The case centred upon the liability of the Police for the nervous shock suffered in consequence of the events of … Reasonable foreseeability is subject to controls. Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police - Wikipedia They state, at pp. In Dooley v. Cammell Laird & Co. Ltd.[1951] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 271, Donovan J. awarded damages to a crane driver who suffered nervous shock when a rope connecting a sling to the crane hooks snapped causing the load to fall into the hold of a ship in which men were working. Detailed case brief, including paragraphs and page references Topic: Nervous Shock. In this case, hearing about the disaster on radio or TV reports subsequently did not satisfy condition but the police department was held liable for negligence in duty to care. If the claimant has so established and all other requirements of the claim are satisfied he or she will succeed since the shock to him or her will be within the reasonable contemplation of the tortfeasor. 599 on the rather different grounds (Stephenson L.J.) Facts . The underlying logic of allowing claims of parents and spouses is that it can readily be foreseen by the tortfeasor that if they saw or were involved in the immediate aftermath of a serious accident or disaster they would, because of their close relationship of love and affection with the victim be likely to suffer nervous shock. Facts All were agreed that actually witnessing or being present at or near the scene of an accident was not essential to ground liability in an appropriate case, but that the duty might equally be owed to one who comes upon the immediate aftermath of the event. Thus such a person, given always the reasonable foreseeability of the injury in fact sustained and of such persons witnessing it, may be within the area of proximity in which a duty of care may be found to exist. The case centred upon the liability of the police for the nervous shock suffered in consequence of the events of the Hillsborough disaster. A close tie of love and affection to a primary victim, Witness the event with their own unaided senses, Proximity to the event or its immediate aftermath. Does she suffer less shock or grief because it is subsequently discovered that their marriage was invalid? The position of the rescuer was recognised by Cardozo J. in Wagner v. International Railway Co., 232 N.Y. 176, 180: Lord Wilberforce in McLoughlin v. O'Brian [1983] 1 AC 410, 419B considered that the principle of rescuers ought to be accepted. v. Dickman [1990] 2 AC 605, 618, 621, 623, and I do not believe for one moment that, in expressing his view with regard to foreseeability in McLoughlin v. O'Brian [1983] 1 AC 410, he was overlooking that element which is, after all, implicit in any discussion of tortious negligence based upon Lord Atkin's classical statement of principle, or was doing more than meeting the argument which had been advanced that, even given foreseeability, an immutable line either had been or ought to be drawn by the law at the furthest point reached by previously decided cases. I consider that not only the purpose of the visits to the mortuary but also the times at which they were made take them outside the immediate aftermath of this disaster. 421-423: Lord Bridge of Harwich, with whom Lord Scarman agreed, at p. 431D-E, appears to have rested his finding of liability simply on the test of reasonable foreseeability of psychiatric illness affecting the plaintiff as a result of the consequences of the road accident, at pp. Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police concerned sixteen unsuccessful claims for psychiatric injury (PI) resulting from the Hillsborough disaster. In the Hillsborough Football disaster, 95 people were killed and over 400 injured. Donovan J. drew the inference that the men in the hold were friends of the plaintiff and later stated, at p. 277: Although Donovan J. treated the matter simply as one of reasonable foreseeability, I consider that the case was a very special one. 428, 429. It was semi final of FA cup. E.P Royappa v. State of Tamil Nadu and Anr (AIR 1974 SC... Doctrine of Pleasure in the Indian Constitution, Paramount Surgimed Limited Versus Paramount Bed India Private Limited And Ors. Only one of the plaintiffs, who succeeded before Hidden J., namely Brian Harrison, was at the ground. The approach of Lord Edmund-Davies and Lord Russell of Killowen, as I read their speeches, was similar to that of Lord Wilberforce. Get 1 point on providing a valid sentiment to this The "control mechanisms" were "more or less arbitrary conditions which a plaintiff had to satisfy and which were intended to keep liability within what was regarded as acceptable bounds". My Lords, speaking for myself, I see no logic and no virtue in seeking to lay down as a matter of "policy" categories of relationship within which claims may succeed and without which they are doomed to failure in limine. responsible for the accident, it would be a curious and wholly unfair situation if the plaintiff were enabled to recover damages for his or her traumatic injury from the person responsible only in a minor degree whilst he in turn remained unable to recover any