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Legal Rights and Responsibilities summary report (Essay Sample)

You should follow this case to answer the question and make a summary report. Julie is employed at a local School. Julie has a physical disability – she suffers from chronic rheumatoid arthritis in one of her arms. When un-loading stationery and storing it in the stationery cupboard she has a twinge in her arthritic arm – the cupboard fell on top of her as she was loading it and she is injured as a result of this accident. When sued for damages the School pleads: a) Julie was negligent in not waiting for an inspection or additional help by a another person to complete the piece of work safely b) Julie willingly accepted what she knew, would be a difficult task based on her disability, and; c) Julie could have prevented the shelving to fall had she been more careful. 1) What laws/Acts may have been broken by the School. 2) Discuss the legal points in detail and advise all parties as to their rights and responsibilities. source..
Legal Rights and Responsibilities
The basis of liability of the school which employed Julie is rooted in principles laid down in tort law and statutory law. Gleaning from the circumstances, it is apparent that the defendant school/employer was negligent in performing certain duties and obligations to Julie as an employee that could have prevented the occurrence of the accident.
One said principle is the principle of Breach of Duty, where when there is a duty of care, there must be a showing that the defendant school/employer failed to do what a reasonable employer would have done to avoid the situation. Since there is no hard and fast rule to determine negligence, but rather, must be gleaned from the specific circumstances in the case, case law has established several factors in determining negligence.
As decided in Roe vs. Minister of Health (2 AER 131, 1954), knowledge of the defendant of a certain fact which could have led him or her to have foreseen the damage or loss, posits liability. In the present case, the school/employer, in hiring Julie, should have been aware of her disabilities. Consequently, it should not have given her certain duties which they knew would be difficult for Julie on account of her disability.
Secondly, there was a degree of risk undertaken by the school/employer. They designated an employee, who they knew fully well was burdened with certain disabilities. Even though Julie may have assumed the said functions and responsibilities, the school/employer still had the discretion and power to assign her said responsibilities. In Miller vs. Jackson ([1977] QB 966, [1977] 3 WLR 20, [1977] 3 All ER 338, a tendency of an accident occurring was prevalent. Hence, applying it to the present case, precautions were expected from the defendant.
Thirdly, another factor in determining liability is the promulgation of precautions to avert the occurrence of the accident. As decided in the cases of Wilson v Governor of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School (1997) EWCA Civ 2644 and Haley v London Electricity Board [1964] 3 All ER 185, reasonable precautions must be undertaken by the employer to ensure that the accident would not have occurred.
In the present case, there was no showing that the school/employer took any precaution to protect Julie. In the first place, they hired Julie who had certain disabilities to perform certain duties which were obviously diff...
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