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Complete 10 page APA formatted essay: Tort Law Question: 'the law on the recovery of compensation for pure psychiatric harm is a patchwork quilt of distinction.Download file to see previous pages... I

Complete 10 page APA formatted essay: Tort Law Question: 'the law on the recovery of compensation for pure psychiatric harm is a patchwork quilt of distinction.

Download file to see previous pages...

In White V Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police and Others1, it stated by Lord Steyn that “the law on the recovery of compensation for pure psychiatric harm is a patchwork quilt of distinctions which are difficult to justify.” Clearly, this view of the Judge acknowledged the complication and challenges of defining psychological injuries and offering damages for them. One of the core areas that psychological damage occurs is where a person does not go through any physical damage but sues on the grounds of pure psychiatric harm or psychological injury. This is problematic and challenging and it is often difficult to award damages to any of the parties. This paper will examine the concept of psychiatric harm and its position in the law of tort. The paper will evaluate the important elements and aspects of psychiatric harm and how it is dealt with in law and the conventional approaches and methods used to deal with it. General Principles of Tort Law The case of Donoghue V Stevenson2 led to the fundamental departure from the legal belief that a person could only sue another if and only if they had a contract. The decision of the case was that it was permitted to impose liability for any loss suffered by anyone as as a result of the carelessness of another person based on the neighbourhood principle3. Thus, there is a duty of care placed on people to be careful and weary of the things they do and how they do it if it will affect their neighbours. However, the duty of care concept was a little too broad and some cases that came after it had to limit its application to relevant issues and matters to ensure fairness. In Anns V Merton London Borough Council4, a two-staged test was imposed to ensure that the concept of negligence was critically evaluated in order to impose a duty of care. These are: 1. Was there a reasonable contemplation of the negligence and the issue at hand? 2. Was there anything that limits the extent and scope of the obligations of the individual in question? A third element was added in Caparo v Dickman5 where the fundamental question asked was wither the duty of care was foreseeable or not. Additionally the concept of proximity was added in an Australian case6 where the concept of proximity represented the notion of nearness or a relationship with the issue at hand. This involves a situation where there is a linkage and connection that promotes some degree of logical responsibility and obligation Basic Tort Law and The Limitations on the Claimant A claimant cannot just make any claim because he is injured. In order to make a successful claim, there must be some specific activities and situations that provide the basis for a tort claim. Like in Caparo V Dickman, an unforeseeable claimant cannot make a claim for a damage. In an American case involving Palsgraf V Long Island Railroad, a porter who worked for Long Island Railroads was assisting a passenger to board a train. The porter accidentally dropped the package of the passenger and it led to an explosion. The explosion caused weighing scales to fall on the Palsgraf who was waiting for a train on a platform some distance away from the point the explosion occurred. The claim for damages from Palsgraf failed because it was not foreseeable that there was a risk to Palsgraf in any way.

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