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Question:

Discuss about the Law of Negligence Tamara.
 
 

Answer:

Advise for Tamara

After reviewing the facts that have been given in this case, the matter is if Tamara can be successful if she decides to sue Aldi supermarkets in negligence. In this case, Tamara fell on the floor of the supermarket and suffered injuries on her back. She slipped on the floor because a puddle of ice cream was present on the floor which was not cleaned by the start of the supermarket. As a result of the fall, Tamara had to remain in hospital for many days. The general damages alone were more than $700,000. Now Tamara wants to know if she will be successful if she sues the supermarket in negligence. Similarly, it also needs to be seen if any defenses may be available to the supermarket under the law. The supermarket claims in its defense that they have their duty to member of the stock regularly inspect the aisles. Similarly, any spillage present on the floor was named after every 40 minutes. In this way, the present matter can be decided by applying the principles of negligence and similarly it also needs to be seen if Tamara will be in a position to establish the elements that are necessary for bringing a successful claim in negligence against the defendant.

According to the law of negligence, it can be said that a party owes a duty to exercise care towards the other party, negligence is some action of the defendant, which would not be done by any other reasonable person and as a result of which, the claimant has suffered an injury or damage. In order to find out if the defendant was negligent in a particular case or not, and to hold the defendant liable for negligence, the provisions of Civil Liability Act can also be used. When a party has decided that it is going to the other party in negligence, such a party tries to recover financial compensation regarding the loss suffered by it (Hepple, 1997). Hence, the damages that are awarded to the claimant in an action for negligence are granted with a view that the claimant should be placed in the similar position in which he was, if there was no negligence of the defendant. For the purpose of deciding if it can be said that the defendant was negligent in a particular case, the law of negligence requires that four elements should be present.

Therefore, for bringing a successful action in negligence, the claimant is required to establish in the court that the defendant had a duty of care, there was a breach of this duty, the claimant had suffered damage owing to this breach, and the damage suffered by the claimed can be described as a direct result of this breach of duty (Stapleton, 2003).

 


In this way, for bringing a successful claiming negligence, it is required that the claimant should establish all the above mentioned four elements. If all these elements can be established by the claimant, the action of the claimant will be successful. But if even a single element is not present in a particular case, it cannot be said that the defendant was negligent in such a case (McDonald, 2005). Therefore, in view of the significance of these elements, it becomes important to describe what is the meaning of duty of care? In case of negligence, the duty of care is the legal obligation imposed on the defendant by the law according to which they should refrain from causing any injury or damage to other persons (Barker, 1993). The duty of care of the defendant is present when it is reasonably foreseeable that an injury may be caused to the other person if the defendant fails to exercise reasonable care. The law provides in such cases that the duty of care will be present on part of the defendant only if there is sufficient proximity between the parties. And as a result of this proximity, it can be decided that the defendant owed a duty towards the claimant. For example, the driver of a motor vehicle has a duty towards the other persons who are using the road.

Hence, a claimant can be successful in its action in the code in negligence if it can be established that the defendant had breached the of care. The court will consider the relevant standard of care that can be applied in a particular case for deciding if the defendant can be held liable for the breach of duty of care. The relevant standard of care can be decided on the basis of the fact if under the similar circumstances, any reasonable person would have decided within the same way or not. If the court finds out that the actions of the defendant did not match the required standard of care, and therefore they cannot be held to be reasonable, the court may conclude that the defendant has breached its duty of care that he owed to the claimant. As mentioned above, the action of the claimant will be successful if it is found in a particular case that the injury suffered by the claimant was directly caused due to the breach of duty. Therefore, when a person slips on the wet floor, it is clear that the fall and the injuries suffered by such a person are the direct result of the wet floor.

On these grounds, in the present case, it can be said that Tamara may have a successful action in negligence against the supermarket. On the other hand, the defense available to the supermarket is the contributory negligence of Tamara. She was also running towards the aisle as only one bar of chocolate was left and another customer was also working towards it. However, if Tamara decides to sue Aldi supermarkets in negligence, she may be successful as there was a breach of duty of care by Aldi supermarkets and the consequence was the injuries suffered by Tamara.

 

References

Bob Hepple, (1997) ‘Negligence: The Search for Coherence’, 50 Current Legal Problems 69

Jane Stapleton, (1991) ‘Duty of Care and Economic Loss: A Wider Agenda’ 107 Law Quarterly Review 249

Jane Stapleton, (2003) ‘The Golden Thread at the Heart of Tort Law: Protection of the Vulnerable’  24 Australian Bar Review 135

Kit Barker, (1993) ‘Unreliable Assumptions in the Modern Law of Negligence’, 109 Law Quarterly Review 461, 483

McDonald, Barbara (2005). “Legislative Intervention in the Law of Negligence: The Common
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