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Torts

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Torts assignment

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I have been asked to advise James, Stephanie, David and Vaughan on any rights and liabilities they may have arising from the relevant facts, considering also any relevant defences which could be argued and giving full legal reasons from the relevant facts. Such advice as will be given is made in consideration of the legal principles set out below.

Vicarious Liability

This concerns an employer’s liability for the tortuous acts and omissions of employees.

[1] An employer is vicariously liable for wrongful acts done by the employee in the “scope of their employment”[1]

[2] If a wrongful act of an employee has been authorised by the employer, the employer will be liable

[3] An employer is liable even for unauthorised acts, if they are so connected with authorised acts that they may be regarded as modes of doing them. The test is whether the wrongful act may be considered a mode of performance, or whether it is so removed from an authorised act that it may be deemed independent.

Duty of Care

The general principle is that “a person is not liable for damage to another through his or her negligence unless a duty of care is owed” [2]

[4] “The law concerns itself with carelessness only where there is a legal duty to take care. A person owes a duty to take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which he or she should have reasonably foreseen would be likely to injure his or her ‘neighbour’, that is, another person ‘closely and directly affected’ by that acct or omission” [3]

[5] Once it is accepted that a duty of care exists, its breach will result from a failure to meet the required standard of care. That standard requires reasonable care. Failure to take reasonable care is negligence.

[6] The fundamental test is the standard of the “reasonable person”...

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