Hi, I am an undergraduate student at Sheffield and I have been set a question in relation to Law or Tort that I am really struggling with.
This is the problem question:
In March 2010, Mary Suppit started to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. On the advice of other members, she visited her village pub, the Jolly Badger, and asked the landlord, Ivor Bottle, not to serve her with any alcoholic drinks in future. She also visited the village shop and made the same request of the owner, Dawn Breaks. Both Ivor and Dawn agreed to her requests.
In July 2010, Mary felt under pressure at work and, on her way home, purchased a bottle of vodka from Dawn's shop. She was served by Peter, Dawn's son, who was unaware of the arrangement between Mary and Dawn. By 9.00 pm, she had drunk a lot of the vodka and was feeling rather guilty and rather lonely. In search of company, she went to the Jolly Badger, where she joined in Rob Brown's birthday celebrations. She was served with five ciders by Pearl Gates, the barmaid. Ivor was also behind the bar.
When Mary left the pub at 10.30 pm, she was seriously drunk. She felt sick and, in an attempt to direct the contents of her stomach over the parapet of the bridge, she fell into the river below. Mary suffered severe head injuries and would have drowned had it not been for the efforts of Johnny Goode, who had witnessed her fall and rescued her from the water.
Mary now wishes to take action for damages against Ivor and Dawn on account of their breach of duty of care towards her.
Advise Mary on any potential claim she may have in negligence.
I think am fine in terms of the part in relation to the shop keeper and have followed the stages through in determining no duty was owed by the shop keepers son as he had no prior knowledge or agreement therefore no proximity, no duty owed so he could not be i breach of it and nor could shop keeper as was not present or aware. However I am coming to problems in determining whether the land lord...?
1) does owe her a duty or care to stop the staff from serving her alchol when knowing full well shes an alcoholic and had agreed previously
2) and, if they did owe a duty did failing to stop the sale directly result in the harm caused to the claimant or would it be her fault as she knowingly chose to drink and become drunk?
I think the main reason I am struggling with this part of the question is because I can not find any cases similar in facts or law that will help me to determine an answer or mainly whether a duty was owed.......
Any help would be massively appreciated with this in terms of the law,cases or how to go about structuring the answer and mainly, does the land lord owe a duty of care....... also if I am right in stating that a shop keepers son serving her would not lead to the shopkeeper being liable.
Thanks so much
Tort Law- Help please, struggling with problem question :( Watch
- Thread Starter
- 29-11-2010 18:22
- Thread Starter
- 29-11-2010 20:33
Thanks for the link, although the answers there aren't all that useful so any more help, cases etc would be much appreciated please peeps? x
- 04-12-2010 04:34
There's a recent Australian case that you can consider: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2009/47.html.
It obviously won't be binding precedent, but it's good persuasive precedent and there's also a useful discussion of duty.
Basically, a pub patron asked the publican to lock his motorcycle keys away, so that he wouldn't be caught drink-driving. The arrangement was that the publican would call his wife when he was ready to go home but, when the time came, the patron became aggressive and insisted that his keys and motorbike be returned. He refused to let the publican call his wife (who, it turned out, was driving the streets looking for her husband).
He crashed and died on the way home. One of the questions at trial was whether the publican was duty-bound to give effect to the arrangement with the patron.
- 12-12-2010 18:14
I've also been given the same question for my tort..would appreciate some help from u guys like loads, ive had other cwrks and not been able to concentrate on this one...im really confused..dont know where 2 start from and dont no which cases to mention either...pleasseee help