Category Archives: Torts

Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v The Miller Steamship Co Pty (The Wagon Mound No 2) [1966] UKPC 1 | 25 May 1966

ON THIS DAY in 1966, the Privy Council delivered Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v The Miller Steamship Co Pty (The Wagon Mound No 2) [1966] UKPC 1 (25 May 1966).

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKPC/1966/1.html

A person is negligent if they fail to prevent a real risk that is reasonably foreseeable. A real risk is one in the mind of a reasonable person “which he would not brush aside as far-fetched”. This does not depend on the actual risk of occurrence.

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Negligence – Duty of care – Safe system of work – Work injuries

Bankstown Foundry Pty Ltd v Braistina [1986] HCA 20; (1986) 160 CLR 301 (13 May 1986).

“Negligence – Master and servant – Duty of care – Safe system of work – Employer’s duty to provide – Scope of duty – Contributory negligence.”

Braistina was a metal trades worker employed by Bankstown Foundry. As part of his duties he drilled holes in cast iron pipes weighing about 60 pounds. He was required to lift about 40 pipes an hour from a pallet onto a drilling machine and then onto another pallet after the drilling.

On a particular shift, Braistina injured his neck after drilling about 115 pipes over a three hour period. Medical evidence showed that the lifting and twisting made the risk of injury foreseeable and not far fetched and fanciful.

A hoist was readily available but not used. The use of the hoist was not impracticable, caused no undue expense or nor any difficulty. Had the hoist been used the risk of injury would have been eliminated.

The court held that in the circumstances, a prudent employer would reasonably require that the hoist be used.

An employer must take reasonable steps to enforce a safe system of work, otherwise they are in breach of their duty of care to the employee and will be found negligent and liable for the injury, loss and damage suffered by the employee.

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Bankstown Foundry Pty Ltd v Braistina [1986] HCA 20 | 13 May 1986

ON 13 MAY 1986, the High Court of Australia delivered Bankstown Foundry Pty Ltd v Braistina [1986] HCA 20; (1986) 160 CLR 301 (13 May 1986).

“Negligence – Master and servant – Duty of care – Safe system of work – Employer’s duty to provide – Scope of duty – Contributory negligence.”

Braistina was a metal trades worker employed by Bankstown Foundry. As part of his duties he drilled holes in cast iron pipes weighing about 60 pounds. He was required to lift about 40 pipes an hour from a pallet onto a drilling machine and then onto another pallet after the drilling.

On a particular shift, Braistina injured his neck after drilling about 115 pipes over a three hour period. Medical evidence showed that the lifting and twisting made the risk of injury foreseeable and not far fetched and fanciful.

A hoist was readily available but not used. The use of the hoist was not impracticable, caused no undue expense or nor any difficulty. Had the hoist been used the risk of injury would have been eliminated.

The court held that in the circumstances, a prudent employer would reasonably require that the hoist be used.

An employer must take reasonable steps to enforce a safe system of work, otherwise they are in breach of their duty of care to the employee and will be found negligent and liable for the injury, loss and damage suffered by the employee.

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Pyrenees Shire Council v Day [1998] HCA 3 | 23 January 1998

ON 23 January 1998, the High Court of Australia delivered Pyrenees Shire Council v Day [1998] HCA 3; 192 CLR 330; 151 ALR 147; 72 ALJR 152 (23 January 1998).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1998/3.html

The High Court rejected the “doctrine of general reliance” of Sutherland Shire Council v Heyman (1985) 157 CLR 424 (1985) 157 CLR 424.

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Overseas Tankship (U.K.) Ltd v Morts Dock & Engineering Company Ltd (“Wagon Mound No 1”) [1961] UKPC 1 | 18 January 1961

ON 18 January 1961, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council delivered Overseas Tankship (U.K.) Ltd v Morts Dock & Engineering Company Ltd (“Wagon Mound No 1”) [1961] UKPC 1 (18 January 1961)

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKPC/1961/1.html

In cases of negligence, the defendant is not liable for damage just because it was a direct result of a negligent act. The Privy Council ruled that the “essential factor in determining liability is whether the damage is of such a kind as the reasonable man should have foreseen” (at 426).

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Nader v General Motors Corporation 25 NY2d 560, 255 NE2d 647, 307 NYS2d 647, 1970 NY | 8 January 1970

ON THIS DAY IN 1970, the Court of Appeals of New York delivered Nader v General Motors Corporation 25 NY2d 560, 255 NE2d 647, 307 NYS2d 647, 1970 NY.

http://h2o.law.harvard.edu/cases/109

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Balmain New Ferry Co Ltd v Robertson [1906] HCA 83 | 18 December 1906

ON 18 DECEMBER 1906, the High Court of Australia delivered Balmain New Ferry Co Ltd v Robertson [1906] HCA 83; (1906) 4 CLR 379 (18 December 1906).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1906/83.html

A party who wishes to rely on a contractual term is required to show that it did all that was reasonable to bring term to the other party’s attention.

The plaintiff was not considered to have been falsely imprisoned by the ferry terminal’s turnstiles as he was considered to be free to leave the premises by water.

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