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Lecture 8

COMM 304 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Puffery, Absolute Liability

Course Code
COMM 304
Balbinder S.Deo

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Lecture Eight
1976 occupiers liability changed- anyone who was trespassing
Section 2- common law is different, superseded by this act
Section 9- overrides everything except...., certain statutes give a higher duty of care than a
normal liability to the occupier
o E.g. the hotel keeper is usually the liable person for goods, unless they have put notice
o If the legal notice is on the hotel, if you lose anything or someone steals from you, then
you will get compensated, innkeeper is liable
o Later it was decided that is too much liability, notice should be posted behind front
desk, public places, behind the door, washrooms, etc.
o Common carriers must post something; limit their liability in their contract so they are
not liable for any lost packages/mail, etc.
Basic duty that is owed to someone coming onto your premises is reasonable care to keep them
reasonably safe
If the person is coming on your property to steal from you or is a trespasser, the duties of care
you owe them are
o not to create a danger with deliberate notion of causing harm
o not to act with reckless disregard with presence of person on your property
restrict duty, modify duty or exclude duty- if this is written were it is drawn to people’s
attention, then you are not owed the standard duty of care
What happens if a person gets injured by a dog on your property?
o Owner’s answer when he was sued was that the dog was chained and there was no way
for it to come up to the front door and hurt anyone
o Under the dog owner’s act, if your dog causes injury to anyone, absolute liability, is rare
and only happens by statute, no common law
o Absolute liability-plaintiff has to prove, in this case that the dog caused the injury, no
need to fault proof (balance of probability), no duty of care is taken into consideration,
defendant has to prove that the defendant was not negligent
Strict liability- imposed by statute, if x happens, then you are liable (e.g. transporting dangerous
chemicals; ensure you to do as much as you can for safety of others since they are liable
Negligence not important, only that these people are responsible for the result (strict l.)
Formula for Rylands vs. Fletcher, the court decided that if you have something that is inherently
dangerous, in and of itself dangerous, and that thing escapes from your property and causes
injury, you are liable (doesn’t have to be negligent)
o Middle of 19th century, Rylands and Fletcher, two farmers who had farms side by side on
a large hill, Rylands had a whole lump of crops growing and a river that ran through his
property, Fletcher had crops, but no river
o Fletcher decided to build a reservoir so e could get easy access to water, he had best
engineers come in to check land, and no one was negligent to make sure the water was
safe to be sent down in a reservoir. However, in the past, there were tin mines running
under the property of both homes.
o Reservoir filled with rain water, bottom of it gave way, and all the water came down,
and wiped out Ryland’s crops
o Noting negligent had been done
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