Business Law Assignment : Case Australian Safeway Stores v Zaluzna

Added on - 23 Feb 2020

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AUSTRALIAN SAFEWAY STORES V ZALUZNA (1987)2ContentsIntroduction......................................................................................................................................3Background......................................................................................................................................3Issues................................................................................................................................................4Arguments........................................................................................................................................5Court Decision.................................................................................................................................6Critical Analysis..............................................................................................................................8References......................................................................................................................................10
AUSTRALIAN SAFEWAY STORES V ZALUZNA (1987)3IntroductionAustralian Safeway Stores v Zaluzna(1987) 162 CLR 479 is amongst the landmark cases underthe tort of negligence. In this case, the issue of the occupiers’ duty of care for the invitees wastaken into consideration along with the standard of care which a supermarket owed to thecustomers who come into their store, particularly when the students slip in the store due to thefloor being slippery owing to the rainy day (Jade, 2017). The principle of duty of care wasdiscussed in this case where the direct relationship between the two people was taken to be thereason for the plaintiff being owed a duty of care by the defendant as the parties were inproximity with one another, where the actions of one, had the capability of impacting the other(Sappideen et al, 2009).In the following parts, a discussion has been carried on the facts of this case, the issues andarguments raised by both the parties and the decision given by the court. Lastly, the decision ofthe court has been critically analysed in context of the plaintiff, for the valid points made bythem.BackgroundOn January 20th, 1979, the plaintiff, Zaluzna, entered the supermarket of the defendant, which islocated at Victoria’s Mount Waverley, particularly the area which is known as the foyer area, inorder to purchase some cheese. The foyer area was a vinyl-titled floor and due to the rainy daythe floor was moist or wet. Though, before the plaintiff entered the area of supermarket, in whichthe merchandise was put on display, the plaintiff fell heavily on the floor due to slipping and
AUSTRALIAN SAFEWAY STORES V ZALUZNA (1987)4sustained physical injuries. As a result of this, the plaintiff initiated claims for negligence of thedefendant in the Supreme Court of Victoria and applied for damages, stating that both a generalduty of care and the duty which is owned by the occupier to an invitee were breached(Australasian Legal Information Institute, 2017a).The issue had been taken to the trial court, where it was recognized that the moisture on the floordid not constitute as a hazard for the customers and was nothing new as the customers shoppingon wet morning would normally expect the same to happen. As this was not found to be anunusual danger, the actions of the plaintiff failed in the trail court. The trial judge stated that thiscase was not such where it would be deemed as right to look out for duty of care on the basis ofDonoghue v Stevenson[1932] AC 562. And the verdict was made relying only on the case ofLondon Graving Dock Co. Ltd. v. Horton (1951) AC 737 and the classic exposition of the dutyof the invitor to the invitee as stated underIndermaur v Dames(1866) LR 1 CP 274, based onwhich he stated that the defendant had taken the mopping up procedure which was reasonable fordealing with the possibility of harm (Australasian Legal Information Institute, 2017b).IssuesThe plaintiff raised the issue that the defendant had not only breached its general duty of care,which they owed to the plaintiff, but also the duty which is owed by the occupier to an invitee.The plaintiff claimed that the risk of harm was clearly foreseeable in this case, which requiredthe defendant to take the requisite steps to safeguard the plaintiff against such risk of harm. Onthe other hand, the defendant raised the issue that in this case, a general duty of care was notowed by the defendant to the plaintiff. And that the occupiers’ liability was not applicable in thiscase and so, a case of negligence was not present (Jade, 2017).
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