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HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Week 4 Law of Torts (2)

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Presentation on theme: "HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Week 4 Law of Torts (2)"— Presentation transcript:

1 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Week 4 Law of Torts (2)

2 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute 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)

3 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute 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]

4 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute 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 to ensure they do not suffer injury on the premises.  Where the risk is obvious, the duty will be minimal.

5 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute 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.

6 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute 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)

7 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute 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 damage as a result of the defect: Bryan v Maloney (1995)

8 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Categories of negligence Negligent misstatements “a statement of fact, advice or opinion made in business that is relied upon by another but which is inaccurate or misleading”

9 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Categories of negligence Negligent misstatements  Duty on the defendant to avoid making careless statements which cause harm.  Hedley Byrne v Heller (1964) established that the law will imply a duty of care in the making of statements.

10 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Categories of negligence Negligent misstatements  A duty of care extends not only to professional advisers but also to persons who provide information: MLC v Evatt (1968)  This duty of care also extends to advice that is given in ‘serious circumstances’: Shaddock v Parramatta City Council (1981)

11 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Categories of negligence Negligent misstatements  A duty of care also arises and exists where there is a ‘special relationship’ between the parties: San Sebastian v Minister Responsible for Administering Planning and Assessment Act (1986)

12 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Categories of negligence Negligent misstatements  An inadequate response can amount to a negligent misrepresentation if it is relied upon by the plaintiff: Pyrenees Shire Council v Day (1998)

13 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Categories of negligence Negligent misstatements  A plaintiff must establish the following to recover damages:  A duty of care - professional relationship or causal;  A breach of duty - D ought to have known that P would rely upon the statement and was requested for a serious purpose; and  Damage - causal connection between D’s omission and the damage suffered - the causative element.

14 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Employer liability Employer liability or Vicarious liability  Vicarious liability is a form of strict liability which has the effect of making the employer an insurer of the employee.

15 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Employer liability Employer liability or Vicarious liability  An employer may be vicariously liable where an employee acting in the course of their employment injures another person: Cassidy v The Minister (1951)  The action of the employee must be connected to the employment: Deatons Pty Ltd v Flew (1949)

16 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Employer liability Employer liability or Vicarious liability  An independent contractor cannot make an employer vicariously liable.  An employer who is vicariously liable may have an action against the negligent employee for breach of a term of their contract of employment: Lister v Romford Ice & Cold Storage (1957)

17 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Intentional torts Trespass  Trespass is a direct interference with the person or property of the plaintiff by the intentional or negligent actions of the defendant and is actionable per se (without proof of damage).  The defendant must have intended to do the harmful act.

18 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Intentional torts Trespass to land  Areas covered include: entry upon land without permission; remaining after permission has expired; and leaving things on the land.

19 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Defamation What does defamation mean?  Defamation involves a false statement about a person that is likely to damage their reputation in the community.

20 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Defamation Defamation action - What is required?  Step 1: Is the material defamatory?  The material was defamatory according to its ‘ordinary and natural meaning’ and Mirror Newspapers Ltd v Harrison (1982)  in the circumstances was defamatory Morosi v Broadcasting Station 2GB P/L (1980)

21 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Defamation Defamation action - What is required?  Step 2: Does the material refer to P?  The statement referred to or identified the plaintiff – or it can be reasonably concluded that those who know P would conclude the statement is about P: E Hulton & Co v Jones (1910)

22 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Defamation Defamation action - What is required?  Step 3: Was the statement published?  Made known to a third party capable of understanding the defamatory meaning.  Step 4: Does D have any defences?

23 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Miscellaneous torts Public Nuisance  An unlawful act which interferes with an enjoyment or right of the public, of which the plaintiff is a member, but one where the plaintiff can show that they have suffered special damage over and above that of the public.  The remedy for a plaintiff is usually damages and/or an injunction.

24 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Miscellaneous torts Private Nuisance  The person who has a legal right to actual possession (occupier) of the land can complain and must establish: indirect interference with the use or enjoyment of their land by the defendant by things coming on to the land; and damage — either physical damage to land, buildings or goods or an interference with the enjoyment of the land.

25 HI5018 Introduction to Business Law Holmes Institute Miscellaneous torts Private Nuisance  Remedies:  The usual remedy is an injunction to stop the nuisance.  Although an alternative remedy to going to court may be abatement.


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