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Homework Question - Unintentional Tort

Discussion in 'Australian Law School Homework Questions' started by Katherine Sanders, 4 May 2015.

  1. Katherine Sanders

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    Stuck on this problem here; hoping someone could help me out. Case relates to unintentional tort law/negligence


    John, a professional tennis player, takes his accountant Esther to lunch at one of his restaurants to discuss life on the circuit and also his business affairs. Esther is aware of Johnr’s ownership of restaurants, and tells him that recent taxation changes have been a disaster for restaurants. She says that proposed tax changes will make real estate, particularly restaurants, a poor investment and that exiting owners should sell as soon as possible. If a restaurant cannot be sold, she advises that the only course of action is to incur expenditure
    which will attract high rates of depreciation for tax purposes. One of these expenditures is the installation of child care facilities in each restaurant.

    John is alarmed at what Esther has told him and, unable to sell two restaurants, he installs child care facilities. Unfortunately Esther was confused and the expenditure incurred by John will not attract a tax deduction because she forgot that the tax deduction did not apply to restaurants owned before the dated of the announcement of the new proposal. Only new property purchases attract the tax deduction.

    John told David, another professional tennis player, about Esther’s advice. David immediately sold his restaurants at a very low price. Unfortunately David lost his sound investments.

    While practicing his tennis at the Local Tennis Centre, John slipped on some chewing gum left on the playing surface. He injured a muscle in his leg and was treated at a Sports Medicine Clinic. The doctor from the Clinic has told him if he does not play tennis for seven weeks, he should make a complete recovery. John was to play at the new Indoor Stadium and had negotiated a contract for appearance money at the tournament of $5,000.

    Are David and John entitled to compensation for their losses, and if so, from whom?

    Would really appreciate if anyone could help me in providing a legal solution for this problem!
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Situations giving rise to potential causes of action:

    1. John vs Esther - action for negligence (professional liability) based on her owing him a duty of care as accountant. He may be able to recover compensation in the form of tortious damages which are awarded to place the plaintiff in the position in which he or she would have been had the tort (Esther's negligence) not been committed.
    2. David vs John - (no action) - because no duty of care owed by John to David to give accurate investment advice. David should have obtained reliable evidence.
    3. John vs Tennis Court - action for negligence (occupier's liability) based on owing him a duty of care to ensure entrants are not exposed to unreasonable risk of injury (if they did not have adequate systems for inspecting and cleaning their courts). John may be able to recover compensation for his injuries which would include various components including loss of profit which would include the $5000 he would have received for playing at the new Indoor Stadium tournament.

    I expect they would want you to go through: (1) duty (2) breach and (3) damage for each of these scenarios where relevant. The second you can obviously cut off at duty because there is none. Remember breach is determined by figuring out what the duty was and whether it was fulfilled or not and damage you may need to consider remoteness. Let me know if you have any other qs
     
    kmd001 likes this.
  3. Katherine Sanders

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    Thank you so much sophea!! You are godsent!
     
  4. Katherine Sanders

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    Hi there, can someone give me some insight into this law question here? I just started my law elective and i am heaps confused on what is needed to be done. Asking so that at least i can get a framework on where i can start, please do advise. It'd help a lot!

    Any help would be appreciated

    The Question:

    Jesse (J) is an interior designer at ABC Company. Jesse usually has her lunch at a nearby park of her office and takes the lane behind her office as a short-cut route back to work. Last week, when Jesse walked into the lane after lunch, she was confronted by an anger and aggressive Pit Bull (a dangerous dog) with a leash. Jesse’s instinct warned her of the imminent danger and the need to back off. Once Jesse started to turn around and move away, she saw the Pit Bull was running toward her. To flee for her life, Jesse ran as fast as she could. However, one heel of her brand new shoes went off; this caused her to tumble into a hole that was left by an electricity company which carried out maintenance. Had the hole be fenced, Jesse’s fall probably could be avoided. Jesse had suffered a deep cut on her face and bruises all over her body. When doctor told Jesse that the cut on her face would leave her with a permanent scar, she was devastated. It is because Jesse is dubbed as “Beauty Queen” in her workplace.


    Jesse relationship with her boyfriend was over after she got a scar on her face. In order to heal her broken heart, she contacted ‘MATCHMAKERS’ (MM) an introduction agency in Sydney, who advertised 100% successful rate in matchmaking. At the initiate meeting, Jesse was introduced to various service packages. Carlos (C), the Sydney office manager, talked Jesse into signing up a higher level of service because of her facial impairment. Apart from the introduction fee and the administration cost, the higher-level service package included the national database coverage, which would increase Jesse’s chance of finding a compatible match. Jesse was asked to sign a 10-page long contract. When Jesse tried to read the document, Carlos told her not to worry, as it was a standard contract commonly used in the industry. Jesse signed the contract and paid a fee of $8,000. Carlos said he would contact Jesse after conducting the database search and if there were suitable introduction available.


    Two months had passed and nothing was heard from Carlos. When Jesse went to see Carlos at his office, Carlos lured Jesse to upgrade the service package at an additional cost of $5,000. The ‘upgrade package’ included international database and would entitle Jesse to meet with a great man from Italy. The man was highly recommended and described as “Mr Perfect” who was attractive, holding a university degree, did not smoke and thrifty. Carlos stressed that it was not easy to find a person who prepared to go out with a woman having physical impairment especially on the face. Jesse signed up the ‘upgrade package’ and paid extra $5,000.


    Jesse went out with her ‘Mr Right’ for a couple of times. Each time, ‘Mr Right’ requested dear gift and to dine in expensive restaurant. Jesse also found out that ‘Mr Right’ was not Italian-born but only lived in the country for two years as a trainee model. Besides, he was a heavy smoker and had never studied in a university before. After the fifth date, Jesse complained to Carlos about the unsuitable introduction and the discrepancy between the description and the truth of ‘Mr Perfect’. Jesse wanted to terminate the services and asked some of her payment back. Carlos referred Jesse to a contractual term, which was in small font and was printed at the last page of the lengthy agreement, that ‘no refund’ is available after an introduction is provided.

    Advise Jesse on her legal rights.
     

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