Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hello

    I've been lurking on these forums for a while, now I am in need of help!

    One aspect of my question is asking me to discuss whether 'X would be able to claim for his psychiartic harm and the claim it has led to him committing GBH.'

    I was just slightly confused about the second aspect (the GBH), what are the basics if someone doesn't mind telling me. Where can I read up a bit more on this specific element? Or am I reading too much into it and do I just need to approach it like any other Stress at Work question?

    Secondly, this is the approach I am going to take for answering the question:

    • Highlight that it is issue of employer's liability
      Identify the common law employer's duties. Wilson & Clyde Coal Co v English
      Highlight the stress issue
      Bring up Walker v Northumberland, the distinctions that were made in White v Chief Const. of South Yorkshire Police and apply the principles from both cases to the facts.
      - Discuss the tests applied by the court of appeal in Sutherland v Hatton and apply to the facts.

      Discuss forseeability? Is it correct to use this term here? - Whether the employer knew/was informed/had reason to believe the employee was suffering from stress. Cases: Hartman v South Essex Mental Health etc.

      Defences


    Could you please tell me if i am missing anything, any articles to take a look at that maybe relevent or any specific cases i should take a look at.

    All help will be appreciated greatly. Thanx.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lawstudent096)
    Hello

    I've been lurking on these forums for a while, now I am in need of help!

    One aspect of my question is asking me to discuss whether 'X would be able to claim for his psychiartic harm and the claim it has led to him committing GBH.'

    I was just slightly confused about the second aspect (the GBH), what are the basics if someone doesn't mind telling me. Where can I read up a bit more on this specific element? Or am I reading too much into it and do I just need to approach it like any other Stress at Work question?

    Secondly, this is the approach I am going to take for answering the question:

    • Highlight that it is issue of employer's liability
      Identify the common law employer's duties. Wilson & Clyde Coal Co v English
      Highlight the stress issue
      Bring up Walker v Northumberland, the distinctions that were made in White v Chief Const. of South Yorkshire Police and apply the principles from both cases to the facts.
      - Discuss the tests applied by the court of appeal in Sutherland v Hatton and apply to the facts.

      Discuss forseeability? Is it correct to use this term here? - Whether the employer knew/was informed/had reason to believe the employee was suffering from stress. Cases: Hartman v South Essex Mental Health etc.

      Defences


    Could you please tell me if i am missing anything, any articles to take a look at that maybe relevent or any specific cases i should take a look at.

    All help will be appreciated greatly. Thanx.
    Bump.

    I wasn't well yesterday when i wrote the above post.

    What was confusing me was if i able to prove the employer's liability for psychiatric harm - how do I go about proving the second element, that they are responsible for the GBH?

    *EDIT to add: I dont know if I'm going a bit off the tracks here. What should I be looking at to find out if the employer is liable for the employee committing an assault? Baring in mind it would be the employee claiming. Assuming it is proven the employers are liable for his psychiatric illness?

    Further reading suggests I need to be looking @ Gray v Thames Trains. But i'm still slightly confused as what method I need to answer the question and all the points that I need to make sure that I cover.

    I've looked through a few textbooks, my notes etc. they all seem to cover physical harm a lot more and only address 'stress at work' fairly briefly.

    For some reason I keep thinking even if the employer's liability was proven for the psychiatric harm, he would not be able to claim that it led to him committing the assault. I don't know what I'm basing this on though
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Anybody?
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    Causation. The GBH issue probably raises issues of novus actus interveniens. Saying that the employer's breach caused the employee to assault someone is a probably a bit of a stretch.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    Causation. The GBH issue probably raises issues of novus actus interveniens. Saying that the employer's breach caused the employee to assault someone is a probably a bit of a stretch.
    Thanks for that.

    I have also since found that illegality seems relevant. So do I need to discuss both, causation and illegality?

    There have been a couple of cases, very similar to the facts which have said it would be against public policy to allow someone to claim for something a criminal court has found them personally liable for.

