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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 the standard because a reasonably competent driver would not drive so recklessly as to cause a massive pile up. The factual causation is proven that but for Steve’s negligent driving, Abbey would not have sustained serious injury (Denning LJ in Cork v Kirby) and damage injuries are reasonably a foreseeable consequence as a result of accidents (Wagon Mound 1). Cosmo’s estate would also succeed in a claim for compensation for his death under the tort of negligence as discussed supra. Abbey and Abbey’s parents The case of White v CC of South Yorkshire laid down two categories in which a claim under psychiatr......(short extract)

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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

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