Dancer56
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Report Thread starter 5 years ago
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I'm so new to Law and still don't fully get it. I have an assignment due in this week. I'm struggling on how to answer and how to structure.

Task: You are a trainee solicitor with DerbyLaw LLP. You are currently working in the firm’s Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence department as part of your training contract. Your supervisor is Tim Marangon, the head of the department. This morning you have arrived at work to find this email from Tim in your inbox: Monday, 19th October 2015 Good morning, I have a client coming in to see me this afternoon, a Miss Eve Edmunds, and I need your assistance. I first met Miss Edmunds around a fortnight ago when she came for a first interview about a personal injury matter. Miss Edmunds is 35 years old and works as a consultant in the Emergency Department at a local hospital which is run by the Anyshire NHS Hospital Foundation Trust. She is engaged to Charles Carlisle. Eve and Charles have been engaged for just over a year. They were dating for two years prior to getting engaged. Miss Edmunds freely admitted in the course of our interview, however, that they had been experiencing some difficulties in their relationship over the past few months as a result of Eve’s long working hours. On the morning of Thursday 14th May 2015, Charles was struck by a car as he was cycling to work. The car in question was driven by one Alistair Agard. Apparently, Mr Agard has admitted in the course of subsequent investigations into the incident that he was not paying sufficient attention to the road at the time; immediately before the collision he had been checking a text message on his phone. As a result of being struck by the car, Charles was knocked off of his bike and onto the floor. Charles suffered a number of physical injuries including a head injury which occurred when the back of Charles’ head hit the pavement as he fell off of his bike. Charles was wearing a safety helmet at the time. Charles also suffered a fracture to his left wrist, and numerous cuts and grazes to the left hand side of his body as a result of his fall. Charles was attended at the scene of the collision by paramedics. Having assessed Charles they placed him in an ambulance and rushed him to the Emergency Department of the nearby hospital (run by Anyshire NHS Hospital Foundation Trust), the very same Emergency Department where Miss Edmunds worked. Furthermore, in an additional twist of fate, Eve happened to be on duty at the time when Charles was brought into hospital. The information Miss Edmunds has provided suggests that Charles arrived at the hospital some 45 minutes after he was originally struck by Alistair Agard’s car. Miss Edmunds tells me that, from what she remembers of the day, Charles was clearly in a great deal of distress. He was covered in blood and grime and most of his cycle clothing was shredded as a result of him sliding across the road surface when he fell. Furthermore, Charles was wearing an oxygen mask and had a tube coming out of his arm that was attached to a drip. Although Miss Edmunds had been told to expect the arrival of a cyclist who had been involved in a road traffic collision, she told me that she did not, for one second, imagine that the cyclist in question might be Charles. As such, she was completely unprepared for his arrival at her workplace. In fact, she told me, she was so shocked by the sight of Charles that she ‘froze on the spot’ and found herself completely unable to deal with the situation. Overwhelmed by the whole situation she ran out of her work place and has been on sick-leave ever since (almost 6 months later). Miss Edmunds blames herself for the injuries Charles suffered. She told me that she and Charles had both had a bitter row prior to Charles leaving the house on that fateful day. In fact, it seems that Charles’ last words to her before walking out of the door were ‘You are more committed to your job than you ever have been to me. We’re through!!’ Miss Edmunds seems to believe that Charles would not have been injured that day if they had not parted company on such bad terms. The reason Miss Edmunds came to see me was that the events of that day combined with the blame she places upon herself for Charles’ injuries have had a detrimental impact on her mental health. In fact, Miss Edmunds advised me that, in the course of the past few months, she has presented to her GP complaining of a variety of symptoms including: • Disturbed sleep,• Recurrent nightmares in which she sees Charles as he appeared in the Emergency Department;• Constant feelings of tiredness/lack of energy;• Low mood;• Loss of appetite• Loss of interest in day to day life;• Loss of interest in caring for her appearance;• Weight loss; and• Suicidal thoughts. In light of these symptoms, her GP has been treating her for depression and she has paid for some counselling. Ultimately, Miss Edmunds wants to know whether she might be able to claim compensation from Alistair, the driver who knocked Charles off of his bike, for the psychiatric harm she has suffered as a result of what she saw in the hospital on that fateful day. Whilst I have never had a problem when it comes to dealing with matters of breach and causation in these types of claim, I have always struggled to make sense of the law governing the ‘duty question’ in this context. What I need from you, therefore, is your thoughts on the question ‘Did Alistair owe Eve a duty of care to avoid causing her psychiatric harm?’ Please send me your thoughts in writing as soon as possible. Be sure to provide a clear answer to that question, clear arguments in support of your answer, and clear evidence to support your arguments. Warmest Regards
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