    Btw, is there anything else i should be taking a look at/covering?
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    If you post the actual question we'd probably be able to give you some more detailed and relevant comments. Without knowing the background information I'm struggling to put it in context. The liability of the employers in the cases you mentioned in your OP centred upon the fact that some knew that their employee was in a fragile state of mind or ought to have know that fact. If your case shows something similar then, as JP's said, this may raise a few causation issues. Otherwise your case will fail on foreseeability and remoteness of damages grounds. In either case the employer would probably avoid liability under the third branch of the C v D requirements: is it fair just and reasonable to impose liability?

    I see where you're going with Wilson & Clyde Coal Co v English but remember, this will only create a cause of action as between the employee and employer; not as between the victim and the employer. And again, I have no idea which party you've been asked to advise.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mr_Deeds)
    If you post the actual question we'd probably be able to give you some more detailed and relevant comments. Without knowing the background information I'm struggling to put it in context. The liability of the employers in the cases you mentioned in your OP centred upon the fact that some knew that their employee was in a fragile state of mind or ought to have know that fact. If your case shows something similar then, as JP's said, this may raise a few causation issues. Otherwise your case will fail on foreseeability and remoteness of damages grounds. In either case the employer would probably avoid liability under the third branch of the C v D requirements: is it fair just and reasonable to impose liability?

    I see where you're going with Wilson & Clyde Coal Co v English but remember, this will only create a cause of action as between the employee and employer; not as between the victim and the employer. And again, I have no idea which party you've been asked to advise.
    Thanks for the reply. I am supposed to be advising the Employer. Also as I mentioned I am addressing the issue in regards to a claim from the employee not the victim.

    Yes - the question does state that the employee had bought to their attention his psychiatric illness. So forseeability isn't a problem.

    Considering this, do I still need to address whether it is fair, just and reasonable to impose a liability?

    The approach I would take is:

    1. Establish firstly whether there is a duty using Wilson and the 4 requirements/duties that arose from that case owed by the Employer to the employee.
    2. From 'the safe system of work' duty establish there is a duty to avoid psychiatric harm to employees from an unsafe system of work establsihed in Walker v Nothumberland.
    3. Set out the two requirements from walker in regards to whether there is a breach or not (The risk had to be forseeable from the employer's point of view and that the employer had acted unreasonably by not providing further assistance or making provisions for the risk.) At this stage I would ofcourse discuss each point in more detail, esp. foreseeability and the relevent supporting case law.

    Would going through the above 3 steps be enough to hold the employer liable (if all the requirements are met)?

    From here I would like to discuss the claim that it led the employee to commit gbh. Here I would like to mention the issues of illegality and causation?

    Would this be the right methodology?
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    (Original post by lawstudent096)
    Yes - the question does state that the employee had bought to their attention his psychiatric illness. So forseeability isn't a problem.
    Foreseeability is a huge problem, OP. Remember that, in tort law, one has to foresee the nature of the damage which his/her breach causes and not the extent or severity of it (see: Wagon Mound (No 1). The prudent employer would clearly foresee that the continuance of employment might have adverse affects on the claimant's mental health but should/can they be expected to foresee that the result of this would be that their employee would then go on to commit GBH? I'd say probably not. Again, there are probably causation issues involved here also.

    Considering this, do I still need to address whether it is fair, just and reasonable to impose a liability?
    Yes, but only in so far as you should question whether or not it would be fair just and reasonable to impose liability on the employer for the claimant's own health implications. The other claim, for the reasons given above, is destined to fail on foreseeability/proximity grounds.

    The approach I would take is:

    1. Establish firstly whether there is a duty using Wilson and the 4 requirements/duties that arose from that case owed by the Employer to the employee.
    2. From 'the safe system of work' duty establish there is a duty to avoid psychiatric harm to employees from an unsafe system of work establsihed in Walker v Nothumberland.
    3. Set out the two requirements from walker in regards to whether there is a breach or not (The risk had to be forseeable from the employer's point of view and that the employer had acted unreasonably by not providing further assistance or making provisions for the risk.) At this stage I would ofcourse discuss each point in more detail, esp. foreseeability and the relevent supporting case law.
    Good method.

