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Wilsons & Clyde Coal Company v English - Essay Example

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In the paper “Wilsons & Clyde Coal Company v English” the author provides the case of Wilsons & Clyde Coal Company v English, which established the implied basic duties that employers owe their employees to award of damages in an action for tort…
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Wilsons & Clyde Coal Company v English
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Download file to see previous pages The tug captain, who was employed by the Dutch company, carelessly mishandled the tug movement resulting in the injuries sustained by the claimant. The Court sided with the claimant notwithstanding that the injuries was caused by the tug captain, who was not under its employ, on the ground that the responsibility to keep a safe system of work was its personal responsibility and therefore, non-delegable.
An action for breach of statutory duties necessarily requires that the employer has breached a provision of a statute or law. An equally important consideration in this action is the determination that the statute itself contemplates granting the claimant a right to a civil action. Thus, in one of the earliest of cases involving breach of statute, Grove v Lord Wimbourne,  the Court held that if the criminal statute, in this case the Factory and Workshop Act 1878, is found to be intended to provide civil remedy, then that statute can be made applicable to action for injuries sustained in the employment. However, the fact that many of these statutes do not actually specifically state whether private law is applicable or not makes the breach of statutory duty particularly difficult to pursue. In X and others (minors) v Bedforshire County Council,  a controversial HL decision which was subsequently criticised by the ECHR, the Court held, inter alia, that private law cause of action can arise if it is shown that the statute protects a limited class of citizens and Parliament....
However, the fact that many of these statutes do not actually specifically state whether private law is applicable or not makes the breach of statutory duty particularly difficult to pursue. In X and others (minors) v Bedforshire County Council,6 a controversial HL decision which was subsequently criticised by the ECHR, the Court held, inter alia, that private law cause of action can arise if it is shown that the statute protects a limited class of citizens and Parliament intended to confer to them such a right of action. A breach of statute case may be employed in Jack’s case on the basis of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, regulations, which the Secretary of State issued under the power conferred on him by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Said regulations provide, inter alia, that equipment that carries specific risks shall be assigned for use only by specific persons who had prior training for its use. More significantly, the statute provides that it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that dangerous parts of any machine used in the workplace should not have any access to any of the parts of the body of the worker, which could be done either by installing fixed guards or other protective parts.7 Although there is no express conferment of the right to bring an action of civil liability, there is a presumption that such will lie as was held in Thornton v Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council.8 The Court held in that case that where the statute imposes a duty on an entity for the purpose of benefiting a specific class of persons, but does not expressly provide a form of relief, a civil action for damages is presumed to be ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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