Case Problem 4.3 Page 132 – Essay Example
Negligence: Kim and Lings Market Entering Lings Market Kim slipped and injured herself. If Lings Market is negligent four separate elements in a chain must each be established. The elements that must be established are duty (of care), breach (of duty), causation, and damages.
The ½ inch deep puddle of water inside the door of Lings Market could be reasonably foreseen as a risk—it was in an egress to the business and no one would dispute that a puddle of water makes a floor more slippery than it would be if it were dry. Proximity is established by Lings Markets business; a retail business that relies on attracting customers in that egress to purchase the products on sale. Lings Market clearly has a duty of care to ensure that its entrance is safe for customers to enter.
That duty was also clearly breached in this case. The manager knew of the weather conditions. Surely, he could not have overlooked a ½ inch puddle of water. If he was unaware of the puddle he was still in breach of his duty of care as it was his responsibility to manage the store and be aware of its circumstances. Furthermore, it is reasonable to assert that similar weather conditions in the past had resulted in a similar dangerous puddle. The puddle was a danger and the manager was either aware of it, or should have been aware of it.
Causation is also plainly established in this case. This case does not involve long-term consequences similar to those that appear in environmental law—did asbestos exposure in a factory forty years ago cause asbestos to develop today, for example. There was a puddle, it made the floor unduly slippery, the customer slipped. The chain is simple and direct in this case.
Similarly, harm is undeniable. An injured back can cause lost work, long-term, chronic health problems and pain and suffering. Therefore, the only issue up for debate in this case is the extent of the harm and the corresponding damages.