Wednesday, 16 June 2010

( This rather unusual case was brought before the High Court, where the plaintiff served a writ on the CBC claiming substantial damages for the tort of negligence. A short extract from the trial's transcript appears below. )
Counsel ( for the plaintiff ) : Just how often does your husband, the blaggard Bigot-Johnson, beat you ?
Mrs. B-J : Regularly.....
Counsel : And why does he regularly beat you ?
Mrs. B-J : Because of his regular beating at the hands of others at the bridge club.
Counsel : So please tell the court just how often do these other players beat him ?
Mrs. B-J : They beat him every time.....
Counsel : So what you are actually saying is that the bridge club is responsible for turning your husband into a wife-beating monster, who uses you as his whipping dog ?
Mrs. B-J : Yes......
Counsel : But how can they be responsible for his appalling behaviour ?
Mrs. B-J : Well, I wrote several letters to the club's committee about my husband's attacks, which I attributed to his mood swings following his wretched time at the tables. Having been alerted to the risk ( to me ) a duty of care had now been established. This duty of care, clearly based on a known foreseeable risk, required the club to exercise an appropriate standard of care......which, of course, was to ensure that other players did nothing to rile or rattle him. The committee, turning a blind eye to slow play, soft cheating, and biased TDs, allowed my husband to go ballistic time after time. By failing to guard against these " gross irritations " they failed to exercise the standard of care needed to fulfil their duty of care towards me. The direct consequences of such breaches are all here in my medical notes, and hospital appointment record cards.
Counsel : Jesus, do you know your stuff .....and I can certainly see where you're coming from. Your husband was angry at being beat as a result of widespread unethical practices and incompetent rulings, and not surprisingly used you as a punch-bag to off-load his pent up anger and frustration. But if your bully-of-a-husband is the main tortfeasor, why sue the club and not him ?
Mrs. B-J : For a kick-off he's penniless....but since he is a member of the club, then the principle of vicarious liability applies. Organisations are in law responsible for tortious acts committed by their servants and/or members committed in the course of their activities.....or..... as a result of their activities. The club, in effect, had through its negligence lit the fuse to a human time-bomb...........which only went off when I was around.
Judge : Sound reasoning indeed. I find for the defendant. Therefore, I'm going to award damages of £5,000 to the plaintiff, who ought use the money to file for divorce against the most despicable man I have ever heard of.....
Mrs. B-J : But if I do that........ I'll know what my husband will say ...
Judge : And what's that .....?
Mrs. B-J : Bugger....

No comments: