Legal claims on computech ltd

Introduction

In this case, Ahmed want to create legal claims on Computech Ltd due to his nervous shock after seeing Joanne electrocuted body on the floor during his afternoon shift. He became a psychiatric patent at the hospital due to mentally derange. He felt the company should take responsibility of his illness.

Statute Law

Law Commission Report (Liability for Psychiatric Damage [1998]) No. 249 statutory amended to replace Alcock rule. The recommendations of the statutory report (Adams, 2008):

  1. The class of persons presumed to have a close bond of love and affection should be extended to include siblings and cohabitees of at least two years' standing (including same-sex partner).

  2. The claimant's illness need not be caused by a sudden shock but might arise from a build-up of anxiety and stress over a period of time.

  3. The claimant's proximity to the accident or its aftermath should be irrelevant.

  4. If physical injury were reasonably foreseeable there would be liability even if only psychiatric injury resulted.

Case Laws

Page Vs Smith [1995]

Page suffered a recurrence of ME [Myalgic Encephalomyelitis] which considered as a psychiatric condition. According to Lord Keith and Lord Jauncey in Page case; there is a prima facie duty of care where foreseeability of danger, and sufficient proximity relationship. In deciding of Page case, Lord Keith and Lord Jauncey announced there is an establishment of duty of care since Page established with eggshell personality aftermath.

Palmer Vs Tees Health Authority [1999]

Palmer suffered psychiatric illness from her daughter abduction and death. However, Lord Stuart-Smith said there is no prima facie duty of care, since there is no foreseeability of danger, and insufficiently proximate towards the incident occurred. In deciding Palmer case, Lord Stuart-Smith announced there is no duty of care since Palmer did not witness the abduction, or the murder, or the discovery of her daughter body, and what Palmer had witnessed and experienced did not prove any proximity and foreseeability on her.

Interpretations

In, Alcock rules has clearly stated claimants must prove; 1) a sudden and immediate attack upon their senses, 2) a close love and affection between claimant and victim, 3) a sufficiently proximate towards the accident, and 4) the trauma level that claimant witnessed. In Ahmed case, Alcock rules are essential as to test whether he is liable to compensate from Computech Ltd, or otherwise.

There is no prima facie duty of care between Ahmed and Computech Ltd, as, he unable to past the test of Alcock Rules. this case is akin to Palmer Vs Tee Health Authority [1999]; first, he did not witness victim electrocution accident; second, he is not bond to victim as he is only victim colleague; third, in term of time and space, Ahmed only witness victim body only when he arrived on his afternoon shift; and lastly, although he suffer from distraught from victim death, however, there is lack of foreseeability where he can claim upon.

Also, there is no breach of duty from Computech Ltd; since victim death is due to her own negligent which the company is not liable upon. This case is unlike Page Vs Smith [1995]; as he has failed to prove any foreseeability and proximity within this case. In Philip Vs William Whitely [1938] case has answered the question as victim should be more cautious when she attempting to insulate the loose cable. In addition, company will not liable upon errant due to lack of experience as it is not considered as consideration, also, Ahmed psychiatric illness is unrelated to victim death.

Res ipsa loquitor, Ahmed cannot be compensate since the ‘but for' test had not been satisfied. Since, he failed to prove any foreseeability and proximity; the company will not liable upon his distraught illness. In addition, according to The Compensation Act [1996] section 1 stated, ‘claimant's can be compensate, if, there is negligence or breach of duty by the defendant', however, in Ahmed case, there is no negligence, or breach of duty occur, and in result, he unable to proceed with legal claim upon Computech Ltd.

Bibliography

Adams, A. (2008). Law for Business Students. London: Pearson: Longman.