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Negligence within Tort Law can be defined asa breach of an established duty of care owed by the defendant to the claimant.This breach of duty results in damage or injury to the claimant in which theymay be entitled to compensation. In this response, I plan to evaluate the factsof the case and advise the individuals on any claims they may have under TortLaw. From the facts of this scenario, it can be inferredthat Ali may be entitled to a claim in negligence under Tort law.

He sustaineda serious leg injury as a result of Beth swerving into him. Beth owes allfellow road users a duty of care; this includes pedestrians such as Ali.Vehicle drivers owe each other a duty to exercise care and attention1.This established duty of care to fellow road users was defined in the case of Nettleship v Weston (1971)2.It was held within this case that the standard of care owed to other roadusers is that of a competent driver3.This precedent then formed the basis of the established duty of care which was owedto Ali as a fellow road user. In order for Ali to be successful in a claimfor negligence, he would need to prove that Beth was in breach of herestablished duty of care.

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Beth’s conduct will be judged using the reasonablestandard test in order to establish whether a reasonable person would haveacted differently in the same circumstances. The test itself was established inBlythe v Birmingham Waterworks company(1856)4and allows the courts to determine whether the defendant has acted negligently.The standard of care in which courts expect of a road user is high due to thedegree of risk involved. Beth fails to meet the expected standard of care andis therefore in breach of her duty.

This breach can be identified through herlack of concentration on the road and the speeding of the vehicle. Ali must be able to prove on the balance ofprobabilities that the injuries he incurred were a direct consequence of Beth’sbreach of duty. The ‘but for’ test can be applied in order to establish whetherBeth’s breach of duty was the factual cause of Ali’s injuries. The test itselfwas introduced in the case of Barnett vChelsea & Kensington Hospital (1969)5where the question of whether the result would have occurred but for thedefendant’s actions is asked. But for Beth being distracted by her satnav andnot paying attention to the road, she would have seen Ali fall into the road andbeen able to avoid the collision therefore Ali would not have suffered theserious leg injury. Although Beth’s lack of attention on the roadappears to be the factual cause of Ali’s injuries, it can be implied that ifAli was paying attention rather than looking at his mobile phone, he would nothave fallen into the road. This therefore raises the question as to whetherthere is a degree of contributory negligence on Ali’s behalf.

The case of Davies v Swan Motor Co (1949)6presented that the individual was partially responsible for the damage as hewas said to be negligent for standing in a dangerous place which was close tothe road. In relation to Beth, she may have a claim forassault against Jez. The violent banging upon her car window and aggressivestatement could have caused Beth to reasonably apprehend violence in the formof battery. In order for Beth to be successful in a claim for assault, shewould need to prove that she apprehended the imminent infliction of battery. Anobjective test would be used in order to understand whether Beth believed shewas in danger of harm from the threats made by Jez.

The case of R v Lamb (1967)7indicated that assault did not occur as the victim did not apprehend immediateviolence. In addition to the apprehension of battery, Beth must also prove thatJez intended to cause Beth to believe she was in danger of harm. The case of Blake v Barnard (1840)8indicated that it was irrelevant if the defendant did not intend to carrythe threat out. Although there is a clear indication of possible harm on Jez’sbehalf through the violent act of banging on the door as well as the volatileexpression of speech, he expresses that he would only ‘teach her a lesson’ ifshe was a man. This statement may indicate that he did not have the intentionto inflict violence upon Beth as she was a woman and may therefore affect heroverall claim for assault. However, if Beth is successful she may be entitledto compensation in the form of damages.

 Noah may be entitled to a claim for negligence,as Beth owed him a duty of care. This is because Noah was a fellow road userand an established duty of care towards fellow road users was defined in thecase of Nettleship v Weston (1971)9.Beth was in breach of her duty of care through neglecting her concentrationon the road as well as going over the speed limit.

* Jez on the other hand may be entitled to aclaim for battery under Tort Law. Ted intentionally applied direct force whichcan be identified through the grabbing of Jez’s collar and the forceful pullfrom the vehicle. It is clear that Ted had the intention to use force, as hewanted to remove Jez from Beth’s vehicle in an attempt to protect her. AlthoughTed clearly intended the application of force, he most likely did not intend toknock Jez unconscious. This however is irrelevant, as Ted only needed to applyforce upon Jez in order for it to be classed as intentional conduct. This canbe seen within the case of Wilson vPringle (1986)10where there was no intent to injure but there was a direct intent to applyforce in the form of a prank.

In addition to having the intention to applyforce, Ted’s conduct must have been direct. The case of Haystead v DPP (2000)11emphasised the importance of direct application of force in order to establisha case for battery. This can be seen through Ted immediately applying forceupon first contact with no prior anticipation from Jez. Concluding from thesefacts, Jez would most likely be entitled to recover compensation. Ted’sapplication of force was the factual cause of any head injuries that may occuras a result of being knocked on the ground.

1 Kirsty Horsey and Erika Rackley, Tort Law.2 ‘Nettleship V Weston 1971 EWCA Civ 6 (30 June1971)’ (, 2017)

org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/1971/6.html>accessed 29 December 2017.3 V. H Harpwood, Modern Tort Law (Routledge 2017).

 4 ‘Blyth V. Birmingham Waterworks Co. Case Brief'(, 2017)

htm> accessed 29December 2017.5 Amy Woolfson, ‘Barnett V Kensington And ChelseaHospital Management Committee 1969 1 Q.B. 428’ (, 2017)>accessed 28 December 2017.6 ‘Davies V Swan Motor Co (Swansea) Ltd: CA 1949- Swarb.Co.Uk’ (swarb., 2017) accessed27 December 2017.

 7 ‘R V Lamb 1967 | Case Summary | WebstrokeLaw’ (, 2017) accessed 27 December2017.8  Richard Owen, Essential Tort Law (2000).

 9 ‘Nettleship V Weston 1971 EWCA Civ 6 (30 June1971)’ (, 2017) accessed 29December 2017.10 11

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