Tort Of Negligence Case Study

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The law of tort concerns what are known as ‘wrongs’ where cases can be brought by a claimant or a plaintiff against a defendant if they thought that they have been ‘wronged’ in any way. The law of tort then intends to remedy these wrongs rather than punish an offender who is responsible for a crime. Tortious actions are thus normally brought by private individuals against other individuals rather than being brought by the State in criminal proceedings.
Ben jumped in order to avoid being struck by the jib of the crane and was seriously injured when he fell. Ben would wish to sue Alfred who was operating the crane and fainted at the time of incident under the tort of negligence. Besides that, Ben would also wish to sue either Big Builders or Cranes Ltd or both, vicariously for Alfred’s negligence during his course of work. Lastly, as governed under employer’s liability, Ben would also like to sue Big Builders in negligence for failure to provide competent staff. As for David who tried to climb up into the cab of the crane to help Alfred but instead fell and was injured, he would wish to pursue the same course of actions taken by Ben i.e. against Alfred under the tort of negligence, against Big Builders or Cranes Ltd under vicarious liability and finally against Big Builders under employer’s liability.

Winfield defined negligence as “the breach of the legal duty to take care which results in damage, on desired by the defendant to the plaintiff.”1 Therefore, it is necessary to prove an existing duty of care, breach of that duty and the breach causing damage must not be too remote in order to find successful action in negligence. Negligence began to develop in the early 19th century when liability of carel...

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...utside of the scaffolding and if damages were to be reduced, it would be by an amount that is just and reasonable (Hawkins v Ian Ross42). However, as mentioned above, courts are generally slow in applying the defence against employees.
By analogy with the facts in the case given, the elements of negligence action by Ben and David against Alfred have arguably been established thus, they are both likely to succeed in their action against Alfred. Ben and David are also most likely to succeed in the action under vicarious liability but not in action against Big Builders under employer’s liability since it was not aware of Alfred’s incompetence.

39 Section 1(1) Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945
40 Section 4, ibid
41 Jones v Livox Quarries Ltd (1952) 2 QB 608
42 Hawkins v Ian Ross (Castings) Ltd (1970) 1 All ER 180

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