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Legal Environment and Business Decisions - Essay Example

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Legal Environment and Business Decisions Negligence Case Study Student Enter the Name and Code Number University or College Name of the Professor 28th August, 2012 Anna’s Legal Rights Issue Anna the plaintiff accepted a lift from the defendant Michael in an unavoidable circumstance which caused an accident injuring both seriously…
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Download file to see previous pages The Law of tort is used to punish people mishandling their rights carelessly or deliberately. The 14th century French word “Tortum” translating to ‘twisted’ is the base of the legal word “tort” (Smellie, 2002). Negligence is an unintentional irresponsible act considered as a breach of legal duty which any rational person would not do under normal circumstance. Any breach of duty which harmed the victim due to defendant’s fault can fetch the victim proper compensation for the injury or damage caused, under the negligence of tort law (Winfield, 2006). According to the Law of Tort, the prima facie case requirements for the victim to file a case are as follows 1. As strong evidence for breach in duty of care 2. Proof that the plaintiff’s damage is caused in connection to the defendant’s negligence 3. Proof that the foreseeable nature of the harm or damage was ignored by the defendant due to their negligence (Cooke, 2005). Analysis There are five important elements of consideration in this case. (1) Did the defendant Michael owe Anna duty of care? (2) If so, how did Michael breach his duty of care? (3) What damages have Anna suffered due to his Negligence? (4) Room for contributory negligence and voluntary assumption of risk in the case (5) Sort of compensation Anna is seeking and the chances for reduction Anna will be compensated only if the first three elements are proved to the satisfaction of the court. Tort law will provide the required remedy as compensation to the plaintiff based on the next two elements. The compensation may be of any form ranging from injunction to monetary rewards (Harowood, 2003, p.5). Duty of Care A person shall be subjected to trial if they fail to fulfill their “Duty of care”. Donoghue v Stevenson case, states Michael was supposed to help Anna according to the “Neighbor principle” in a vulnerable situation. Michael did so, but was not able to fulfill his “Duty of Care” completely as he did not foresee an accident. Breach in Duty of Care Michael was drunk and had difficulty in driving when Anna approached him for lift. He offered to help Anna considering her risky situation. But did not take enough care to drive safely. The defendant did and did not offer reasonable care in this case. “Reasonable care when dealing with others” is the most emphasized point in duty of care. Each case has a different level of reasonable care in accordance with the people and the situation dealt. The tort law determines what is reasonable care based on the explicit situation defined in each case (Atiyah, 1972). Anna’s Damages Anna suffered severe physical injuries along with Michael when the vehicle slipped off. She suffered monetary losses due to absence from work. The physical pain and monetary loss caused her great mental agony leaving her in a state of depression. Can Michael be held responsible for Anna’s loses? According to Anna, Michael was committing a legally wrong act by driving drunk. His decision to take Anna along with him when he himself had difficulty driving safely was a breach in duty of care. Contributory Negligence Anna noticed Michael smelled strongly of alcohol before parching on his vehicle. Since it was raining, late night and the plaintiff did not see any other means of transport ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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