    Would going through the above 3 steps be enough to hold the employer liable (if all the requirements are met)?
    For negligence, most definitely. :yep:

    From here I would like to discuss the claim that it led the employee to commit gbh. Here I would like to mention the issues of illegality and causation?

    Would this be the right methodology?
    Illegality would be a great defence if the claimant is seeking damages for the fact that he's injured somebody else. Ex turpi was pretty much "invented" for these sorts of cases. There's a case with similar facts to your own where the claimant sought damages as against, IIRC his employer, for going one step further than GBH and actually killing the victim. His claim failed on illegality grounds but the name of it escapes me. If you know what I'm talking about make sure you chuck this in your answer!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mr_Deeds)
    Foreseeability is a huge problem, OP. Remember that, in tort law, one has to foresee the nature of the damage which his/her breach causes and not the extent or severity of it (see: Wagon Mound (No 1). The prudent employer would clearly foresee that the continuance of employment might have adverse affects on the claimant's mental health but should/can they be expected to foresee that the result of this would be that their employee would then go on to commit GBH? I'd say probably not. Again, there are probably causation issues involved here also.



    Yes, but only in so far as you should question whether or not it would be fair just and reasonable to impose liability on the employer for the claimant's own health implications. The other claim, for the reasons given above, is destined to fail on foreseeability/proximity grounds.



    Good method.



    For negligence, most definitely. :yep:



    Illegality would be a great defence if the claimant is seeking damages for the fact that he's injured somebody else. Ex turpi was pretty much "invented" for these sorts of cases. There's a case with similar facts to your own where the claimant sought damages as against, IIRC his employer, for going one step further than GBH and actually killing the victim. His claim failed on illegality grounds but the name of it escapes me. If you know what I'm talking about make sure you chuck this in your answer!
    Thanks for the re-assurance and assistance.

    I think I know what case you are talking about. It is in my notes somewhere and yes the employee is trying to hold the company liable for him committing the criminal offence.

    I always find myself eventually getting there but being unsure for long periods of time whether im taking the right approach or whether im covering all the necessary elements.
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    (Original post by lawstudent096)
    Thanks for the re-assurance and assistance.

    I think I know what case you are talking about. It is in my notes somewhere and yes the employee is trying to hold the company liable for him committing the criminal offence.

    I always find myself eventually getting there but being unsure for long periods of time whether im taking the right approach or whether im covering all the necessary elements.
    You seem to know what you're doing so you should be fine. Whenever you have a negligence case just think Donoghue v Stevenson: establish duty, breach, causation and remoteness of damages. Then assess whether or not liability will fail on the Caparo v Dickman grounds: foreseeability (pretty much always use Palsgraf and Wagon Mound for good, illustrative examples), proximity (again, Bourhill) and fair, just and reasonable (Marc Rich).

    Where you have a specific form of liability you can then bring in more "specialist cases"; as in this case where you can talk about Wilson. In nervous shock cases you'd probably discuss Alcock a lot, for example. Then it's just a question of raising the defences and concluding. You've probably already worked this out but it's a pretty infallible technique if you then pad out your answer with the relevant case law and critique.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    You might also like to take a look at Barber v Somerset and Sutherland v Hatton

    In relation to the illegality issue see Meah v McCreamer where a claim was successful for damages for imprisonment. However, this was departed from in Clunis v Camden and Gray v Thames
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Scarlet Rose)
    x
    Thanks for those, I mentioned Sutherland v Hatton in my first post. Gray v Thames is the case I think Mr_Deeds was referring to earlier.
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    (Original post by lawstudent096)
    Gray v Thames is the case I think Mr_Deeds was referring to earlier.
    Thank you! It was starting to irritate :p:!
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Has a teacher ever helped you cheat?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.