Wyong Shire Council vs. Shirt Case Metrics of Negligence Analysis

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Task: Discuss in detail the case between Wyong Shire Council vs. Shirt.


Introduction: The judicial dispute between Shirt, the Plaintiff, and Wyong Shire council is exemplified by the case Wyong Shire Council vs. Shirt: Who the defendants in this court dispute were. When the events occurred in 1980, an occurrence occurred that is the root of the dispute between the two sides. Shirt, a rookie skier with little prior water skiing experience, made the decision to ski in the lake's deep waters. This was accomplished because skiing in deeper waters is simpler than in shallow waters. Now, Shirt considered a sign that stated, "Deep Water," and according to Shirt's analysis, pointed towards the coast of the lake in order to determine if the waters were shallow or deep. Although the seas were fairly shallow, Shirt traversed the region since he thought the information to be accurate. This led to an accident in which his skull was hurt, leaving him paralysed. In the Wyong Shire Council v. Shirt case, the plaintiff, Shirt, sued the Wyong Shire Council in an effort to obtain compensation for the loss of his body's functionality. The plaintiff won the trial in the lower court, and Wyong Shire Council then filed an appeal in the higher court to get their side of the story heard.

The claim against the Defendant Wyong Shire Council was one of duty breach, which was demonstrated by the fact that they failed to foresee the likelihood and extent of the harm that might have beenfall someone—in this case, the plaintiff—as a result of the placement of inaccurate signs near the lake that contained important information. According to the plaintiff, the mistake that severely injured him physically was either made negligently by the defendant or with the intention of leading others astray.

Criteria for Negligence Studying the Wyong Shire Council v. Shirt case can help you comprehend the following:

1. Duty Violation: The defendant has a responsibility to exercise reasonable care, and as a result, the defendant must act in a way that reflects his purpose to exercise reasonable care by taking particular activities that would demonstrate his intents to not be ignorant. It is feasible to prove a breach of duty in this situation if placing the signage wasn't sufficient to qualify as exercising reasonable care.

2. Reasonable Predictability: Currently Reasonable care is directly related to predictability. In the Wyong Shire Council v. Shirt case, the defendant had to have anticipated the potential consequences of their acts on a person in order to be able to exercise reasonable care. When future actions are directly related to care, both negligence and the forfeiture of the duty of care are tests for negligible foreseeing ability (Chapman vs. Hearse, 1961). Standard care entails anticipating potential hazards and taking precautions when certain behaviours have a propensity to have negative outcomes (Green L, 1961). Now, determining whether a risk exists or not comes second to determining whether the wrongdoing was caused by negligence or if it was impossible to recognise a violation of duty (Terry H, 1915).

3. The Negligence Calculus: Once it has been proven that the defendant might have averted the severe consequences that followed by exercising ordinary care, it has been determined that foresee ability was in fact conceivable. After determining foreseeability, negligence is determined using the following criteria:

Probability: If there is a high likelihood that an incident resulting from negligence will occur, then more care should be taken and stricter procedures must be followed.

b. Gravity: It is also important to determine the seriousness and scope of the consequences of the neglect. Even though there is a remote chance that the event may occur, if the consequences are severe, then extreme caution must be exercised. When there is a high likelihood of the event occurring and significant potential damage, extreme caution must be taken. To determine the level of care to be taken, it is crucial to determine both the likelihood of the incident and the size of the losses.

c. Burden: The limitations on anticipating a certain event are another significant aspect that affects the calculation of carelessness. If the defendant's limitations on foresight make it less likely that they will be able to predict an event, then the defendant may be absolved from liability for reducing the standard of care. Determining whether the person in question is truly unable to predict an event is crucial in this situation.

Utility is a different factor that has a significant impact on determining the consequences of negligence. It becomes of utmost relevance if the societal usefulness of the negligence is great. It can be challenging to prevent neglect, for example, if the results have a significant social impact. The decision in this situation is whether to assess a fee based on care or culpability for losses that were caused (Fletcher P, 1972).

Case Analysis The following standards were used to decide the Wyong Shire Council v. Shirt case:

The likelihood of the incident repeating itself was similarly on the upper side. A. The utility of the Negligence was rather pretty high. B.

The size of the issue, which was equally significant, was another crucial factor.

It was also quite easy to prevent this from happening by putting readable signs.

