Common Law In Regards To Psychiatric Injury

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Gentlemen, on 15 April 1989, there was a terrible disaster at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield football. The pressure of the masses trying to land 95 people crushed on the terraces are killed and many injured. On that day the plaintiffs (respondents to this appeal) members of the South Yorkshire Police Force were on duty at the stadium or elsewhere in Sheffield.

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Everyone was involved in some way in the terrible consequences. Two helped to carry the dead and the dying. Two sought in vain to give CPR to those who had laid on the floor. Support in the hospital morgue. As a result of their experience, the applicants have made what was diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder, a medically recognized psychiatric illness has been suffered. The symptoms have affected their ability to work and personal life. You damages for negligence against Chief Constable of South Yorkshire and two other defendants. There were of course many people in the stadium that day, even trying as best they could to help the victims: other police officers, first assistants, paramedics and members of the public. Some of them, along with grieving relatives and friends have also developed psychiatric disorders. The claims of some of the relatives were [of your Lordships House in Alcock v. Chief Constable Of South Yorkshire in 1992 included] 1 AC 310th For reasons that I discuss, they were all rejected. But, say the plaintiffs in this appeal that the police are in a different position. First, they were … Staff of the Chief Constable and they claim that the employment created obligations which are not compared to strangers. Secondly, they were present and assisted in the disaster and not just passive and helpless bystanders [that they] were rescuers. … It is admitted that the disaster caused by the negligence of persons for which the accused was caused vicariously liable. The only question is whether, under such circumstances the law allows the recovery of compensation for the type of injury, having suffered by the applicants. Compensation for personal injury caused by negligence is usually recoverable if the defendant could have reasonably foreseen as a result his behavior such violations. But the common law has been reluctant to equate psychiatric injury with other forms of assault.

For a long time in this century, it remained unclear whether the basis was for a liability for the emergence of a recognized psychiatric disorder simply a question of foreseeability of this type of injury in the same manner as in the case of injury. The decision of the House of Lords in Bourhill v. Young [1943] AC 1992 seemed to many to combine what is in theory a simple foreseeability test with a robust wartime view of the ability of the ordinary person to horror and sadness,

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