contribution from the person primarily responsible since the latter's negligence vis- -vis the plaintiff would not even have been tortious. Die Jovis 28 Novembris 1991 For purposes of his judgment Hidden J. assumed in the case of each plaintiff that causation was established, leaving that matter to be dealt with, if necessary, in further proceedings. They may be present in family relationships or those of close friendship, and may be stronger in the case of engaged couples than in that of persons who have been married to each other for many years. A primary victim one actually involved mediate or immediately as a participant and, those who will always have a valid claim. I assume that Mr. Harrison's relationship with his brothers was not an abnormal one. Jun 19, 2020 | Case Comments, Editorial Of Contemporary Law. In Alcock v. Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [1992] 1 A.C. 310, claims were brought by those who had suffered psychiatric injury as a result of the Hillsborough disaster. In an alternative, claimants who suffer psychiatric damage can claim damages under Negligence, rules refined to take account of special nature of damage. Therefore events witnessed on television, for example, will not succeed. The south Yorkshire police force that was responsible for crowd control at the match had negligently directed a large number of spectators to one end of the stadium into a caged pen as the result of which a fatal crash took place, succeeded by a stampede killing 95 people and physically injuring many others. But these are factual difficulties and I can see no logic and no policy reason for excluding claims by more remote relatives. 's foregoing limitation was disapproved by the majority of the Court of Appeal who held that a mother who had sustained nervous shock as a result of fear for the safety of her three children due to the movement of an unmanned lorry had a cause of action against the owner of the lorry. In McLoughlin v. O'Brian Lord Wilberforce in the context of the class of persons whose claim should be recognised said: I would respectfully agree with Lord Wilberforce that cases involving less close relatives should be very carefully scrutinised. The three elements are (1) the class of persons whose claims should be recognised; (2) the proximity of such persons to the accident - in time and space; (3) the means by which the shock has been caused. My Lords, in each of these appeals the question raised is whether the defendant is to be held responsible for psychiatric injury suffered by a plaintiff who was not himself or herself directly involved in the accident (for which, for present purposes, the defendant accepts responsibility) but who was connected to a victim by the bonds of an affectionate relationship such that he or she suffered extreme shock or anguish leading to the condition of which the plaintiff complains. In the present type of case it is a secondary sort of injury brought about by the infliction of physical injury, or the risk of physical injury, upon another person. 19th Jun 2019 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team Jurisdiction (s): UK Law Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire 1 AC 310 NEGLIGENCE – PSYCHIATRIC DAMAGE – TRAUMATIC EVENT WITNESSED INDIRECTLY – DISTINCTION BETWEEN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY VICTIMS INTRODUCTION 1. I refer once again to a passage in the speech of Lord Wilberforce in McLoughlin v. O'Brian, at p. 422: Lord Wilberforce expressed the view, at p. 422H, that a "strict test of proximity by sight or hearing should be applied by all courts." This may be convenient but in fact the label is misleading if and to the extent that it is assumed to lead to a conclusion that they have more in common than the factual similarity of the medium through which the injury is sustained - that of an assault upon the nervous system of the plaintiff through witnessing or taking part in an event - and that they will, on account of this factor, provide a single common test for the circumstances which give rise to a duty of care. This seems to me to be a very different situation from that in which a relative goes within a short time after an accident to rescue or comfort a victim. The actions came on for trial before Hidden J. on 19 June 1990, and he gave judgment on 31 July 1990, ante, pp. That can be expressed in various ways. In Owens v. Liverpool Corporation [1939] 1 K.B. No case prior to the hearing before Hidden J. from which these appeals arise has countenanced an award of damages for injuries suffered where there was not at the time of the event a degree of physical propinquity between the plaintiff and the event caused by the defendant's breach of duty to the primary victim nor where the shock sustained by the plaintiff was not either contemporaneous with the event or separated from it by a relatively short interval of time. It would be inaccurate and hurtful to suggest that grief is made any the less real or deprivation more tolerable by a more gradual realisation, but to extend liability to cover injury in such cases would be to extend the law in a direction for which there is no pressing policy need and in which there