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Mess at the stadium - Essay Example

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In this case, it can be noted that James and Christopher triggered the pandemonium that broke at the stadium when they blew their vuvuzelas after their team, the Riders had scored. Hundreds of supporters were killed and others injured while Christopher and James were among those who lost their lives. …
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Mess at the stadium
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Download file to see previous pages In this case, it can be noted that James and Christopher triggered the pandemonium that broke at the stadium when they blew their vuvuzelas after their team, the Riders had scored. Hundreds of supporters were killed and others injured while Christopher and James were among those who lost their lives. The grandmother, mother and father of the boys subsequently suffered from nervous shock (psychiatric injury). Against this background, this essay seeks to describe while giving reasons the approach that can be taken by a High Court judge towards claims of nervous shock by the affected people in view of the cases that are going to be analysed below. In view of this case of Dulieu v White [1901] 2 KB 669 which involved a pregnant barmaid who suffered severe shock after the defendant’s servant drove negligently into the public house, it can be noted that the High Court upheld her claim. The case involving the grandmother, mother and father of the boys may as well be upheld in as far as claims for nervous shock are concerned. In this case, the defendants are the police officers who had a duty to safeguard the interests of the soccer fans who were packed in the stadium. The subsequent pandemonium that killed hundreds of people while injuring others was not a result of their negligent behaviour. In actual fact, the horses were frightened by the noise of vuvuzelas that were blown by James and Christopher. It can be noted that these two boys are the ones who triggered the situation that resulted in loss of life of innocent people including themselves. Indeed, the defendant has a duty not to frighten the plaintiff by his negligence whereby it can be noted that the blame does not lie in the police but in the boys’ action that frightened the horses. If it was not because of their action, this disaster could not have happened. It the case of Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [1992] 1 AC 310 concerned a FA Cup semi-final match at Hillsborough Stadium, between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool in April 1989, at which 96 people were killed and over 400 physically injured in a crush caused by negligent crowd control by the police. To a certain extent, it can be said that the conduct by the police in controlling the crowd in the case involving James and Christopher was negligent given that there is wild cheering when another team scores especially with regards to big matches and the police should always be watchful for such incidences. In the first place, they allowed the boys to get into the stadium with vuvuzelas which meant that they could be blown. The failure to control their horses amounts to negligent behaviour since people watching matches are over excited at times. Thus, only parents and spouses might claim for nervous shock and the claimants in this case can show a “sufficiently proximate” relationship to the person killed or injured as can be noted from their closeness with the deceased. McFarlane v EE Caledonia Ltd [1994] 2 All ER 1 involves a plaintiff who has witnessed colleagues dying in agony following an oil rig explosion. However, the court of appeal applied the rule by the House of Lords in Alcock where the claim failed because the claimant was not a rescuer. In the same vein, the claims involving the mother and the grandmother may fail to materialise given that they just watched the situation unfolding on television and they are not part of the rescue team. Somebody who physically experiences the action directly stands better chances of winning the claim since he will be part of the horrific events than someone merely watching from a distance. The mother and the grandmother are not even closer to the scene since they are just watching the events on television while at home. As far as the above case is concerned, the claim by these two may not materialise since they are not directly involved especially in rescuing the affected people who have been injured in the stampede that ensued after the police horses have been frightened by the noise of the vuvuzelas and ran amok causing ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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