Chapter 12 Business & Consumer Law

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University of Guelph
Marketing and Consumer Studies
MCS 3040
Joseph Radocchia

Chapter 12 Other Torts Torts and Property Use  Tort actions may arise in relation to property in a number of ways, most commonly when the occupier of the property harms others Occupier: Someone who has some degree of control over land or buildings on that land (can be more than 1) Occupier’s Liability  The liability that occupiers have to anyone who enters onto their land or property  Area of law varies by jurisdiction (e.g. Quebec & newfoundland retain the common law while other provinces have occupier’s liability legislation) Liability at Common Law  Liability is determined by classifying the visitor as a trespasser, licensee, invitee or contractual entrant  Each class is owed a different standard of care  Hard to classify sometimes Contractual Entrant: Anyone who was paid & who has contracted for the right to enter the premises  E.g. Visitors who have bought tickets to see dinosaur exhibit  Duty owed to this clad is warranty that “the premises are as safe as reasonable care & skill on the part of anyone who can make them Invitee: Anyone who comes onto the property to provide the occupier with a benefit  E.g. Store customer or service personnel  Occupier owes slightly lower duty to the invitee than to contractual entrant  Occupier must warn invitee of any “unusual danger of which he knows/ought to know” Licensee: Someone who has been permitted by the occupier to enter for the benefit of the license  Guests invited to someone’s property for a social engagement\  Occupier responsible to licensees for any unusual danger of which they are aware or that they have reason to know about Trespasser: Any person not invited onto the property and whose presence is either unknown to occupier or is objected to by the occupier  Occupier will be liable for any act done with the deliberate intention of doing harm to the trespasser, or an act done with reckless disregard for the presence of the trespasser  Occupier owes trespasser at least the duty of acting with common humanity towards him Liability under Occupier’s Liability Legislation  Alberta, BC, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario & PEI have enacted occupiers liability legislation  Differences in legislation but also considerable common ground across jurisdictions  One objective of legislation is to simplify common law  Legislation across county provides for high duty of care – equivalent to the negligence standard – the be owed to entrants who are on the property with express or implied permission ( at common law, contractual entrants, invitees & licensees) The Tort of Nuisance Nuisance: Any activity on an occupier’s property that unreasonably & substantially interferes w/ the neighbor’s rights to enjoyment of the neighbor’s own property  Concerns intention & unintentional actions taken on one neighbor’s land that cause harm of some sort  General test is whether the activity has resulted in an “unreasonable and substantial interference with the use & enjoyment of the land” Courts have developed the following guideline…  Intrusions must be significant & unreasonable  Nuisance typically doesn’t arise where the intrusion is only temporary ( E.g. Construction)  Not all interests are protected by the tort of nuisance ( E.g. the right to sunlight)  In nuisance actions, courts will consider tradeoffs in interest. When the noise in question is reasonable and for the public good, the action in nuisance will fail Trespass to Property or Chattels Trespass: The act of coming onto another’s property without the occupier’s express or implied consent  Tort of trespass important for resolving boundary/title disputes & protecting property rights  Protects privacy rights & the right to “peaceful use of land”  Trespass is actionable without proof of harm or damage  If occupier suffers monetary damages due to another’s trespass, damages are recoverable  Most times plaintiff seeks injunction requiring trespasser to stop trespassing  Provincial legislation in some jurisdiction also provides for fines against trespasser Torts from Business Operations  Includes broad range of activities & are best categorized by involving customers/clients and those involving competitors Torts Involving Customers  Most important tort arising in this context is negligence  Product liability, motor vehicle accidents, alcohol related liability & negligent misrepresentations etc. False Imprisonment Unlawful dete
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