Business Law Lecture Week 4

Topics: Law, Tort law, Tort Pages: 12 (1670 words) Published: April 22, 2015
HI 5018
BUSINESS LAW

Week 4

Application of Negligence to Business

Chapter 9
Applications of Negligence to
Business

Chapter objectives
On completion of this chapter, you
should be able to:
 identify and discuss the application of

the tort of negligence to the following:
a) occupier’s liability
b)strict liability
c) negligent misstatements
d)employer or vicarious liability
e) breach of statutory duty
f) criminal negligence
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Chapter objectives

On completion of this chapter, you
should be able to:
 explain how a bailment arises
 describe the duties of a bailor and a bailee

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Occupier’s Liability

Occupier’s Liability
Occupiers must take reasonable care
and owe a common law duty of
care to ensure that anyone (even
a trespasser) who comes onto
those premises is not injured:
Hackshaw v Shaw (1984)

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Occupier’s Liability

Who is an occupier?
An occupier is any person who has
occupation or control, whether it is
partial or whole, of land or a
structure standing on the land:
Consolidated Broken Hill Ltd v Edwards [2005]

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Occupier’s Liability
 This tort is now part of negligence:

Australian Safeway Stores Pty Ltd v
Zaluzna (1986)

 Occupiers owe a duty of care to

entrants; that is, to take reasonable
care to ensure they do not suffer
injury on the premises.

 Where the risk is obvious, the duty

will be minimal.

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Occupier’s Liability

To establish occupier’s liability, a
plaintiff must prove:
 The defendant has occupation or

control of the land or structure; and

 The defendant was negligent,— that

is, there was a duty of care owed
that was breached and damage was
sustained by the plaintiff.

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Occupier’s Liability

The test for determining what the
occupier must do to discharge
their duty of care:
 is the risk real and
 what would a reasonable person do

about it?

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Non-delegable duties

Non-delegable duties & strict
liability
 In addition to the duty to take

reasonable care there is, in a limited
number of situations, a more onerous
duty.

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Non-delegable duties
Non-delegable duties & strict
liability
“a duty that cannot be passed on or
delegated to another person to try
and avoid responsibility or liability”
 This is the duty to ensure that all

reasonable care is taken in certain
relationships.

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Non-delegable duties
Non-delegable duties & strict
liability
 A non-delegable duty of care includes:

• Employer – employee relationship
• Landlord – tenant relationship
• Hospital – patient relationship
• Teacher – pupil relationship
• The rule in Rylands v Fletcher
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Non-delegable duties

Non-delegable duties & strict
liability
 The duty where there is a “special

relationship” is to ensure that all
reasonable care is taken:

- Burnie Port Authority v General Jones P/L (1994)
- Northern Sandblasting Pty Ltd v Harris (1997)
and
- Leichardt Municipal Council v Montgomery
(2007)

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Categories of negligence
Product Liability
(Defective Products)
 Manufacturer’s liability exists in both

common law and statute.

 The defect must be hidden and unknown

to the consumer:
Grant v Australian Knitting Mills (1936)

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Categories of negligence

Defective structures
 Where the premises suffer a defect

and it could be reasonably foreseen
that a person could suffer injury as a
result, the builder, architect or
engineer may be liable if the plaintiff
suffers...
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