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Law of Obligations (Tort Law)LLB - Essay Example

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Law of Obligations (Tort Law)LLB

The employer, on the other hand, may have a claim for damages against Beatrice for her negligence.
Employer's Duty of Care and its Breach. In the recent case of Jones v BBC, 2007 WL 2187023 (QBD), where Jones, a freelance sound recordist for defendant BBC claimed that he suffered personal injury when a windmill rotor fell onto his back causing severe spinal injury rendering him paraplegic. In ruling for the claimant, the court stated that since BBC's safety crew had identified a risk of the falling mast, a discussion before filming should have been made to warn the crew not to go beneath it. But the safety crew did not give the warning. Such failure of BBC, through the safety crew, is considered negligent which caused Jones' accident. Thus, the BBC was liable for Jones' injuries. Also, the cameraman and Jones worked as a team because their equipment was linked. Jones with his equipment was following the cameraman who had decided to pass beneath the mast thereby leading Jones into the hazardous area. The cameraman was then in breached of his duty of care and the BBC was vicariously liable for that negligence. In Wilsons & Clyde Coal Company, Limited v English, [1938] A.C. 57, the House of Lords stated as follows: " primarily the master has a duty to take due care to provide and maintain a reasonably safe system of working in the mine, and a master, who has delegated the duty of taking due care in the provision of a reasonably safe system of working to a competent servant, is responsible for a defect in the system of which he had no knowledge" By the Jones and Wilsons cases, it is clear that the employer is under a duty of care to provide the employee with competent fellow employees including a qualified medical personnel, properly maintained site and facilities, and to provide a safe place and system of work. The question of whether the employer breached that duty of care depends on the standard of care owed by the employer to its employee and whether it has taken reasonable steps considering the circumstances. (Latimer v A.E.C. Ltd.[1953]) In Jones, the breach of the employer's duty consists in BBC's failure (through its safety crew) to discuss with the cameraman and Jones the risk of the falling mast and to warn the cameraman and Jones in unequivocal terms that they must not go beneath it. In Wilsons, the breach by the employer consists of its failure to provide competent fellow employees, properly maintained mine and equipment, and to provide a safe place and system of work. In the case of the employee here, the failure of the employer considering its nature of business to properly provide and maintain a safe place and system of work free from insects such as wasps, to provide sufficient number of medical personnel and qualified immediate treatment which caused the employee's permanent disability to do manual work constitute a breach of the standard care required from the employer. Considering that the company is engaged in hazardous chemicals, not having any emergency doctor onsite is a breach of its standard of care. It can reasonably be expected that injuries are bound to occur in a chemical factory because, by the very nature of its business alone, the environment with chemicals is susceptible to accidents. Hence, the ...Show more
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Summary

Beatrice (the "employee") has at least two possible causes of action against Alchemy plc (the "employer) which are as follows: (1) a claim for personal injuries in respect of the employer's breach of its duty to provide a safe system of work and (2) a claim for loss of income…
Law of Obligations (Tort Law)LLB
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