In the given scenario, due to the negligence of Sam, three aircraft suffered from losses. All these three crafts faced different situations and losses. Now the issue is to check whether Sam is liable towards all the three defendants or not? Moreover, if yes then what kind of liability?
Tort is a very significant type of common Law. Under Tort law, a person owns a duty of care towards another person (e-law resources, 2018). It means if a person does not own a duty of care, then in such cases, Tort Law cannot be applicable. Whenever a person breached his/her downed duty of care then the can be held liable to pay damages to the parties suffered. Further, there are many ways in that a person can breach his/her duty of care. The lead ways are negligence, Nuisance, and Defamation. All the mentioned three terms are situations, in which a person will be held liable to breach the duty of care. Negligence is a situation where a person who owns a duty of care, behave negligently and carelessly while performing such duty and due to that, other person suffers from a loss (Laws, 2018). In Conjunction with, this is also necessary to state that damages can be in form of personal injury, financial loss or psychiatric injury under Tort Law. Based on the kind and quantity of loss, the court decides damages in cases under this law.
As per the decision was given in the case of Re Polemis & Furness Withy & Company Ltd. (1921) 3 KB 560, it was held that damages must be related to the act of defendant, i.e. loss accrued to the party must have a direct relation to the act of the defendant. This case gives a mechanism named “remoteness of damages.” In addition to this case, decision provided in the case The Wagon Mound no 1 (1961) AC 388 is also an important one. According to the decision of this case, regardless of the other factor, if damages in a case are foreseeable then the defendant will be held liable for the damages up to the full extent.
Defenses are also a significant element of Tort Law. Defenses are the excuses that a defendant can make to reduce the level of damages. Following are the major defenses that are available with a defendant under this Law
Exclusion of liability and ex turpi causa non oritur action are also other defense that a defendant can use under Tort Law (Dam, 2013, p. 255).
In the given case, three situations are given. Although on all the three-situation rules related to, negligence will be applicable. In the given case, Sam being a responsible person for re-fuelling of aircraft owned a duty of care towards the aircraft owner companies. One day due to the negligence of Sam, aircraft of there companies have refueled with a dusty fuel. Therefore, in the studied case, Sam owned a standard of care in respect of all three aircraft owned by various companies such as White Ltd, Blue Ltd., and green Ltd.
In case of aircraft owned by White Ltd., the engine cuts off and due to such cut off company has suffered from a loss of worth $ 1 million. The lead reason of such cut off was impure fuel. Further, the aircraft also met an accident with Mercedes Benz car and cause of this accident, the car worth $ 75 000 was destroyed. In this situation, Sam owned a duty of care towards the White Ltd but not the car owner. Further, applying Re Polemis & Furness Withy & Company Ltd car loss was not a direct consequence of fuel contamination.
In the second situation, when Sam comes to know about the fact that the fuel he has refilled in aircraft is not pure, then he took reasonable steps to prevent the accident and stop the aircraft owned by Blue Ltd, by taking off to Sydney. Due to his pre-caution, the accident has prevented, however, one of the passengers of the flight has suffered from a loss worth $ 25000 as she could not complete his business transaction cause of cancellation of the flight. In this situation, no duty of care was there between Sam and the passenger as Sam owned this duty towards Aircraft Company not it is passengers.
In the third situation, Sam has tried hard to stop the aircraft and to prevent the future possible accident. Sam has informed the pilot of the aircraft owned by Green Ltd. about the quality of fuel and gives the same a warning, but the pilot did not listen to Sam and take off the aircraft. Here, the defence of Voluntary non fit injuria will be applicable. Although the duty of care has existed on the part of Sam, yet he has taken al the reasonable steps to prevent the loss but defendant was no fault as he accepted the risk even after knowing all the possible consequences.
To conclude the asked issues, it can be stated that-
Dam, C, V (2013). European Tort Law, Oxford: OUP Oxford.
Davies v Swan Motor co (1949) 2 KB 291
e-law resources. (2018). Negligence - duty of care. Retrieved from: https://e-lawresources.co.uk/Duty-of-care.php
Findlaw. (2018). Contributory and Comparative Negligence. Retrieved from: https://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/contributory-and-comparative-negligence.html
Laws. (2018). Negligence tort at a glance. Retrieved from: https://tort.laws.com/negligence-standard-of-conduct/negligence-tort
Re Polemis & Furness Withy & Company Ltd. (1921) 3 KB 560
The Wagon Mound no 1 (1961) AC 388
Turner, C (2013). Unlocking Torts, Oxon: Routledge.
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