Module: Common Law
Assignment 2: Law of Torts
Submission date: 25.4.2012
By Anna Permall
Verity Smith runs a small printing business in Whitstable, Kent. Verity’s business has been thriving and she is looking to expand her business into other parts of Kent. She would like some advice regarding the following incidents: 1.
(i) Lesley, the Office Manager, suffered serious injuries to her Hands and face when her IPAD2 provided by Verity exploded
at her desk.
Peter, the delivery driver, was making a delivery to a firm in Faversham when he collided with a car driven by Susan Smith. Peter was responsible for this accident because he was in a hurry to make his delivery on time.
Verity wanted some financial advice about diversifying her portfolio of investments. She approached a firm based in Canterbury about this and was advised to invest some money in a firm called Rephine Consultants (pharmaceutical consultants). She made it clear to the financial advisors that she was relying on their advice to carry out these investments and was assured that Rephine Consultants was a reputable business and financially stable. Last week Rephine went bust and she now stands to lose quite a lot of money.
(i) Explain the nature of the duty of care owed under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 to ‘visitors’, including children and those acting in the exercise of their calling.
(ii) Explain the three requirements necessary to establish liability in negligence.
(iii) The doctrine of vicarious liability imposes liability on one person for the wrongful acts of another. (i) Lesley, the Office Manager, suffered serious injuries to her hands and face when her IPAD2 provided by Verity exploded
at her desk.
The health and safety executive (HSE) is responsible for enforcing health and safety standards as outlined under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It is a criminal offence for an employer to breach this Act and the HSE will push for prosecution if a breach is established. Breaching the Health and Safety Act 1974 will cause prosecution under Health and Safety (offences) Act 2008.
A database showing companies that have been prosecuted and found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 can be reviewed at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/Prosecutions/case/case_list.asp?ST=C&EO=LIKE&SN=F&SF=DN&SV=&x=34&y=6
In the case provided, Verity is responsible for the liability of damages caused and by Law is considered to be the Tortfeasor. The key legislation that covers the area in subject is: Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 that declares:
"It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.” (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/37/section/3, 11/4/12)
Assuming the IPAD was used correctly. This means that Verity did not deliberately cause damage but may have exposed Leslie to such risk of injury.
An implied term in a contract of employment holds the employer responsible for the employee’s welfare during the course of employment. (http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=1073791869&type=RESOURCES, 2/3/2012)
After establishing a duty of care owed by Verity to Leslie, Leslie must then establish where and how the duty had been breached further causing injury. After this Leslie is able to identify the damages caused and then pursue legal proceedings against Verity.
Verity as the business owner will then be able to seek reimbursement for issuing a reasonable compensation amount or a court ordered amount (to Leslie) from the IPAD manufacturer.
Leslie before pursuing legal action against Verity is able to pursue another course of action directly aimed at the IPAD manufacturer. Although Leslie did not enter into a...
Bibliography: 1. Jones. Michael A, Textbook on Torts, 2000, p379
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