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Chapter

Cover Tort Law Concentrate

11. Intentional torts  

This chapter discusses both common law and statute in relation to the torts of trespass to the person: battery, assault, and false imprisonment. These torts have three common characteristics: they are the result of intentional actions, take the form of direct harm, and are actionable per se, that is, without proof of damage. An additional intentional tort is derived from Wilkinson v Downton (1897), the wilful infliction of physical harm upon the claimant by indirect means. This category of intentional harm is also augmented by the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Defences to the intentional torts are also discussed.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Concentrate

13. Occupiers’ liability  

This chapter discusses the law on occupiers’ liability, a form of negligence liability which was governed previously by the common law and now by statute law. The key statutes are the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 which governs duty to lawful visitors and the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984, regarding non-visitors, or trespassers. In determining to whom the duty is owed, it is necessary to identify the status of the entrant onto land. To determine who owes the duty as occupier, the main criterion is control of the land. Exclusion of liability and defences are included.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Concentrate

10. Product liability  

This chapter discusses the law on product liability. Common law product liability is based upon the law of negligence. Beginning with the narrow ratio in Donoghue v Stevenson (1932), it further developed the concept of intermediate examination in Grant v Australian Knitting Mills (1936). The relevant statute is the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (CPA 1987), passed in response to a European Union Directive. This introduces strict liability, when a defective product causes damage. The CPA 19876 establishes a hierarchy of possible defendants beginning with the producer. Defences under the CPA 1987 include the ‘development risks’ defence to protect scientific and technical innovation. If damage relates to quality or value, the only remedy will be in contract.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Concentrate

9. Employers’ liability and vicarious liability  

This chapter discusses both common law and statute on employers’ liability and vicarious liability. Employers’ liability is concerned with the employer’s personal, non-delegable duty in respect of the physical and psychological safety of his employees. This was established in Wilsons and Clyde Coal v English (1938) and is reinforced by the statutory requirement that employers have compulsory insurance. Vicarious liability involves the employer being liable to a third party for the tort of his employee. This must occur in the course of employment, a concept which was redefined in Lister v Hesley Hall (2002). The employment relationship has been re-examined in the light of institutional child abuse cases.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Concentrate

5. Psychiatric injury  

This chapter discusses the law on psychiatric injury. Psychiatric injury which is not derived from physical injury is a type of damage which is not always recoverable in negligence. It is an aspect of duty of care. The range of allowable actions has evolved through developments of control mechanisms in the common law, often policy-based. The legal distinction between the primary and secondary victim is explored, as are more atypical situations. The four key cases are McLoughlin v O’Brian (1983), Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police (1991), Page v Smith (1995), and White v Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police (1999).