is no logical stopping point. My Lords, for some 90 years it has been recognised that nervous shock sustained independently of physical injury and resulting in psychiatric illness can give rise to a claim for damages in an action founded on negligence. The question does not, fortunately, fall to be determined in the instant case, but I suspect that an English court would be likely to take a similar view. Even the apparent exceptions to this, the old actions for loss of a husband's right to consortium and for loss of servitium of a child or menial servant, were abolished by the Administration of Justice Act 1982. Judge had ruled that only people who had a primary relationship with those that had died and had seen the incident first hand could claim for nervous shock i.e. Concurring as I do in that conclusion, I do not consider that it would be helpful to add further observations of my own to what has already been said by your Lordships. In my judgment, the necessary proximity was lacking in their cases too, but I also agree with my noble and learned friend, Lord Keith of Kinkel, that there is also lacking the necessary element of reasonable foreseeability. COPOC (A. P. ) AND OTHERS (A. P. )(APPELLANTS), (SUED AS CHIEF CONSTABLE OF THE SOUTH YORKSHIRE, ALCOCK (A. P. ) AND OTHERS (A. P. )(APPELLANTS), WRIGHT(SUED AS CHIEF CONSTABLE OF THE SOUTH YORKSHIRE, Lord Keith of KinkelLord AcknerLord Oliver of AylmertonLord Jauncey of TullichettleLord Lowry. (2d) 651]. Abstract. It was argued on their behalf that the law has never excluded strangers to the victim from claiming for nervous shock resulting from the accident. In McLoughlin v. O'Brian [1983] 1 AC 410, a wife and a mother suffered nervous shock after seeing her husband and children in a hospital to which they had been taken after a road accident. View Alcock and others v Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police.docx from BUSINESS 285 at Northeastern University. In any event only two of them were present in the ground and the remainder saw the scenes on simultaneous or recorded television. AUTHOR: Asmi Chahal, 1st year, THE ICFAI UNIVERSITY, ICFAI LAW SCHOOL, DEHRADUN. 16 separate claims were filed against the defendant for nervous shock resulting in psychiatric injury. She had no apprehension of injury to herself but simply sustained a nervous shock as a result of the noise of the collision. Thus, Dulieu v. White & Sons [1901] 2 KB 669 where the plaintiff was naturally and obviously put in fear for her own safety when a runaway vehicle broke through the front of the public house where she was employed, is, at any rate to modern eyes, a tolerably obvious case. So in Chadwick v. British Railways Board [1967] 1 W.L.R. Get 2 points on providing a valid reason for the above Of the six plaintiffs who were successful before Hidden J. only one, who lost two brothers, was present at the ground. Ten only of these fifteen plaintiffs now appeal to your Lordships' House, with leave granted in the Court of Appeal. The common features of all the reported cases of this type decided in this country prior to the decision of Hidden J. in the instant case and in which the plaintiff succeeded in establishing liability are, first, that in each case there was a marital or parental relationship between the plaintiff and the primary victim; secondly, that the injury for which damages were claimed arose from the sudden and unexpected shock to the plaintiff's nervous system; thirdly, that the plaintiff in each case was either personally present at the scene of the accident or was in the more or less immediate vicinity and witnessed the aftermath shortly afterwards; and, fourthly, that the injury suffered arose from witnessing the death of, extreme danger to, or injury and discomfort suffered by the primary victim. In these circumstances the defendants could readily have foreseen that he would be horrified and shocked by the failure of the rope and the consequent accident which he had no power to prevent. 359H-360G. The Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police Defendants - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ... the police force which polices the South Yorkshire area, which I shall call SYP. There she was told that one of the children had been killed, and saw her husband and the other two in a distressed condition and bearing on their persons the immediate effects of the accident. They will also need to persuade the court that there is a shock element, rather than a gradual distressing chain of events which continues over a long time e.g. The plaintiffs, being relatives and friends of the deceased, inter alia suffered nervous shock having seen the events either from within the ground, or from outside or at home on . HOUSE OF LORDS. Case: Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [1991] UKHL 5 Secondary victim claims: Is the tide turning? Shock is no longer a variant of physical injury but a separate kind of damage. Creating a unique profile web page containing interviews, posts, articles, as well as the cases you have appeared in, greatly enhances your digital presence on search engines such Google and Bing, resulting in increased client interest. In a case of negligence causing physical injury to an employee or to a road user reasonable foreseeability may well be the only criterion by which liability comes to be judged. The cases varied between those present or not present at the scene, or those with close relatives present. The quality of brotherly love is well known to differ widely - from Cain and Abel to David and Jonathan. 