Tort Law assessment

Please use OSCOLA referencing, thank you!

2000 words, 700 per question.

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This paper contains SEVEN questions in TWO sections: Section A and Section B.


You must answer THREE questions in total. 


You must answer ONE question from Section B and TWO questions from either Section A or B.


Each question carries an equal weight

Section A



1.     ‘Over the past decades, the scope of the law of vicarious liability has been overly expanded’.



Discuss the statement above with reference to case law.




2.     ‘The Hill principle (Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [1989] AC 53 (HL)) has given the police offers too much protection in negligence claims and this creates injustice to the victims’.



Do you agree with the above statement? Discuss the above statement with reference to case law.




3.     Do you think the House of Lords would have come to the same decision in Tomlinson (Tomlinson v Congleton Borough Council [2003] UKHL 47) if the claimant had been a 5-year-old child?


In your answer, you must explain the main similarities and differences between the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 and the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984.

Section B



4.   A major rail crash occurred involving a collision between two trains, as a result of the negligence of the train company, South London Trains Ltd (South London Trains).  50 people died and a greater number were injured.  Some of the parties involved are as follows:



(a) A signalman, Conner, was on duty at the time, and gave the wrong signal, which led to the crash.  It is agreed that this is because his equipment was faulty: he did not know that the second train was approaching and allowed the first train to proceed.  He did not get involved in the rescue operation but collapsed on hearing of the disaster.  He has not recovered and alleges that he has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.


(b) A police officer, Emma, was on duty at the time of the accident.  It was some time before she arrived, and the medical team were on the scene before her.  However, she helped by carrying some of the dead bodies to the nearest station, by keeping away journalists from the temporary mortuary and by talking to the relatives. Some of the bodies were in a terrible state and the scene was both horrific and chaotic.  She was appalled by the experience and argues that she is suffering from an anxiety neurosis. 


(c) Juan was a crash investigator.  He was left to deal with the investigation on his own.  A few month later, Juan had a meeting with his line manager, Priya, and told her that he had been struggling to cope with his workload.  Priya promised to provide more staff to work with him and suggested that Juan should go to the counselling that South London Trains offered.  Despite repeated complaints to Priya about lack of resources, the promise was never delivered.  Juan did not use the in-house counselling service because the waiting list was too long. He suffered an anxiety neurosis and was forced to give up his job.


(d) Lidia was one of the passengers on the train.  She managed to escape unhurt.  However, due to the traumatic experience, she started suffering from nightmares and flashbacks, which caused her a personality change and severe depression.  One day, she wandered off the street and attacked a man on another street with a hammer. 



Advise Conner, Emma, Juan, and Lidia.

5.     Jake and Veronica own a large country estate in Surrey.  They wish to develop it as an environmentally friendly nature park for use by families.  Planning permission to convert the large country estate into a nature park was granted by the local council.  To this end, Jake and Veronica have constructed a network of ropes, ladders and bridges in the canopy of this woodland for customers to come and ‘swing high’ from tree to tree.  Due to misplaced marketing, the majority of their customers have turned out to be large, noisy groups of young people on stag and hen weekends. They also provide facilities for paintballing and a quad bike cross-country course.  In line with their stated environmental policy, they have recently started to use large volumes of seaweed, collected from nearly lakes, as fertiliser for their large organic vegetable patch.  They have encouraged to do this by this his local council’s recycling officer, Kevin, who is keen to stop waste material going to landfill sites. 


Jake and Veronica receive the following complaints:


(a)  Mohammed, who lives downwind of Jake and Veronica’s estate, complain that the smell of the rotting seaweed makes him physically sick.

(b)  Chantelle, a 13-year-old, lives on a neighbouring farm with her mother, Roxanne.  Roxanne complains that the noises from the quad bikes are causing her guinea pigs to miscarry their young.  Chantelle complains that the smell of the rotting seaweed prevents her from playing outside.

(c)   Jamel who, when he walks his dogs, parks his car next to Jake and Veronica’s boundary fence, complains that his car has, on a few occasions, been hit by stray paintballs.

(d)  Yuko complains that the ‘Swing High’ centre ‘lowers the tone of the neighbourhood’ and that her back garden can be seen from the platforms in the trees.


Advise Jake and Veronica.

6.     Heidi, a famous model, and Kayden, a famous national rugby player, hired a nanny called Athena to look after their children.  Heidi is an enthusiastic activist against drugs in the modelling industry.  Kayden is also an activist in a different field – protecting children working in unfavourable conditions in developing countries.  The couple organised a charity fund-raising event at their house, to which entry was strictly by invitation only.  The couple made an agreement with publishers of the gossip magazine, ‘GOGO’ and sold an exclusive reporting right to ‘GOGO’.  Athena was at the event, and secretly took some photographs of the event and sold them to the rival magazine ‘VIP’.  Athena also told a reporter from ‘VIP’ that Kayden used his charity work to spend time away from his family because his marriage had broken down.  Athena also talked about Heidi, stating that she regularly used drugs to stay thin. 

The day before ‘GOGO’ published their edition, ‘VIP’ published some articles along with the photographs of Kayden, Heidi, and their two children at the event.   The headline for the articles was “Shocking insight into Kayden and Heidi”.  The story revealed that their marriage had broken down; and that Heidi was a drug addict and was having an affair with Kayden’s team mate, Rafael.


Athena also put some photographs of the couple arguing at the event on her Instagram page and tweeted that “Heidi is a b****.  She is not only sleeping with Rafael but also some others.  How do I know this? Because I work for her!”


Assuming that this information is largely accurate, explain as to whether and how Heidi and Kayden are able to protect their rights to misuse of private information.

7.   Kofi met his friend Zak, and they agreed that they both needed a drink.  They went to the pub, where Zak bought the drinks for Kofi.  After they had several pints of beer, Kofi offered Zak a lift home.  Kofi said to Jack that ‘I am fine, I am just over the limit’. 


On the journey home, Kofi crashed into Sarah, a 19-year-old girl, who tried to cross the street to go to a ‘Britain Got A Talent’ show.  She was told by the TV producer that ‘she would most likely to win the show’.  The collision caused Zak to fly through the windscreen, and pushed Sarah into the path of an oncoming car being driven by Suchita, aged 80. Unknown to Suchita, she was having a mini stroke at the time of the collision with Sarah. Sarah sustained serious internal injuries. 


An ambulance was called to take Zak, Sarah and Suchita to the hospital.  Penny, the ambulance dispatcher, having taken the call, did not dispatch an ambulance for 15 vital minutes because she was reading a gossip magazine ‘GOGO’.  By the time the ambulance arrived, Zak had died.  At the hospital, Sarah’s injuries were misdiagnosed by a junior doctor, Sebastian, who was attending in Accident & Emergency for the first time.  Had the nature of her injuries been correctly assessed in A&E, Sarah would have had a 45% chance of full recovery.  Sarah is now paraplegic. 




Advise Sarah.

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