It was now the defendant's duty to establish that this was not their fault and that they were therefore immune from liability. In a lower court, it was determined that the respondent Wyong Shire Council had not taken reasonable care to erect readable signage containing relevant information. Wyong Shire Council filed an application with the higher court because it was not especially pleased with the decision. The council's defence was predicated on the notion that swimming, not skiing, was the lake and channel's original use. The sign boards were put up to help novice swimmers navigate the shallow and deeper lake waters. The lake and its canal were built so that swimmers entering the lake would do so from the side of the jetty. In order for swimmers entering from the Jetty's side to be aware of the depth of the water, signs were constructed facing the Jetty. The arguments presented by both parties were fair and reasonable when the case was being heard in the lower court. Thus, the determination of whether or not the shire exercised reasonable care was to be the foundation of the lower court's ruling in the Wyong Shire Council v. Shirt case.

Wyong Shire Council appealed the lower court's decision in favour of the plaintiff: Shirt after the lower court's decision, and the higher court held that the definition of standard care in this case was rather fanciful and far-fetched after carefully examining the relevant facts and the circumstances that resulted. It was additionally stated that since the lake and channel were developed primarily for swimming rather than skiing, it did not fall under the category of reasonably foreseeability for the shire to have anticipated the occurrence of such an incident.

Additionally, it was proven in the Wyong Shire Council vs. Shirt case that, even while taking reasonable precautions, it is frequently impossible to predict certain injuries resulting from unusual situations (Bolton vs. Stone, 1951). The court went on to say that it is frequently unfair and unreasonable to categorise events arbitrarily as "not unlikely to happen" or "unlikely to happen." This is so that adopting appropriate preventive measures is not warranted in the event of an incident that is "not unlikely to happen" and has an associated risk (Caterson vs. Commissioner for Railways, 1973).

Developing a Conclusion

The assumption made by Shirt, a ski enthusiast who was unskilled and a novice as well, regarding the depth of the waters, based on the signage, was later determined in the Wyong Shire Council vs. Shirt case to be at best incorrect and at worst to have been a grave error. This was due to the signs' status as just suggestions rather than declarations of objective reality. The signs that were erected near the lake were actually a component of a lake dredging operation that was carried out as part of the Saltwater Creek works, which were first built in 1966. The Entrance Aquatic Club received a 900-foot-long channel connected to the lake for the purpose of promoting water sports, and a jetty was built specifically for this purpose. Due to the channel's inadequate water bed for successful water-sports operations, Wyong Shire Council also conducted the dredging project. After the project was finished, Mr. McPhan took it upon himself to see that wooden boards with signs warning youngsters and inexperienced swimmers that the water's depth was too steep were erected. The higher courts held that it was the plaintiff's responsibility to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the signs were actually raised without exercising reasonable care and that the defendant was in fact negligent, despite the fact that the defendant had failed to make any convincing arguments in the lower court and lost the case. The defendant was put through the test of reasonable foreseeability of outcomes to prove this, which made the jury's decision quite clear (Mount Isa Mines Ltd. v. Pusey, 1970). Investigation revealed that skiers had been using the waterway with a certain amount of risk even before the dredging activities had been carried out there. The signs put up were intended for swimmers entering from the Jetty's side, not for skiers, hence the principle of reasonable foreseeability is not applicable. The court concluded that the shire did not have a duty to anticipate a situation in which someone would mistakenly believe that signs intended for swimmers also applied to skiers. In conclusion, it was decided that the creek, the jetty, and the Shire were all responsible for making sure that reasonable caution was taken when fishing in the channel and lake. If the utility increased as a result of the channel being used as a water skiing circuit, the Shire was not required to make any new arrangements for the ski enthusiasts because that was not the Shire's original purpose (Maloney v. Commissioner for Railways, 1978).

Tort Cases: Chapman v Hearse [1961] HCA 46. 2016.Tort Cases: Chapman v Hearse [1961] HCA 46. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 September 2016].

Fletcher, GP, 1972. Fairness and Utility in Tort Theory.The Harvard Law Review Association, [Online]. 85, 537-573. Available at:[Accessed 15 September 2016].

Terry, HT, 1915. Negligence.The Harvard Law Review Association, [Online]. 29, 40-55. Available at: [Accessed 15 September 2016].

Green, L, 1961. Foreseeability in Negligence Law.The Harvard Law Review Association, [Online]. 61, 1401-1424. Available at: [Accessed 15 September 2016].

1951.BOLTON V STONE; HL 10 MAY 1951. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 15 September 2016].

1973.Caterson v Commissioner of Railways. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 15 September 2016].

1973.Willis, John --- "Mount Isa Mines Ltd v Pusey (1971) 45 ALJR 88" [1971] MelbULawRw 18; (1971) 8(2) Melbourne University Law Review 329. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 15 September 2016].

1980.High Court of Austrailia. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 15 September 2016].

2008.Miscellaneous Taxation Ruling. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 15 September 2016].

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