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Writing your answer


Once you have written your plan, you need to turn this into your answer. There should be one main legal issue per paragraph. Each main issue needs to demonstrate appropriate application of the law to the facts of the case.

Here is the paragraph outline for Bert v Groovy Clothing Stores.

1. Establishes negligence as the area of law relevant to the facts


  • involves establishment of duty of care (DOC)
  • breach of standard of DOC
  • breach DOC→damages to Bert

2. Duty of care — establishes whether a duty of care was owed Bert from GCS

Lord Atkin's neighbour test
Apply law to the facts:

  • Foreseeability — Reasonably foreseeable that GCS action / omissions could cause damage to Bert→GCS owes Bert a duty of care Australian Safeway Stores v Zaluzna
  • Salient features of the care are consistent with the existence of a duty of care: Zaluzna's case

3. Breach in standard of duty of care

  • Establish standard owed to entrants of a store of a reasonable, ordinary, prudent occupier
  • Foreseeability of harm — apply to the facts
    • opening crowd
    • too many people on stairs
    • No warning to shoppers
    • →Breach of duty of care to Bert Bolton v Stone, Mercer's case

4. Defences

Contributory negligence of Bert
Apply law to the facts:

  • failure of Bert to take care of himself on the stairs
  • reasonable foreseeability of an accident Cook v Cook

5. Damages

  • Damages reasonably foreseeable — apply law to the facts
    • GCS liable for damages Wagon Mould Cases
  • Causation 'but for' test — apply law to the facts
    • 'But for' the breach, the damages ie Bert's hospitalization and injuries would not have occurred Cork v Kirby McLean, Chappel v Hart