I am currently working on this question and i'm in two minds about the outcome. I would say Belinda has a duty of care as Ali is a passenger. I would really appreciate any help/ideas!
Ali and Belinda are long-standing friends. Ali has recently been having money worries and has struggled to repay bank and credit card loans of £5,000. Ali became very anxious about his circumstances and explained the situation to Belinda. Belinda said that she wished that she could give Ali £5,000 to sort out his affairs, but she was presently hard-up herself. She did say, however, that she would do what she could to help Ali and she suggested that Ali should find another job, on top of his day job, to boost his income. Following Belinda’s advice, Ali was employed on a night shift at a local factory. As Ali did not have a car, Belinda offered to drive him to the factory so that he would be saved the expense of taxi fares. Although the additional income has eased Ali’s financial difficulties a little, the long hours he has been working have aggravated his nervous state of mind.
One evening, Belinda was feeling very tired but knowing how important the additional income was to Ali, she gave him his lift as usual. On the way to the factory, while travelling at low speed in a line of traffic, Belinda momentarily fell asleep at the wheel of her car. The car mounted a traffic island and destroyed a bollard. Ali, who was wearing his seat-belt, was not physically injured but he was very shaken up. The experience worsened his low mood and he felt unable to work. He received statutory sick pay, but this was not enough to finance his debts and he quickly incurred penalty charges of a further £500 from his lenders. In order to reduce the pressure from his bank and credit card company, Ali borrowed from a ‘loan-shark’ to pay off his other creditors and his total liability then increased to £10,000.
The local authority has now asked Belinda to pay for the cost of repairing the traffic island and bollard. Ali says that he wants Belinda to compensate him for his mental suffering, loss of earnings and the additional costs he has incurred in financing his debts.
Could anyone help me with this Tort scenario. Please! Watch
- Thread Starter
- 16-12-2010 16:52
- PS Helper
- 16-12-2010 17:02
I'm not a Law student but here's my thoughts...
As Belinda (I presume) is not a financial consultant and was not advising Ali in a professional capacity, I would argue she has no responsibility for his previous debts.
However, she does have a duty of care for Ali in the driving capacity and perhaps could be liable for loss of earnings for his sick day and £500 penalty. HOWEVER, the case does not state whether Ali was diagnosed unfit for work only that he 'felt' unable to work. If this is depression-caused, the depression was not solely caused by the accident.
But I'm nto a law student so I'm probably way off! A friend of mine is doing Business Law and he always discusses his case studies with me - it's quite interesting!
- Thread Starter
- 16-12-2010 17:15
hmm, I'm also thinking psychiatric harm could be involved too.
- 16-12-2010 17:33
Structure it in 3 broad issues.
1) Belinda's advice to Ali
2) Belinda destroying the bollard (think about Weetabix v Mansfield and cases like that)
3) Ali's injury from the crash - or, indeed, his lack of one.
In each one, check if there's a duty of care (so for the advice to Ali, was there any kind of relationship there which could trigger one?) a breach and harm caused. Note defences etc.
- 11-01-2011 01:24
I'm also doing this scenario....Include topics on Negligence - duty of care including pure economic loss. Also remoteness of Damage, psychiatric Illness and vagarious liability. Whens your essay in for?