- Whether Huck can sue Olivia for injuries (if any) sustained to him?
- Whether Olivia can sue Huck for the injuries sustained to her?
- Is there any defense that can be availed by Huck or Olivia?
- Can Mellie sue Olivia or Huck for the loss that is caused to her?
The law of negligence is the applicable law.
A defendant is negligent in his actions when the duty of care is not catered by him resulting in loss to the plaintiff (Donoghue v Stevenson , (1932)). Thus, the main essentials in the law of negligence are: (Robertson & Tilbury, (2016) )
- Every defendant must cater his acts/omissions with utmost care so that no injury is caused to any plaintiff. The defendant is duty bound only against those plaintiffs who are his neighbors, that is, who are in close relationship with the defendant so that the acts/omissions of the defendant fall upon the plaintiff (Wyong Shire Council v Shirt, ). Further, there must be reasonable forseeability that the acts/omissions of the defendant will fall upon the plaintiff (Pyrenees Shire Council v Day , );
- The duty must not be cater by the defendant as adequately as expected from him in any given situation. The level of care must not be met by him. Every driver has a duty to drive carefully and if the same is not carried out then the duty is said to be breached (Tasandy Pty Ltd v Franjic, ). (Streey, (2014))
- The duty when breached must result in causing damage to the plaintiff. The damage must be because of the direct result of the breach and the damages so caused should be predictable (Chapman v Hearse , (1961)). (DMJ, (1963) )
All the three elements must be fulfilled in order to hold any defendant liable under the law of negligence and thus made liable to pay damages for the loss that is suffered by him.
But, even if the defendant is negligent in his actions, still he can rely on the defense of contributory negligence. The defense submits that the loss that is caused to the plaintiff is not only because of the actions of the defendant alone but the plaintiff has also contributed to his own loss (Keep v Pozzebon , . Thus, there is contribution on the part of the plaintiff as well. Thus, the liability of the defendant is reduced proportionately. (Streey, (2014))
The law is now applied to the facts of the case.
Application of law
Olivia Poppe and Fitz were returning home after leaving a pub. They borrow bikes from Cyrus to ride along the freeway.
It is submitted that both Olivia Poppe and Fitz are riding the bikes and thus as per Donoghue v Stevenson, every driver has a duty of care that he must ride in such a manner so that no injury is caused to any pedestrian or the co-passengers. This is a legal duty of care that must be catered by Olivia Poppe and Fitz.
But, the duty that must be furnished by Olivia Poppe and Fitz is not comply with by them as they preferred to ride along the freeway even after knowing that it is not safe in the freeway. Notices were displayed which read “DANGER ! DO NOT WALK OR RIDE ALONG THE FREEWAY”. They are aware of the notices and still preferred to ride along way, thus, the duty that is imposed upon Olivia Poppe and Fitz is not catered adequately. The level of care that is expected from them is violated as rightly held in Tasandy Pty Ltd v Franjic.
Also, both Olivia Poppe and Fitz were not wearing helmets. The bike of Olivia was missing its red rear reflector and both the bikes lack front lights which must be present if any person is driving as it is his duty to drive with all necessary equipments. Knowing the fact that the bike is not appropriate for driving still Olivia Poppe and Fitz decided to ride the bike, thus, the duty that must be followed is not taken care of which resulted in its breach.
Because of the breach of duty by Olivia Poppe and Fitz, they collided with the car of Huck.
It is assumed that injuries might be sustained to Huck, thus, Huck can sue Olivia Poppe and Fitz under the law of negligence.
Olivia has the right to sue Huck for the injuries that are sustained to her. This is because, Huck was driving in the freeway knowing and thus he must drive with utmost care so that no injuries are caused to any pedestrian or co-driver. However, he did not cater with his duty when he took his eyes off while driving. The breach of duty resulted in causing injuries to Olivia. She suffers from Brittle Bone syndrome and broke three of her limbs.
Thus, Huck can be held negligent in his actions.
Now, Olivia Poppe and Fitz cannot be fully held negligent for the loss that is caused to Huck (it is assumed that injuries are sustained by him). This is because Huck himself was driving in the freeway. Also, when the accident took place then Huck himself was not driving adequately. He takes his eyes off the road for a moment as he rummages through his man-bag to locate his phone which is ringing.
Thus, the duty of care which must be furnished by him is also not catered as he was not driving properly and because of the breach Olivia has sustained injuries. So, Olivia can take the defense that the loss that is caused to Huck (if any) has been contributed by his own negligence and Olivia cannot be held solely liable for the loss of Huck.
Likewise, Huck cannot sue Olivia and Fitz totally negligent for their actions as Olivia and Fitz were also negligent in their actions and Huck can take the defense of contributory negligence.
Now, Quinn (driver and electrician) was not able to reach at Mellie’s restaurant and because of which Wagyu beef ($7,500 worth) was disposed off. However, Mellie cannot sue either Huck or Olivis for her loss because the loss was too remote to predict.
Thus, Olivia and Huck are both are negligent in their actions but they both can rely on the defense of contributory negligence. But, no claim can be given to Mellie as the damage caused to her is too remote to predict.
- Whether there is any contract amid Cyrus and Rowan?
- Whether there is any contract amid Cyrus and James?
- Whether there is any contract amid Cyrus Mr Fallacious?
