is seriously injured in the accident. Her foster parents are at work and cannot be contacted immediately. When they eventually get to the hospital, five hours later, they are traumatized by the state in which they find their foster daughter. Although Abbey makes a full physical recovery both she and her parents develop PTSD. Another of the children, Cosmo, was trapped in the wreckage and suffered serious head injuries. Bob, a passing motorist who stopped to help, and Ray an ambulance worker who arrived at the scene, both struggle long and hard to free him. However, when they eventually do so, he dies and both Bob and Ray go on to develop depression as a result, Cosmo’s father is beset with grief for many months as he identifies his son’s body at the mortuary 2 hours later.

Bob’s behaviour has been very erratic ever since the accident and has been prone to fits of uncontrollable rage. Last week he got into an argument with his neighbour over a trivial matter which culminated in Bob hitting him over the head with a heavy object. The neighbour had died as a result of his injuries and Bob is now facing many years in jail and the loss of his job and family.

Advise Abbey and her parents and Bob, Ray and Cosmo’s father.

Answer: Abbey v Steve Abbey would succeed in a claim for the personal injury sustained as Steve owed a duty to every other road user (Nettleship v Weston) and has clearly fallen below...

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Details: - Mark: 80% | Course: Tort Law | Year: 1st | Words: 1648 | References: No | Date written: Not available | Date submitted: May 06, 2018 | Coursework ID: 1043

Question: Alphie, a minor celebrity, was recently admitted to hospital following an accident in which he damaged his leg. Due to his shock, Alphie lost consciousness shortly after he was brought into the hospital. The doctor who examined him was very concerned, and called the surgeon who decided it was necessary to remove two of Alphie’s toes. When he woke therefore, Alphie was missing his toes and was particularly upset that he had not agreed to this.

During Alphie’s week long stay in hospital to recover, the man in the bed beside him, Jack, was very disruptive. Alphie found this increasingly irritating as he could not sleep. He told Jack to ‘pipe down’ but Jack insisted ‘I’ll do what I like’. At this point Alphie sat up in his bed and shouted, ‘you know, you are very lucky I can’t get up right now, or I swear I would bash your head in.’ In response, Jack, got up from his own bed and grabbing Alphie by the collar whispered menacingly in his face ‘just watch yourself boy, I can hurt you more easily than you can harm me.’ Alphie was left very shaken.

When Alphie’s friend Susan visited she offered to put a sleeping drug in Jack’s water. Alphie agreed and Susan drugged Jack’s water while he was in the bathroom. Seeing her opportunity, Susan also blocked the bathroom door with a hospital trolley, trapping Jack in. Jack was shut in the bathroom for almost 10 minutes, but because he was showering, a hospital porter moved the trolley before he tried to get out. Jack therefore never realised he was trapped. When he drank some water a few minutes later, Jack fell asleep and felt quite poorly when he woke up.

On leaving hospital, Alphie gave an interview to a press reporter. He told her all about his stay in hospital, and joked that he and Susan had ‘got their own back’ on Jack. Since he read this in the newspaper, Jack has suffered depression and nightmares for which he has needed medical treatment.

Advise Alphie and Jack of any claims they may have in tort.

Answer: A may have a claim in battery (the unlawful contact which is direct and intentional (or reckless)). There’s no minimum level of violence which the law will to accept and the force...

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Details: - Mark: 65% | Course: Tort Law | Year: 2nd/3rd | Words: 800 | References: No | Date written: November, 2016 | Date submitted: December 06, 2017 | Coursework ID: 1041

Question: To what extent is the decision in Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562 still important to the duty of care in the law of negligence?

Answer: To address the value of Donoghue v Stevenson as precedent for the present-day duty of care, it should be explored what the state of the law was before the case, how it...

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Details: - Mark: 64% | Course: Tort Law | Year: 1st | Words: 1498 | References: Yes | Date written: December, 2016 | Date submitted: November 27, 2017 | Coursework ID: 1036

Question: Angela was visiting her friend Betsy. She complained of a severe headache and Betsy gave her a box of painkillers that had been prescribed by her (Betsy’s) doctor. On the outside of the box and on a leaflet inside, there was a note reading: “Do not consume with alcohol. May cause severe nausea and diarrhoea.” Angela had drunk two small glasses of wine. She took two of the painkillers (the recommended dose for an adult). An hour later she became violently ill and was admitted to the Downbeat Hospital. She was examined by Conrad, a doctor, and told him about the pills she had taken. Conrad arranged for her to be admitted and prescribed a drug to treat her condition. Daphne, the nurse on duty, misread the doctor’s notes and gave her only 10 per cent of the dosage that Conrad prescribed. Angela became more seriously ill and required painful and debilitating abdominal surgery. There is a strong possibility that, if she had been given the correct dosage, she would have recovered after a few days.

