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Question: Problem scenario: Molly is a single mother. She takes her daughter Rhonda (a two year old infant) to a local playground. While lighting a cigarette, Molly starts talking with another young parent, Dilbert. Molly is distracted by Dilbert's good looks and gritty charm. Meanwhile, Rhonda starts to wander over to the road.

Dilbert notices a possible catastrophe and rushes out after Rhonda. Dilbert just manages to save Rhonda from being run over by Bob, who is driving a van within the speed limit and quite safely. However, Dilbert has too much forward momentum and collides with Bob's van. Dilbert is seriously injured. Bob skids off the road and crashes into some playground equipment. Luckily, no children are using the equipment.

Laura, driving at speed behind Bob sees the above-related events and put her foot down hard on the brakes. Laura's car skids on an oil slick and crashes into a tree. Some distance behind the tree was Leonard. Leonard thought that Laura's car might hit him and he started running away screaming 'oh Lord, don't take me now!' Leonard has an underlying personality disorder and develops a paranoid fear of going out into the street. As a result he loses his job and his livelihood.

The accident involving Leonard is witnessed by Sherry, Rhonda's grandmother, who is also at the park. Sherry suffers from a brief fright, but believes that she will be alright. However, she later develops post-dramatic stress disorder as a result of this event, combined with the news that Rhonda barely escaped serious injury. She had not seen the incident involving Rhonda herself because she hadn't busy setting out the picnic lunch.

Identify any action available in the tort of negligence and analyse the elements of the tort accordingly.

Answer: Dilbert v Molly Carmarthenshire CC v Lewis1 sets out that if someone has charge over a child they are expected to take reasonable care to prevent them from causing harm to others. As Rhonda’s mother, Molly was expected to keep watch over her daughter. From the facts of the case it is safe to say that she failed to take reasonable care over her daughter. A mother should be vigilant over her child especially when in a public environment such as a park; instead she was smoking and flirting. Following the precedent, Molly would be held to be negligent. Dilbert must then prove that Molly owed him a duty. In the law of tort, the general public does not owe a duty to rescue those in peril,2 however the law does recognise that ‘danger invites rescue3’. This case would undoubtedly be t......(short extract)

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Details: - Mark: 75% | Course: Tort Law | Year: 2nd/3rd | Words: 2297 | References: Yes | Date written: January, 2013 | Date submitted: February 03, 2015 | Coursework ID: 903

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