Tort Law, problem scenario: Numerous passengers were killed or injured in a train crash caused by the negligence of the train driver, Sid Sleeper, an employee of Slumber Railways plc Custom Essay

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1. Numerous passengers were killed or injured in a train crash caused by the
negligence of the train driver, Sid Sleeper, an employee of Slumber Railways plc.
The company has admitted legal liability for the accident.
Advise on claims for nervous shock by each of the following, all of whom can show
that they suffered ‘post-traumatic stress disorder’:
(A) Alice, who was travelling at the back of the train and was not herself injured,
who saw the carnage as she was led from the scene of the accident;
(B) Brian, a member of the emergency services, who attended the scene of the
accident and was involved in cutting many of the dead and injured
passengers from the wrecked carriages;
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(C) Celia, a nurse in the casualty department at the local hospital, who suffered
severe shock when she saw that one of the seriously injured passengers was
her son-in-law;
(D) David, the father of one of the victims, who had to identify the body of his
teenage son a few hours after the accident.
2. Belle and Timmy were travelling to Crufts Annual Dog Show with Belle’s pedigree
Doberman dog, Lady. Their car was involved in a collision with a lorry. The lorry
driver, Fred Basset, who had fallen asleep at the wheel, was entirely to blame for
the accident.
Advise on the compensation claims which can be made against Fred Basset as
regards the following matters –
(A) Timmy, aged 50, was killed in the crash. He was separated from his wife
Perdita and had been living with Belle for a year prior to the accident. He had
been providing financially for Belle from his earnings of £50,000 per annum as
an architect.
(B) Belle, aged 40, was badly injured and will be unable to work in the future, She
had been a keen breeder of Doberman dogs. Although she did not have a job
at the time of the accident, she used to earn round £15000 per annum from
breeding and showing her dogs. Since the accident she has been unable to
pursue this activity. Belle requires regular medical treatment and will need to
have three further operations in the next two years.
(C) Belle’s pedigree dog, Lady, suffered serious injuries which necessitated a
number of expensive private veterinary operations. The dog had been
expected to win her class at the Crufts Dog Show. This would have led to
advertising contracts featuring her – and any puppies she had would have
fetched at least £1000 each. Since the accident she is no longer able to be
entered into dog shows and is unable to have puppies.
3. A fire broke out in a residential home for the elderly. The fire was inadvertently
caused by one of the residents. Most of the residents escaped without injury. There
were, however, two fatalities. Mr Smith, who was deaf, failed to hear the fire alarm
and was trapped by the fire in an upstairs room. Mrs Jones was escorted out of the
building but suffered a heart attack as a result of the commotion.
Evidence is available that both the fire brigade and the ambulance service
responded far too slowly to the emergency calls which were made and that this was
due in both cases to administrative blunders. If the fire brigade had arrived promptly,
they would have been able to rescue Mr Smith. If the ambulance service had
arrived promptly, they would have been able to resuscitate Mrs Jones.
Discuss whether the fire brigade and the ambulance service can be held liable in
respect of each fatality.

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