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Tort of Negligence: Duty of Care in Bicycle Repair Business


• Identify the relevant legal issues
• State the applicable principles of law (supported by authority)
• Apply the law to the facts provided to arrive at a conclusion.

Mike runs a small bicycle repair business as a sole trader. He does everything himself; he fixes customers’ bikes and does all the bookkeeping, etc, for the business.Simon recently brought his bike to Mike’s workshop to have two punctures fixed in the front tyre. Mike fixed the punctures carefully but was interrupted and distracted by telephone calls while doing so and neglected to properly secure the front wheel after he had repaired the punctures. Simon fetched the bike from Mike’s workshop and took it home on the back of his utility vehicle. The next day Simon was riding his bicycle to work when the front wheel of his bike became loose, causing Simon to fall off the bike onto the road. Simon suffered no physical injury but the guitar he was carrying on 
his back was smashed and a watch he was wearing, belonging to his sister Mary, was also damaged beyond repair. Vincent, who was in his garden at the time, witnessed the accident and was so startled he dropped a tray of glasses he was carrying, all of them breaking. Vincent’s wife Veronica saw him dropping the glasses and was very upset as they were a present from her mother. Being distracted, she knocked over a glass of wine she was drinking, staining the carpet.

On the basis of the principles governing the tort of negligence, briefly explain whether Mike owes a duty of care to:
a. Simon; 
b. Mary;
c. Vincent; and
d. Veronica.   

• Do not discuss the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 in your answer.
• Your argument should be supported by appropriate legal authorities (in this instance, relevant case law).
• Remember the importance of providing legal authorities to support your arguments  (i.e.  case law or legislation).

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