141, Kennedy J. For this reason Lord Wilberforce said in McLoughlin v. O'Brian [1983] 1 AC 410, 421-422: The class of persons with recognisable claims will be determined by the law's approach as to who ought according to its standards of value and justice to have been in the defendant's contemplation: again McLoughlin v. O'Brian, per Lord Wilberforce, at p. 420F. It is, however, trite law that the defendant, the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire, is not an insurer against psychiatric illness occasioned by the shock sustained by the relatives or friends of those who died or were injured, or were believed to have died or to have been injured. View the full article today Register to read this article From Wikipedia Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police 1 AC 310 is a leading English tort law case on liability for nervous shock (psychiatric injury). But see the pre-Alcock approach inHevican v.Ruane [1991] 3 All E.R. These three all watched scenes from Hillsborough on television, but none of these depicted suffering of recognisable individuals, such being excluded by the broadcasting code of ethics, a position known to the defendant. Had she sustained bodily injury from the incursion there could never have been the slightest doubt about the defendant's liability and the fact that what brought about the injury was not an actual contact but the imminent threat to her personally posed by the defendant's negligence could make no difference to the result. Jelic v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police EAT/0491/09 (0 other reports) This week's case of the week, provided by DLA Piper, covers making reasonable adjustments for disabled employees. The failure of the law in general to compensate for injuries sustained by persons unconnected with the event precipitated by a defendant's negligence must necessarily import the lack of any legal duty owed by the defendant to such persons. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0. It is, for instance, readily conceivable that a parent may suffer injury, whether physical or psychiatric, as a result of witnessing a negligent act which places his or her child in extreme jeopardy but from which, in the event, the child escapes unharmed. The extension of the scope of this cause of action sought in these appeals is not on any such ground but, so it is contended, by the application of established legal principles. In this case, the claimants argued that the police had acted negligently and in contravention of their duty of care owed. The South Yorkshire police force, which was responsible for crowd control at the match, allowed an excessively large number of intending spectators to enter the ground at the Leppings Lane end, an area reserved for Liverpool supporters. In both McLoughlin v. O'Brian [1983] 1 A.C. 410 and in Alcock v. Chief Constable of South Yorkshire [1992] 1 A.C. 310, members of the House referred to Chadwick with approval. Lord Ackner . 549, 552, 578. He was medically retired from the South Yorkshire Police in May 2008, and he complained that he had been the victim of unlawful discrimination. But the critical part played by this element is very clearly expressed by Lord Bridge himself in his speech in Caparo Industries Plc. She claimed damages for the psychiatric injury which she alleged to be the result. The requisite element of proximity in the relation of the parties also constitutes an important control on the test of reasonable foreseeability: Jaensch v. Coffey, (1984) 155 C.L.R. 73 must be seriously doubted. 549, Deane J. expressed the view that no claim could be entertained as a matter of law in a case where the primary victim is the negligent defendant himself and the shock to the plaintiff arises from witnessing the victim's self-inflicted injury. Later, he said, at p. 423: My Lords, although Lord Wilberforce in McLoughlin v. O'Brian did not close the door to shock coming from the sight of simultaneous television I do not consider that a claimant who watches a normal television programme which displays events as they happen satisfies the test of proximity. If, for instance, the primary victim is himself 75 per cent. 141, 157: However the suggested inclusion of the bystander has not met with approval in this House. The Supreme Court Judgment. RESPONDENT: Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police. I doubt very much, for instance. The term Zimmediate victim [ is used to describe He continued, at pp. In my opinion the mere fact of the particular relationship was insufficient to place the plaintiff within the class of persons to whom a duty of care could be owed by the defendant as being foreseeably at risk of psychiatric illness by reason of injury or peril to the individuals concerned. 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