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Business Law Study Notes.pdf

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Shelley Mc Gill

• Duty of Care (Extended) o Principle criterion of duty of care is that the alleged wrongdoer should have foreseen that his actions might do harm o One cannot be expected to anticipate all possible consequences but, “would a normally intelligent and alert person have foreseen that this conduct would have likely caused harm?”  Hunt vs. Sutton • Christmas party with open bar ends with a paraplegic after a drunken employee refused a ride home • Woman drank a lot at the party, then went to the hotel bar after that • Hunt charged her employer with negligence because they knew she was drunk but didn’t do enough to stop her o Plaintiff must go further and establish a duty of care  Duty will arise only where the defendant could reasonably have foreseen a risk of harm to that plaintiff or someone in the plaintiff’s position  Eg. Courier company was not held liable for delivering an article of mail too late for a private sale to be completed as it could not reasonably foresee the delay would cause a loss to some third party outside its relation with the client (not allowed to read the mail!) o Courts have sometimes held that duty of care is owed to persons other than the individual who is directly injured  Eg. Court held driver liable when a mother died by emotional trauma of seeing son hit by the driver because that type of injury was foreseeable o Court will consider any statutes with respect to the matter • Standard of Care (Extended) o Law places a general duty on every person to take reasonable care to avoid causing foreseeable injury to other persons and their property o Standard of care varies according to the activity in question such as a brain surgeon vs. person on the subway o Court must balance competing interests;  Degree of likelihood that harm will result from the activity as well as the potential severity  Social utility of the activity and the feasibility of eliminating the risk • Ie. Where there is danger of a major catastrophe it would be unreasonable not to take every known precaution o Increasingly, legislation not only imposes duties, but also sets out appropriate standard of care (regulations) for particular activities
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