Liability of Employers and Occupiers

To see how the law of tort applies and operates, this essay takes up three test cases brought against Sports Ltd., which owns and operates a sports and physical fitness complex. All three cases suggest that Sports Ltd. caused them harm by violating the tort of negligence, the biggest category of tort because it endangers many besides the chance victim and is considered both a public and private wrong.
At first glance, Sports Ltd. may be guilty of negligence because management knew that its central heating system in the boiler room that scalded Sally in a bad way was defective and potentially dangerous but the establishment did nothing about it except warn its employees about the risk. This is the essence of the Occupier’s Liability Act (OLA) in UK, a statutory tort that applies to health and safety regulations across the workplace (Honore, 1995). OLA provides that "any person such as a shop owner who admits people into his premises owes a minimum duty of care to protect these people’s safety (Metaphysics Research Lab, 2003)." A closer look at this particular case, however, will show that Sally shares the blame for the accident that happened to her. The college girl gained entry to the sports complex through the backdoor, which leads into the boiler room, to avoid paying for a ticket at the regular entrance.
In Yuen Kun Yeu v Attorney General of Hong Kong (1988), Rowling v Takaro Properties Ltd. (1985), and Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire (1989), liability for the tort of negligence can only occur when the supposed damage can be reasonably foreseen. In other words, the defendant failed to do what a reasonable person would do in the situation presented (Green, 1960). On the scalding sustained by Sally, Sports Ltd. can defend itself against a tort claim by pointing out that its management could not have foreseen such an accident to happen to any guest. The establishment can invoke the principles of volenti non fit injuria (a willing victim cannot claim for damage), contributory negligence, and ex turpi cause non oritur (no right of action arises from a despicable cause), the three standard defenses against a tort claim (Fletcher, 1972). From the evidence, Sally is culpable on all three counts because she consented to the risk of damage by using an entrance that is off-limits to the public, which action amounts to contributory negligence and "despicable" cause. The action is despicable in the sense that it is wrong and deprives Sports Ltd. of revenue generated from ticket sales.
Case 2 – Ashraf
In the case of Ashraf, Sports Ltd. can use the same line of defense. Like Sally, Ashraf virtually consented to the risk of damage to his person by insisting on using the corridor on his way to the gym notwithstanding a sign put up by the cleaning woman Maria that says: "Cleaning in Progress: Use Alternative Route." Ashraf as an exclusive member of the exercise club knew a side entrance that could be used as alternative route but he was in a hurry so he risked the corridor and was thus culpable of contributory negligence. The tort law, according to Hocking &amp. Smith (1996), is all about dissecting all possibilities in a case to