Hi all. I'm preparing for my first moot and am really nervous. I'm senior counsel for the respondent. I've researched and am finding it a bit difficult as most cases would be used against me. I am appealing this point:
Mary appeals to the Court of Appeal on the following grounds:
1. As to the claim in nuisance, Godfrey J was in error when holding that landowners owe a general, non-delegable duty to their neighbours. The true view is that the landowner is only responsible if he authorises a nuisance or if he adopts or continues a nuisance which he knows originates from his land.
Mary is the owner of a public house, the Little Donkey, situated in Bethlehem, a small village in Carmarthenshire. She hired Chris, a retired plumber, to repair a leak. Chris advertised his services in the local newspaper, stating that he was “a retired plumber of 20 years’ experience and available for small jobs at reasonable rates.” Mary showed Chris where the leak was located and left the property leaving him to carry out the repairs. In carrying out the repairs to the pipes Chris used faulty equipment that he had brought along, which caused a fire that spread onto the neighboring premises, destroying Joseph’s greenhouse and many of the plants and flowers in his garden. Joseph brought an action for damages against Mary.
At first instance, Godfrey J. held that Mary was liable in damages, both in nuisance and in negligence. As for the claim in nuisance, he held that as a general rule, the owner of property from where the nuisance emanates owes a non-delegable duty to his neighbour; as a result Mary was directly liable for the damage caused by Chris.
Even if he was wrong on this point, Godfrey J held that Mary was vicariously liable for the negligence of Chris. Godfrey J considered that on the basis of the indications provided by the Court of Appeal in Lane v. Shire Roofing Company (Oxford) Ltd.  IRLR 493, Chris should be considered, for the purposes of the tort of negligence, as an employee of Mary. This is because the question should be considered as a matter of policy and in the context of the current employment situation whereby casual workers like Chris should not be labelled as independent contractors. Consequently, as Chris’ negligence was in the course of employment, Mary was vicariously liable for the damage caused by his actions.
Help: first moot: nuisance Watch
- Thread Starter
- 04-12-2010 21:43