PACC6009 Business Law

Question:

Eagle Farm Racing Pty Ltd, is Adair liable to Adair for her injuries?

Southern University is Black Midnight’s owner vicariously liable for possible race winnings loss?

Answer the following questions using the ILAC Method, referencing case law and relevant sections from the Civil Liability Act of 2003.

Answer:

Law

The applicable law to the situation is tort of negligent, which is relevant to Civil Liability Act 2002.

To establish negligence tort, the plaintiff must demonstrate the following three conditions.

The plaintiff is subject to the defendant’s duty of care due to the relationship between them.

Once there is a duty of care, it is essential that defendants breach the same by not taking the actions that a reasonable person would in such circumstances to ensure plaintiff doesn’t suffer any harm (Harvey, 2009).

It is vital that damages have been sustained by the plaintiff if there has been a breach.

The defendant is not liable for negligence under s. 16, Civil Liability Act 2002 if the plaintiff suffers from an inherent risk of harm.

Inherent risk is defined as an event that can’t be avoided despite reasonable care (Lindgren 2011).

If the victim is intoxicated and they are hurt, it will be assumed that there is contributory negligence. Unless it can be proven that it didn’t lead to breach or the fact that the alcohol was not self-induced (s. 47 of the Civil Liability Act 2003).

Further, s.13 outlines a concept of obvious danger that would be apparent to a reasonable person in a given circumstances (Davenport & Parker (2014)).

If plaintiff suffers obvious risk-related damage, it might be reasonable to assume that defendant has accepted risk (s. 14 Civil Liability Act 2003).

Similarly, s. 15 provides that the defendant does not have to notify the plaintiff about the obvious risks (Gibson & Fraser (2014)).

Application

The facts show that Adair Devil was drunk when she decided to set the race perimeter fence at 1.5 m.

She walked several meter before falling on the course after she was unable to balance.

Due to the lack of warnings that prohibited climbing on the fence, Adair broke her leg during the fall. She now plans to sue Eagle Farm Racing Pty Ltd.

Adair was not successful in her claim due to the following factors.

Climbing the fence, which measures 1.5m in height, is a risky activity. The defendant doesn’t need to notify the plaintiff about such risks as per s. 15, Civil Liability Act.

Adair may also accept risk by agreeing to take on an obvious risk.

A contributory negligence claim would also be made by the defendant because Adair was heavily drunk. This is because Adair should not have attempted to climb the fence. Alcohol can make the body less stable and increase the risk.

Adair and her associates are unlikely to have seen any warning signs and would not have indulged in such an act. Therefore, s. 16 may be applicable.

Black Midnight’s owners suffered serious damage after Adair fell on the track. The shock meant that the horse wouldn’t be able to race again.

Eagle Farm Racing Pty Ltd had constructed the fence and taken all necessary precautions to protect the horse from such damage. They cannot therefore be held responsible for the losses suffered by Black Midnight.

An employer is usually held responsible for employees’ actions under vicarious responsibility. But, the employer may claim that the employee is not performing official duties.

Adair isn’t on a professional trip in this instance. Therefore, the employer cannot be held liable for any vicarious liabilities arising from Adair’s negligence.

Conclusion

Based on the discussion above, Adair cannot hold farm owners liable for her injuries. Black Midnight’s owners also cannot impose vicarious liability to the Southern University due to Adair’s negligence.

Refer to

Business and Law Australia (2nd Ed.).

Business Law (8th Edition).

Sydney: Pearson Publications.

Foundations of Australian law (2nd edition).

Tilde University Press.

Australian Business Law CC (1st ed.

Sydney: LexisNexis study guide.

(2011). Vermeesch & Lindgren’s Business Law of Australia (12th Edition).

Sydney: LexisNexis Publications.

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