It has now been established that Angela suffered from an extremely rare allergy to one of the ingredients of the painkillers. No other case has been identified where a person taking one of these painkillers suffered a comparable reaction. It cannot be established whether the wine had contributed to the reaction.

Advise Angela as to any claims in negligence against the Downbeat Hospital.

Answer: The above question demands discussion whether Betsy (B), Conrad (C) and Daphne (D) had breached duty of care to Angela (A) and whether there is any intervening factor that is likely to...

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Details: - Mark: Not available | Course: Tort Law | Year: 1st | Words: 2368 | References: No | Date written: Not available | Date submitted: October 26, 2017 | Coursework ID: 1032

Question: ‘In my view, the time has come to recognise the legal duty of the police force to take action to protect a particular individual whose life or safety is, to the knowledge of the police, threatened by someone whose actions the police are able to restrain. I am not convinced that this requires a development of the common law but, if it does, I am sanguine about that prospect. Certainly, I do not believe that rules relating to liability for omissions should inhibit the law’s development to this point’.
(Lord Kerr in his dissenting judgment in Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales (2015) UKSC 2)

Discuss the extent to which the police owe a duty of care to individuals in the tort of negligence.

Answer: The tort of negligence concerns a civil wrong, when a duty of care is breached, or a duty is omitted. A duty of care is a legal responsibility to provide reasonable care...

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Details: - Mark: Not available | Course: Tort Law | Year: 1st | Words: 1482 | References: Yes | Date written: March, 2016 | Date submitted: May 27, 2016 | Coursework ID: 973

Question: Why is the right to sue in private nuisance now restricted to those who have a proprietary interest in the land affected? Do you agree with the rule?

Answer: Private nuisance is an unreasonable interference with another’s use or enjoyment of land. This interference may be deliberate or accidental, and there is no need for the claimant to prove negligence to...

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Details: - Mark: 65% | Course: Tort Law | Year: 2nd/3rd | Words: 555 | References: No | Date written: January, 2014 | Date submitted: April 01, 2016 | Coursework ID: 960

Question: “A company should always be liable for the acts of its employee if a tort is committed by the employee while at work”

Explain the validity of this statement with reference to case law.

Answer: Vicarious Liability is a situation where a person is liable for torts committed by a third party to the claimant. This does not mean that the third party involved is not liable,...

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Details: - Mark: 65% | Course: Tort Law | Year: 2nd/3rd | Words: 815 | References: No | Date written: January, 2014 | Date submitted: April 01, 2016 | Coursework ID: 959

Question: Tort Problem Question: Luke had just obtained his driving licence and borrowed his father’s car to take his girlfriend Jane on a trip to the coast. Luke and Jane got into the car whilst Jane’s mother Amy saw them off from the balcony of her flat. Jane turned around in the front seat to wave to her mother. To do so she took off her safety belt and twisted around. Luke was trying to show off by pulling away at such a high speed that he left black tyre marks on the road. He got distracted by Jane’s movement and because he was travelling so fast, he lost control of the car, and it crashed into the pavement and a tree. Jane was flung through the windscreen and obtained multiple broken bones and severe lacerations to her face. Luke, who was wearing his seatbelt, suffered only a few bruises.

Jane will have to undergo extensive cosmetic surgery and the doctors told her that although they would do the best they can, there was unfortunately no way she would be able to continue pursuing her dream of becoming a fashion model. Jane was due to sign, the day after the crash, a modelling contract which would have earned her £2million. Because of her injuries she now cannot pursue this.

Amy, Jane’s mom, saw the whole accident from the balcony of her flat. Seeing her teenage daughter flung through the windscreen of the car and then severely injured gave her a massive shock. She became so depressed that she had to stop working as a primary school teacher. Her GP diagnosed her with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Advise Luke as to his possible liability and defences in negligence.

Answer: The issue is to advise Luke as to his potential liability as a driver in negligence to Jane and Amy. His actions will be assessed according to the principles of negligence in...

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Details: - Mark: Not available | Course: Tort Law | Year: 2nd/3rd | Words: 1390 | References: Yes | Date written: January, 2015 | Date submitted: February 01, 2016 | Coursework ID: 950

Question: Leonard and Sheldon are scientists who share a flat, No 1, on the ground floor of an apartment building. Neither of them owns a car, but their apartment has a parking space assigned to it. Sheldon rented the flat first, and Leonard subsequently moved in with him. When Leonard moved into the flat, he agreed to sign a ‘Roommate Agreement’, which sets out the terms under which he is allowed to live there. One provision is that, if Leonard fails to observe certain rules, Sheldon is entitled to lock Leonard in his bedroom as punishment for an entire weekend. Last weekend, Leonard broke one of the rules and Sheldon enforced the punishment clause. Leonard used his bedroom window to come and go without Sheldon knowing.

