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Legal Principles: the Tort of Negligence is a Legal Wrong that is Suffered by Someone at the Hands of Another Who Fails to Take Proper Care to Avoid What a Reasonable Person Would Regard as a - Legal Reasoning

MCQ

Apply the legal principles to the facts given below and select the most appropriate answer.
Legal Principles:

  1. The Tort of Negligence is a legal wrong that is suffered by someone at the hands of another who fails to take proper care to avoid what a reasonable person would regard as a foreseeable risk.
  2. The test of liability requires that the harm must be a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant's conduct, a relationship of proximity must exist and it must be fair, just and reasonable to impose liability.
  3. The claimant must prove that harm would not have occurred 'but for' the negligence of the defendant. The claimant must prove, on the balance of probabilities, that the defendant's breach of duty caused the harm.

Factual Situation: Amar worked for an ironworks, Luxmi Mills & Co. Ltd. operating a remotely controlled crane, Amar galvanized items by dipping them into a large tank of molten metal. In order to protect its crane operators, whose controls were located just a few feet from the tank, Luxmi Mills erected a low wall around the tank and also provided a sheet of corrugated iron that crane operators placed between themselves and the wall. The operators were not facing the tank while operating the crane. Thus, they could not see the operation of the crane and therefore relied upon signals from another worker located farther from the tank. Many other galvanizers at the time situated their operators in enclosed, windowed spaces from which they could safely see and perform their work. Luxmi Mills eventually adopted that practice as well. One day, Amar was working on the crane. At one point, he either turned toward the tank or leaned out to see the worker giving him instructions, thereby placing his head outside the iron sheet. A spray of molten metal burned Amar's lip. When it failed to heal and began to ulcerate, he consulted a doctor who diagnosed the wound as cancerous. Amar ultimately died from the spread of cancer after three years. His widow sued Luxmi Mills for negligence. Whether the employers would be liable for the full extent of the burn and cancer that had developed as a result?

Options

  • The employers are liable for all of the consequences of their negligence; thus, liable for the employee's death. His predisposition to cancer did not matter, nor did the results of the injury. The question of liability was, whether the defendant could reasonably foresee the injury.

  • The employers are not liable because the duty of care towards Amar was not breached by them as they were using the same practices which were used by other companies at that time.

  • The employers are not liable because Amar suffered an injury due to his own negligence in stepping out of the protective shield.

  • The employers are liable for burns and not for the death which happened due to Amar's cancerous condition which could not have been known to the employers.

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Solution

The employers are liable for all of the consequences of their negligence; thus, liable for the employee's death. His predisposition to cancer did not matter, nor did the results of the injury. The question of liability was, whether the defendant could reasonably foresee the injury.

Explanation:

According to the facts presented before us we come  across following points:   
(1) Laxmi mills co could reasonably foresee the  risk undertaken by crane drivers,   
(2) The steps taken by the company cannot fall  under term "proper care", and   
(3) If the Amar's lip hadn't burnt because of molten metal, it wouldn't have become cancerous, due to which he ultimately died.   
Thus as per the above explanation, the employers are liable for  all the consequences of their negligence; thus the death of the employee. 

Concept: Law of Torts (Entrance Exams)
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