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Tort Seminars 2011-2012

Semester One



Seminar One: week beginning 10 October 2011

Find an article in a newspaper that reports the commission of one or more torts. t can be an
intentional tort or from any other area of the subject, such as negligence. Be prepared to
explain what the tortious act was, whom you think is responsible and why. You are not
expected to explain the full legal basis for the tort.


Consider the foIIowing:

1. What do we mean by the 'law of tort' and what kind of interests does it seek to
protect and enforce.

2. What are the principle objectives of the law of tort? Consider, in particular, the
concepts of: (a) deterrence; (b) compensation and loss distribution; (c) justice; (d)
appeasement; (e) vindication of rights; and (f) a public forum function.

3. Evaluate the role of insurance in tortious litigation (for example, with regard to traffic
accidents) and consider whether tort is an effective mechanism for accident
compensation.



Seminar Two: week beginning 24 October 2011

1.Ginger and her boyfriend, Fred, have been together for three months. They are both
university students. Fred was captivated by Ginger's ability to drink 14 Bacardi Breezers at
one sitting. Ginger was highly enamoured by Fred's outstanding skills with his vuvuzela.
They are both on Facebook and regularly post pictures of themselves having fun at various
social events. Fred has 7 Facebook friends and Ginger has 893 Facebook friends. Last
Friday, Fred told Ginger that he was leaving her for Britney, who, he said, can drink 18
Bacardi Breezers at one sitting. He said he hoped that they could remain friends.

The next day Ginger posted the following message on Facebook: "Single again. That
bastard fred cheated on me with that bitch Britney, he cheats all the time, cheated in his
exams, plagiarised his essays and britney's a liar she collapsed after the 17
th
bacardi
breezer!!!! dont trust them!!!! dont talk to them!!!! walk on by!!!!!!! She also posted a picture
which appeared to show Fred naked but was in fact a picture of another man with Fred's
head superimposed.

Fred is very concerned that his employment prospects may be damaged by the allegations
made by Ginger. n fact he has been accused of plagiarising an essay but the accusation
was unfounded. However, he was found to have taken material into an examination that was
prohibited. Fred also feels humiliated by the photograph. He has received 196, mostly
disparaging, emails about it as well as an offer to appear in a pornographic film,
provisionally titled "Fred in Bed. Britney is furious about being branded a liar.
Advise Britney and Fred as to any action they might bring under defamation Iaw.


2. Come prepared to discuss:

O The consequences of and justification for the rule that only a person with a property
interest in land may sue in private nuisance.
O The role of fault and foreseeability in nuisance.

3. Camilla and Charles are neighbours. They each live in semi-detached houses in Caradog
Road, Aberystwyth. Charles is a gentle soul; he likes nothing better than to snuggle up in his
favourite armchair in front of the fire with the latest Jeffrey Archer novel, or his collection of
Premier League football stickers, of which has an almost complete set. He likes to be in bed
by 10pm each night so that he can get plenty of rest before getting up to go to work at
McTavishe's fast food emporium.

Camilla moved into the neighbouring house three months ago. She is 34 years old and has
six children (Haydee, Kylee, Shannon, Chardonnay, Britney and Elvis) aged eight to
seventeen years, with whom she shares her house. Camilla is very sociable and likes to
have parties, to which lots of her friends are invited. These parties happen about twice a
week, usually on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and they go on till 3am or 4am, or whenever
the alcohol runs out. The parties are very loud; Charles can hear drum and bass music
through the shared wall in both his living room and his bedroom. The parties tend to spill
over into the garden and Charles can hear typical party sounds all the time (raucous singing
of ,2, ,, vomiting, swearing etc). The first time Camilla had a party Charles said
nothing but after the fourth he had had enough. The next afternoon he asked Charles if the
parties could be quieter and less frequent. She told him to "piss off and walked away.

n addition, whenever he goes into his garden, Camilla's children are making his life a misery
by shouting at him over the fence and throwing litter over. One day, Charles after a
particularly loud party was taking his pit bull terrier Fluffy for his morning walk. Charles let
Fluffy into Camilla''s garden, where he (Fluffy, not Charles) defecated. Later that day Camilla
was coming home with a new plasma screen TV she had bought from a bloke in the pub,
slipped on the excrement and fell over. She was uninjured but the television was smashed.
Chardonnay and Elvis told Camilla they had seen Charles leading Fluffy into their front
garden earlier, as well as giving her a colourful but basically accurate account of what the
dog had done. Camilla got the remainder of the excrement in a plastic bag, which she took
next door and emptied through Charles's letter box.