Will has recently moved into the same building as Leonard and Sheldon, in flat No 4. Will owns a motorcycle, and, rather than parking it in his assigned space, he decides to park it in Leonard and Sheldon’s space, so that he can chain it to a lamppost. He parks it in their space for the first time on Sunday. Sheldon notices that the motorcycle has appeared in their space, but does not know who owns it. He therefore writes the following note:

‘Your bike is in my spot. You cannot park it there. Remove it immediately.’

Will sees the note when he returns home on Monday evening. He picks it up and reads it but, believing that the note is unnecessarily rude, does not remove the motorcycle. On Tuesday, Sheldon sees that the note has been removed, but that the motorbike remains. Sheldon therefore writes another note:

‘Your bike is still in my spot. Remove it. Or else.’

Sheldon also places posters around the building urging action against ‘The Phantom Parker’. Will finds the second note and sees the posters. He feels threatened, but still does not remove the vehicle. Sheldon believes that the owner of the bike is probably Zack, who moved into the apartment building at the same time as Will, but into a different flat. He spends the rest of the week posting letters through Zack’s letterbox, accusing him of the being the ‘Phantom Parker’, and repeatedly knocks on Zack’s door to challenge him. Zack has since developed a very rare psychiatric condition as a result of these events, which has left him unable to work for the past two months.

In December, Leonard and Sheldon host a Christmas party in their apartment. They invite their friends Howard, Bernadette, Raj and Penny. Bernadette is Howard’s girlfriend and Penny is Leonard’s girlfriend: both women are blonde. At the party, David, one of Leonard’s colleagues, walks past Penny, brushing his hand against her arm. He does the same thing two more times. On each occasion, Penny shouts ‘Stop it!’ Later in the evening, David sees a blonde woman standing under some mistletoe. Thinking that it is Penny, he goes up behind her and whispers in her ear, ‘Are you sure you don’t fancy a kiss?’ The woman is actually Bernadette, who jumps with surprise. She turns around and tries to throw her drink at David: however, David ducks out of the way and the liquid lands on Raj. Howard goes up to David and shakes his fist, saying ‘If you had kissed my girlfriend, I would have punched you.’

Advise the parties as to any potential tort liabilities arising from these facts.

Answer: Sheldon V Leonard Leonard cannot bring a claim against Sheldon. Even though Leonard was detained, he cannot claim under false imprisonment. The two prerequisites to bring a claim under false imprisonment are:...

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Details: - Mark: Not available | Course: Tort Law | Year: 1st | Words: 1827 | References: Yes | Date written: November, 2014 | Date submitted: November 25, 2015 | Coursework ID: 941


B E T W E E N:
Jack and Jill Hill was a married couple but have had marital problems. After months of disagreement Jack moved out of the family home in July 2014 and into a rented accommodation. Jack maintained his job at Ignite Fireworks PLC.

On 03/10/2014 due to an electrical fault at Ignite Fireworks PLC a number of fireworks in containers detonated resulting in an explosion. Jack who was completing a nightshift was trapped in the premises.

Mr Spratt the site manager raised the alarms, contacted emergency services and contacted Jill who was still Jack’s emergency contact.

Jill initially assumed that Jack was involved in a minor incident. Arriving on scene at 7am, she witnessed numerous fire engines and ambulances. At the emergency triage area Jack had received emergency treated and was covered by a blanket, only his singed hair, blackened face, burnt hand and a tube inserted into his throat was visible. Witnessing this cause Jill to break down and weep and shake uncontrollably. Jack was transferred to Midlands Hospital where he stabilised. Jill remained at his side for the entire week before he was discharged and returned to his family home.

Subsequently Jill brought about a claim for negligently inflicted psychiatric harm as she displayed Post-traumatic stress disorder and suffered frequent flash backs of the scene.

The Trial Judge Lean found the following facts, (i) Jill had suffered a medically recognised psychiatric disorder from nervous shock, (ii) When Jill first saw Jack, he was in a controlled state and was not being treated, (iii) Jack and Jill subsequently divorced.

Judge Lean found that Jill could recover as secondary victim on the grounds that, as spouse it was clear that she had a close tie of love and affection with Jack and arriving at the factory Jill had witnessed the immediate aftermath and was therefore proximate to the accident in time and space.
The case is being appealed by Ignite Fireworks PLC in the court of appeal.

As there was a two and a half hour time delay between the time of the accident and Jill seeing Jack, having been treated and in a controlled state, it cannot be said that Jill had witnessed the immediate aftermath of the accident.

The appeal to succeed.

The appeal to be dismissed.

Answer: The Law at present The law on the recovery of compensation for pure psychiatric harm is in a state of disarray, as Lord Steyn mentions that the law in this area “is...

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Details: - Mark: 67% | Course: Tort Law | Year: 2nd/3rd | Words: 3471 | References: No | Date written: January, 2014 | Date submitted: May 05, 2015 | Coursework ID: 922

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