Had the defendant the Arctic Ice Skating Rink’s actions been ‘negligent’?
Had Charles’s injury been reasonably foreseeable?
Did the Arctic Ice Skating Rink owe Charles a duty of care? Whether any defenses might be raised by the defendant?
Did the surgeon have the responsibility for the unsuccessful operation which leads to Charles spending longer in hospital?
Negligence involves the failure to exercise reasonable care and skill, which includes both advertent and inadvertent acts and omissions. People would be negligent when they fail to take reasonable care to prevent loss, damage or injury to others who could reasonably have foreseen might be injured1. It means that negligence has three important elements consisting of Duty of care, Breach of duty and Damage. Moreover, if the injury of Charles was not reasonably foreseeable it would be unreasonable to impose a duty on the defendant2. Furthermore, the duty of care could exist in any situation where loss, damage or injury to one party is ‘reasonably foreseeable’ and the loss, damages or injury are the result of the defendant’s acts or omissions3. In addition, at common law, acts and omissions are generally no duty to take positive steps to protect a person, but the doctor has a duty to warn a patient about the risks involved in the procedure4.
The defendant the Arctic Ice Skating Rink has liability for the Charles injury which is negligent. According to the information in the problem, there was an ice rink about 2 meters below where skaters might descend from the head of a flight of stairs . It implies that this area has foreseeable risk for damage or injury, so the Arctic Ice Skating Rink needs to provide some signs to draw skaters’ attention. However, it did not establish any warning signs at the entry to the stairs or provide any advice not to descend the stairs in skates. According to the Lochgelly Iron and Coal Co Ltd v M’Mullen5, which says that negligence requires proof of three elements including the tortfeasor owing the victim a duty of care, a ‘breach’ of that duty of care, and loss, damage or injury resulting from the breach. Therefore, the Arctic Ice Skating Rink’s action is negligence. First of all, the Arctic Ice Skating Rink did not provide any defenses for the skaters which could reduce the risk of damage. Thus, the Arctic Ice Skating Rink owes all the skaters a duty of care. Then, the Rink did not establish any warning signs at the stairs where there was a high risk of damage or provide any advice not to descend the stairs in skates. In other words, the Rank fails to take reasonable care to protect the skaters and prohibit reasonable foreseeability of harm from occurring. It is the ‘breach’ of that duty of care. Finally, Charles was injured in that stair rail when he was quickly descending the stairs. That is the damage for the skaters at this Rink. Above all, the Arctic Ice Skating Rink’s action involves all the three elements of negligence. Therefore, it can be concluded that the action of the Arctic Ice Skating Rink is negligence.
The plaintiff Charles suffered a serious injury when he descended the stairs where there was the risk of being injured. If Charles had a better skill of skating, he might not be injured at this area. However, due to that there were no warning signs or advices descending the stairs, skaters might be injured at the stairs if they do not pay attention to the stairs which were about 2 meters below. Therefore, the precise loss, damage or injury is the reasonable foreseeability of harm, because those are the result of the defendant’s omissions. The Tame6 indicated that if the injury is not foreseeable injury, the defendant is not liable for the plaintiff’s injury. On the contrary, if the injury is foreseeable injury and the plaintiff gets injured as a result of the defendant’s omission, the defendant owes the plaintiff’s a duty of care and has liability for the injury. Even