Advise the parties about possibIe actions arising out of the Iaw of nuisance.


Seminar Three: week beginning 21 November 2011

1.The first part of the seminar will be devoted to discussing the essential elements of
negligence: the duty of care, breach of duty, damage and causation. We will do this by
considering how they apply to recent examples of possible negligence. Please find an
example of negligence as reported in a newspaper of your choice and come to the seminar
prepared to discuss the negligence law aspects of that incident.


2. On 25 November 2011 Britney left home at 6.30am to go for a run. She ran along the
pavement on the main road going east out of Aberystwyth, starting from her home near
Scholars pub. After she reached the turn off for the industrial estate there was no pavement
so she ran along the edge of the road, on the right hand side facing any oncoming traffic. t
was dark. t was raining.

Britney was wearing dark grey running leggings and a bright orange running shirt but,
because of the wet and cold weather, she also wore a black top over her running shirt. About
100 metres further along, as she approached a bend in the road, a large truck approached
her from in front. Another truck was approaching from behind. Each took up nearly half of the
road. At the last moment the driver of the oncoming truck saw Britney but it was too late to
avoid hitting her. Britney, who had been trying to get onto the grass verge, was hit by the
side of the truck and suffered severe brain damage and several broken bones. Her injuries
resulted in the end of her promising legal career and she had no alternative but to become a
political scientist.
ho is responsibIe for Britney's injuries?


3. You are a legal adviser for the Hondoyota Japanese car manufacturing company. You
have received disturbing reports that, in certain weather conditions, the accelerator pedal on
your company's best-selling model can stick, making it impossible to stop the car. Several
deaths have apparently resulted.
Advise the company how best it might contest negligence liability in an action brought
against the company by the spouse of one person killed when their Hondoyota car crashed
as a consequence of the accelerator pedal apparently becoming stuck so that the car could
not be stopped (until it hit a rather large tree). This is known because the driver made a 999
call from his mobile, saying that he was unable to stop the car.

Seminar Four: week beginning 5 December 2011



1. At the entrance to his country estate and leisure park Franco had posted notices saying
that no liability was accepted towards visitors. A similar clause was also printed on the
tickets.

Malcolm and his children, Sid aged 8, and Nancy, aged 6, paid to enter the park. Malcolm
was injured when an unsafe deck chair he was sitting on collapsed. He suffered a broken
wrist and also his watch was broken. Sid was injured when he fell off an unsupervised
roundabout which he was misusing, and Nancy was injured when he wandered into the
private part of the park and fell into an unguarded hole. Mickey, who had slipped past the
gate without paying, was injured when the boat in which he was paddling on the lake sank
because of rotten planks. Donald while using a public footpath on the estate, was injured by
inadvertently touching a faulty electrified fence intended to keep cattle away.

Advise MaIcoIm, Sid, Nancy, Mickey and DonaId as to their actions against Franco.

2. A motorway pile-up was caused by the negligence of Sam. Martin, who was in one of the
cars involved in the accident but who was unhurt, suffered psychiatric damage from seeing
the carnage. Max, who had been in a car travelling in the opposite direction, helped to
extract the injured from the wreckage and comfort them. Francoise, a farmer, who saw the
accident, suffered shock from witnessing the distressing scenes, as did Oscar, an
ambulance man who helped in the rescue and took the wounded to hospital. Sally also
suffered shock when she saw her niece after she had been bandaged up. Boris also
suffered shock on being told at home that his son had been killed, and Angela became
deranged due to her feelings of guilt for having innocently killed her workmate Fred in the
accident.

ho can sue for negIigence?