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Negligence Cases

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Date added: 17-06-26

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Negligence Negligence is the failure to exercise the care required by a reasonable person would exercise in certain circumstances (harm caused by carelessness, not intentional harm.) Such as wet floors in Shopping Centre, the act that needs to be used is a sign to alert consumers that the floors are wet. If there is a case were there isn’t any signs placed or a way to alert people and if they slip, they are legally obligated to sue the Shopping Centre, for medical issue, even loss of enjoyment in life and etc. But firstly, in a case there are three elements that need to be considered, which is Duty of Care, Breach of Duty of Care and Damages Resulted from breach of Duty of Care, if there isn’t a duty of care owed then a negligence claim isn’t relevant. Examples of Duty of Care is teachers being responsible for student’s wellbeing, or signs not being placed in hazardous environment. Volenti non fit injuria (voluntary assumption of risk) is a common law which indicates if someone places themselves in a danger where harm might result, knowing that some degree of harm may occur, are unable to bring a claim against the other party in tort. Contributory Negligence anothercommonlawthatrepresents thatif a person was injured in part due to their own negligence they contributed to the accident, the injured party would be entitled to collect any damages from another party who supposedly caused the accident. The Neighbor Principle was developed in a famous case of Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] states that you have a duty of care to ensure that you take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would injure your neighbor.

The Three Main Cases Cited Are:

Oyston v St Patrick’s College (New South Wales) Dawson v Department of Justice (Victoria) Duffy v Salvation Army (Victoria)

Case Summary and Precedent Cases

In case one, April 13, 2011 the school St Patrick’s was held up in court for a breaching the duty of care due to failing to implement it anti-bullying policy or to dealing with the issue, the incident occurred in 2010. Jasmine Oyston is the plaintiff that was bullied within the school premises and St Patrick’s College (girl’s school) defendants, Oyston sought out $ 540,000. But the school claims that she failed to notify the school, as they were unaware what was happening. The Primary judge claimed the Oyston desired amount was extremely high, and soon was given $150,000 in compensation. The acts for negligence were personal injury, psychological harm, appellant bullied and harassed by other pupils at high school. In this case the amount rewarded is believed to be reasonable for psychiatric help if it was needed, and may be enough to fund any medical charges. The issues in today society is that one in every four Australian school students are being bullied, these children are three times more likely to show depressive symptoms and are nine times more likely to have suicidal thoughts this also affects them in adulthood. Considering what they could be going through, a higher value is needed to cope with this. St Patricks owed a Duty of Care for Jazmine Oyston also all students safety, and they had Breached the Duty of Care, as a student was not being taken care and was abused multiple times. In the case, Oyston V St Patrick’s College, the precedent cases cited was Naidu v Nationwide News Pty Ltd. This Judgment date was 21 December 2007, but the whole progression of the case was that Mr. Naidu was experiencing workplace bullying, racially discriminated, threats of violence and sexual assaulted. Nationwide News Pty Ltd was then required to award Mr. Naidu with $1.9 Million and within this case over 50 cases were cited to resolve this issue. These two cases are very similar both the plaintiff were constantly being harassed at work/school. In case two, November 2013, Sarah Dawson took Department of Justice to court for work place bullying, Dawson was bullied by a fellow officer who became a manager between the years of 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006. Later the Department of Justice was ordered to pay $125,000 for pain and suffering; $134,575 for past economic loss and $54,000 for future economic loss in workplace bullying claim, which comes to a total of $313,575. The acts for negligence were breach of duty of care, psychiatric injury, reasonable foreseeability, employee complaint and conduct by another employee. As being bullied at an older age it has a less effect in duration compared to a child being bullied. But as it can cause the victim’s income to decrease it will be harder to support themselves or family financially, but when it is a student, they don’t have any source of income at that point of time. This is why the compensation for adults should be more than a student. There is Duty of Care Owed which is towards the employee just like another business would, the breach was done by the manager in charge. In the Case, Dawson v Department of Justice, there were seven precedent case, one of many was, Caldow v State of Victoria, Margaret Caldow is suffering from Major Depressive Disorder, she claimed her depression is from her employer Ms. Caldow experienced harassment. These two cases are very similar as the employee were being harassed by their manager In case three, 17 June 2013, Mr Duffy was a disability support pensioner, who claimed to injured his left shoulder at the premises occupied by Salvation Army. The injury was caused by a large octagon mirror had a weight exceeding 100 kilograms that detached from a vanity and fell while being unloaded from a truck. During the process of preserving the mirror, it caused his shoulder to dislocate, Duffy was also not being assisted in unloading the cargo and was not originally assigned to do so. Salvation Army admits that they owed a duty of care. Duffy searched out $42,000,000 for pain and suffering, $100,000 for medical needs, $4,000,000 for past loss of earnings and $18,000,000 for future earnings lost, which comes to a large total of $64,100,000. But received $25,000 for pain and suffering and $1,000 for medical expenses, which comes to a total of $26,000. The Salvation Army does owes a Duty of Care just like any other organizations, they had also breached by Duffy injuring his shoulder. The precedent case used was Swain v Waverley Municipal Council (2005), in 1997 Guy Swain dived into a sandbank at Bondi Beach which caused him to become a quadriplegic. The judge and jury of four, believed the Council owed a duty of care to beach attendance because of its responsibility for the beach. The jury claimed negligence on the part of the Council, it also decided that Mr. Swain was partially to blame for the unfortunate accident (Volenti non fit injuria), reducing the damages awarded to him to $3.75 million. In the events that occurred it is believed that Guy Swain was given an appropriate amount in compensation, as well that he should be aware of the fact that there is a sandbank, and that he is more responsible. In society today people need to be protected by negligence, as people are being more reckless in public and unaware of the disadvantage cost, this can results small injuries to deaths, like in a scenario where there is a driver driving recklessly and hits. Bullying is now major issue in society as one in four Australian school students are being bullied, these children are three times more likely to show depressive symptoms and are nine times more likely to have suicidal thoughts this also affects them in adulthood
Case Cited
Case Judgment Date
Oyston v St Patrick’s College April, 2011
Dawson v Department of Justice November, 2013
Duffy v Salvation Army June, 2013
Precedent Cases
Naidu v Nationwide News Pty Ltd December, 2007
Caldow v State of Victoria
Swain v Waverley Municipal Council 2005
Bibliography Negligence. (2014) Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negligence Buchanan, T (2011) Australia: Former Student Wins Negligence Against School for Bullying. Retrieved from loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205402635_text Oyston v St Patrick’s College [2013] NSWCA 135. (2013) Retrieved from austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/nsw/NSWCA/2013/135.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=title(Oyston%20and%20St%20Patrick%20) Dawson v Department of Justice [2013] VCC 2000. (2013) Retrieved from austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/vic/VCC/2013/2000.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=title(Dawson%20and%20Department%20of%20Justice%20) Duffy v Salvation Army [2013] VCC 683. (2013) Retrieved from austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/vic/VCC/2013/683.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=title(Duffy%20and%20Salvation%20Army%20) Overell, A (2014) Duffy v Salavation Army (Vic) Property Trust. Retrieved from wiki.qut.edu.au/display/CPNS/Duffy+v+Salvation+Army+%28Vic%29+Property+Trust Crissman, K. (2008) Swain v Waverley Municipal Council. Retrieved from wiki.qut.edu.au/display/CPNS/Swain+v+Waverley+Municipal+Council  
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