To of duty, HBC have not acted with

To start this consultation,
we must address the subject at hand, we will be discussing if there is any liability
for negligence in the case of the two workers who lost their lives after
falling from the upper level of a tall building that was under construction by
HBC.

 

This
consultation will focus on:

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·     
Liability
for negligence, including damages and any defences.

·     
The
case of the workers

·     
The
case of the elderly couple

·     
The
case of ‘Fluffy’

·     
Conclusion

 

First of all, we
must understand the definition of negligence. Negligence is a breach of a duty of care which results in damage. To prove that
The Higher Better Company have acted negligently the plaintiff must prove four
things:

 

·     
Duty
of Care

·     
Breach
of Duty

·     
Damage

·     
Causation

 

We will be
discussing the individual facts of the case to see if the highlighted four
branches for negligence have been met in this case. In tort of negligence
contractors will generally owe a duty of care in tort to their clients to take
reasonable care to avoid personal injury or damage.

 

HBC did have a
duty of care to the deceased in this circumstance as they must ensure safety
for their workers. In terms of breach of duty, HBC have not acted with the
standard of care that should be expected in these circumstances. The harness
that the worker who was wearing one should have passed safety to ensure this
scenario did not happen. And it should easily have been foreseeable that
cutting corners in the cost of safety harnesses in this instance has caused
loss of life. To determine whether the damage to the party in question was
caused due to this breach in duty there is a little bit more information needed.
This is due to the fact that one worker did fall with a harness on, however,
the other worker was not wearing a harness but still fell. The information
required will be listed at the bottom of the consultation.

 

Using the Caparo
test to help with this consultation we must establish three things to meet the
criteria. Firstly, that harm was reasonably foreseeable, secondly that there
was a relationship of proximity and finally that it is fair, just and
reasonable to impose a duty of care. If proven that the harnesses resulted in
the fall all three section of the Caparo test will have been met. The harm was
reasonably foreseeable due to the cheap harnesses, the relationship is
established due to the fact that the deceased were workers for Higher Better
company and it is also just and fair to impose a duty of care. If it is proven
that the harness was the reason for the fall(s) this would prove a liability of
negligence. If on the other hand, it is proven that an external factor, for
example the wind, caused the fall due to only two of the Caparo test factors
being met the company would not be liable of negligence as would not have been
a foreseeable factor.

 

With regard to
the elderly pensioners who saw the two workers fall to their death the neighbour
rule will be applied. The Neighbour Test required two criteria to be met;
reasonable foresight of harm and a relationship of proximity. Due to no
relationship of proximity between The Higher Better Company there is no
liability of negligence involved, once again, if a factor that was not within
the companies control caused the deaths of the workers this would rule out
negligence with regard to the Neighbour rule even more so.

 

‘Fluffy’ is mentioned,
however, it is not mentioned what fluffy is this will be put at the bottom of
the consultation. That being said no liability of negligence is there as ‘Fluffy’
only witnessed the news on the television and no relationship of proximity can
be drawn between HBC and ‘Fluffy’.

 

To conclude,
further information will be needed to help determine a likely outcome for this
case. With regard to the media coverage a recommendation for a super-injunction
on the media outlets. Injunctions cost £45 plus lawyer fees. No liability of
negligence is due to the elderly pensioners or ‘Fluffy’. Based on the further
information provided a determination of liability of negligence will be given.
As things stand, if the harnesses caused the two deaths then there is a case
for negligence by the plaintiff. If the wind caused the deaths, then using the
Caparo test no liability for negligence will be present. If liability of
negligence is proven these are the things that will need to be considered; Medical
bills, loss of income, survivors pain and suffering and punitive damages.

 

 

Further
information needed:

 

·     
Is
there any CCTV footage to determine what caused the fall?

·     
Any
eye witnesses to determine how the workers were behaving, and why one of the
workers was not wearing a harness

·     
A
weather report at the altitude the workers were at when they fell to see if the
fall may have been caused by an unexpected gust of wind

·     
Were
correct safety tests done on the harnesses

·     
Did the
fall of the worker who was wearing the harness result in the fall of the other
worker, meaning both deaths would have been as a result of a malfunctioning
harness

·     
Who/What
is Fluffy?

·     
Did HBC
have life insurance policies on the workers

·     
What
family members of the deceased will be affected.