Philosophy 2080 Study Guide - Endangerment, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Contributory Negligence

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Published on 8 Feb 2013
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Read: Essay and 1st case of Contract Law
Occupier of lands- have obligations to people who come on to their property, they are liable. Called
“occupiers liability”
Trespasser- Occupier owes lowest duty of care to the trespasser; can not deliberately injure a
trespasser. One exception: if you own a swimming pool, you owe a duty of care to anyone in
your pool (thus you must have a fence and other precautionary measures). Trespassers assume
all risks, except for traps or devices that might injure you, which the occupier must inform you
of. If the occupier does nothing about frequent trespassing over time, you have “assumed
Licensee- On the land for the benefit of the occupie. Owe the same duty of care to invitee as licensee
Invitee- Customers of a business, highest duty of care owed to the invitee
Case Study: Jordan House Ltd. Vs. Menow and Honsberger
-Menow a frequent patron of the bar, told he was not allowed there unless he was there with someone
-Annoys other patrons, was removed. He got a ride part of the way home, but he was let out on an
intersection on the highway, where a car hit him. He sues the hotel bar where he was served for
negligence for tossing him out when he was drunk
-Liquor License Act tells us the bar can ask him to leave, as long as he is uninjured when you eject
him; you can not endanger him
-Duty of care to look after people that leave your establishment; duty to not harm him. He is an invitee
-1-144: Where any person sells liquor to a person that would become increasingly intoxicated that he
would cause damage to himself of others: if he meets death or commits suicide, you have a statutory
cause of action
-The man who picked him up and dropped him off becomes the novus actus intervenus, the intervening
-Liquor License Act does not describe a statutory right to sue because it would limit the reasons one is
allowed to sue for
-Bar knew he was drunk, knew he lived close to the hotel, both of which were on the highway
-Likelihood of injury is high, likely severity of injury is high. Cost of avoidance is low. They could
have called a cab, the police, given him a room for the night, refused to serve him, etc
-Liability is found because as an occupier of land, they have a duty to their invitee to ensure they do not
get hurt. Menow lacked the capacity to assess the risk because he was drunk.
-Judgement: all 3 parties equally at fault
Case Study: Dobson vs. Dobson
-Mother is driving a car, is pregnant, has an accident. Child is born prematurely, has some problems as
a result of the accident
-7 years later, child with mother’s parents (as litigation guardians, because as a minor he lacks the
capacity to sue) assist the son to sue the mother for negligence because he has all these health
complications that will persist throughout his life
-Mother is insured, and the money will go back to her or her family anyway.
-Duty of care when you are driving is owed to anyone on the road and everyone in your car.
-Is a foetus a person? Personality is determined by birth, therefore when born alive you have the right
to sue like anyone else. Injury pre-birth does not bar your right to sue
Principles of Tort Law
1) Child born alive can sue a stranger for injuries caused prior to birth
2) A child can sue its parents
…Therefore, the child has the right to sue its mother for the injuries sustained prior to birth
-When her negligent driving is the issue and there are insurance funds available the child has the right
to sue. This creates a very specific issue.
-What are the policy reasons that would restrict us from imposing liability?
-Autonomy of women, privacy would be restrained. Foetus is part of the mother. Mother is
now taking into account aspects of tort liability in every aspect of her life. Normal or mundane
tasks in her life are now seen as potential risks for liability
-Motherhood becomes a legally constraining experience. Too much of an intrusion on
someone’s fundamental rights. Unacceptable interference with liberty of the mother
-In the UK, no imposing tort liability for pregnant women EXCEPT for negligent driving where there
is automobile insurance to financially support case
-Mother owes a duty of care to all passengers in her car. Her obligation to drive safely is a general
obligation. Freedom of action in this case does not exist. No one has the right to be negligent when
“With” or “Without” Costs
-Appeal dismissed with costs: you lost the case, and you are paying the other side’s legal bill. Costs go
with the cause. Winner gets a portion of, or all of, his legal costs covered by the other side
Case Study: Nespolon vs. a Bunch of People
-Snider got really drunk off a bottle of wine from Pavao, they went to Burger King where a police
officer saw them. After they left, his friends left Snider at a house where he knew the people. Snider
staggered onto the road, a concerned citizen stops to ask him if he is ok. Nespolon slows down in his
truck, blinded by the lights from the citizen’s car. He hits Snider and suffers severe psychological
damage as a result. Became estranged from two of his sons and wife, overwhelming feelings of guilt.
Suffered from PTSD. (Post traumatic stress disorder)
-Nespolon not found to be negligent when he hit Snider. Pavao not found to be negligent for supplying
the wine because such ridiculous unforeseeable events occurred after he drank it.
-Snider is found negligent because he should know that excessive drinking can lead to situations of
-At trial, Nespolon received substantial damages for his claim. Contributory negligence was used to
determine who paid what amount of damages
-Could Snider’s friends foresee that dropping him on the side of the road to cause someone else PTSD?
-Kids doing “adult” things are expected to behave in an “adult” regard. But since driving is not a
particularly adult activity, that is not the issue.
-Snider is liable, and his risk to himself and to others is foreseeable. “Intoxication is negligence”