A contract is formed amid two persons after the compliance of all the contract essentials. The main contract elements are:
- Offer – It is a kind of proposal which is made by an offeror to an offeree specifying the acts which the offeror desired to be undertaken on specified terms. An offer must reach the offeree to be complete. If an offeror wants to revoke the offer then the same must be done before the acceptance took place (Byrne v Van Tienhoven, (1880) ). (Molies & Sangha, 1998)
- Acceptance – The approval of the offer by an offeree is called an acceptance provided there are no alterations that are done to the terms of the offer (Empirnall Holdings Pty Ltd v Machon Paull Partners Pty Ltd,(1988) ). An acceptance must reach the offeror in order to be complete, but, when it is done via post then the same is complete as soon as the letter is posted (Brinkibon v Stahag Stahl und Stahlwarenhandelsgessellschaft mbH,  ). (Clark, 2012)
Many a times, an offer is made to the world at large were the mode of acceptance are provided. In such cases it is not necessary that the acceptance must be communicated to the offeror. The compliance of the terms of the offer is an implied acceptance and there is no need for any communication of acceptance to the offeree. Such are unilateral offers where an offer is reciprocated by the conduct of the offeree (Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co,  ).
- Intention – the parties must have legal intention to make a valid contract. If there is no presence of legal intention then such contract has no legal sanctity and such contract can be rescinded. The legal intention is normally found in commercial relationship and not found in domestic relationship. But, this presumption is rebuttable by the presence of evidences (Balfour v Balfour ,  ). (McKendrick & Liu, 2015)
- Consideration – The contract must be supported by consideration, that is, anything that supports the promises that are exchanged amid the parties (Chappell & Co Ltd v Nestle Co Ltd,  )
- Capacity – the parties must also be capable to make a valid contract, that is, the parties must be of sound mind and must be major in their age (Nash v Inman,  ).
These are the main elements which must be furnished.
The law is now applied to the facts of the case.
Application of law
Rowan on 20th September expressed his wish to sell Ride-on mowers to Cyrus. He sends an offer letter to Cyrus specifying that he is offering four John Deere 125 Ride on mowers at $ 3450 each, with delivery on 10 October.
Thus, a valid offer is made by Rowan to Cyrus.
The offer is accepted by Cyrus on 25th September. As per Brinkibon case when an acceptance is made by post then the same is complete there and then.
Thus, the acceptance is complete on 25t itself and there is a concluding contract amid Rowan and Cyrus on 25th September.
It makes no difference when the letter is received by Rowan. Also, the offer is revoked by Rowan on 27 September, that is, after the conclusion of contract, that is, on 25th by postal acceptance rule.
Now, Cyrus intends to purchase a coffee shop and wants to obtain a new lease after the expiry of the old. James has submitted to Cyrus that he would grant a new lease provided Cyrus comply with all the terms of old lease adequate. He even sent a letter confirming the same.
Thus, it is submitted that a unilateral offer is made by James to Cyrus, herein the mode of acceptance is the compliance of the old terms of the lease.
Now, Cyrus has complied with all the terms of the old lease and thus it is a kind of acceptance by conduct.
Thus, a contract is established amid Cyrus and James by complying the terms of the lease.
As per the facts, Mr Fallacious is the brother superior of a religious order called ‘The brotherhood of the covetous lads’ which Cyrus intends to join. In order to join the order Cyrus needs to pay a total of $ 320,000 AUD to Mr Fallacious.
However, later Cyrus met Victor and falls in love with her. He decides to leave the order and asks Mr Fallacious for his property to be returned to him.
However, Mr Fallacious now refuses.
It is submitted that a contract can be made amid Mr Fallacious and Cyrus provided there is the presence of legal intentional mid the two to bind with the contract. Though they both are not in any domestic or commercial relationship, but there is no intention to abide by their promises legally. Thus, the presence of legal intention was not present.
So, there cannot be any contract amid the two.
There is a valid contract amid Rowan and Cyrus on 26th September via postal acceptance rule.
There is a contract amid James and Cyrus which took place when the acceptance is made by conduct by complying with the terms of the lease.
There is no contract amid Mr Fallacious and Cyrus as there is no presence of legal intention amid the two.
Donoghue v Stevenson ((1932)).
Balfour v Balfour , 2 KB 571 ( ).
Brinkibon v Stahag Stahl und Stahlwarenhandelsgessellschaft mbH, 2 AC 34 ( ).
Byrne v Van Tienhoven, LR 5 CPD 344 ((1880) ).
Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co, 1 QB 256 ( ).
Chapman v Hearse ((1961)).
Chappell & Co Ltd v Nestle Co Ltd, AC 87 ( ).
Clark, J. (2012). Agreemnet. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from Ausralian Contract Law: https://www.australiancontractlaw.com/law/formation-agreement.html
DMJ, B. ((1963) ). Sydney Law Review, Remoteness o Damages. .
Empirnall Holdings Pty Ltd v Machon Paull Partners Pty Ltd, 14 NSWLR 527 ((1988) ).
Keep v Pozzebon (. ).
McKendrick, E., & Liu, Q. (2015). Contract Law: Australian Edition. Palgrave Macmillan.
Molies, R., & Sangha, B. (1998). Termination of an offer. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from Networked knowledge: https://netk.net.au/Contract/06Termination.asp
Nash v Inman, 2 KB 1 ( ).
Pyrenees Shire Council v Day ().
Robertson, A., & Tilbury, M. ((2016) ). Divergences in Private Law. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Streey, P. ((2014)). Motor Vehicle Collisions, Magistrates Cases.
Tasandy Pty Ltd v Franjic ().
Tilbury, R. &. ((2016) ). Divergences in Private Law. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Wyong Shire Council v Shirt ().