Lord Bridge propounded simply a criterion of the reasonable foreseeability by the defendant of the damage to the plaintiff which had occurred without necessarily invoking physical presence at or propinquity to the accident or its aftermath or any particular relationship to the primary victim as limiting factors, although, of course, clearly these elements would be important in the determination of what, on the facts of any given case, would be reasonably foreseeable. In each case damages are sought for psychiatric illness, which, for present purposes, must be assumed to have been caused by the nervous impact on the plaintiff of the death or injury of a primary victim with whom he or she had a strong bond of affection. That can be expressed in various ways. Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire – Case Summary. Ten only of these fifteen plaintiffs now appeal to your Lordships' House, with leave granted in the Court of Appeal. It appears that they were in very much the same condition as they would have been had the mother found them at the scene of the accident. 73, reversed on appeal [1992] 2 All E.R. Whilst the English law of tort is generally favourable towards the psychiatric damage claims of primary victims, claims from secondary victims are treated in a much more restrictive manner. ... Robert Alcock … Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police concerned sixteen unsuccessful claims for psychiatric injury (PI) resulting from the Hillsborough disaster. Thus such a person, given always the reasonable foreseeability of the injury in fact sustained and of such persons witnessing it, may be within the area of proximity in which a duty of care may be found to exist. Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [1991] UKHL 5, [1992] 1 AC 310 is a leading English tort law case on liability for nervous shock (psychiatric injury). They crammed into pens 3 and 4, below the West Stand, and in the resulting crush 95 people were killed and over 400 physically injured. The psychiatric injury must be caused by a shocking event. That judgment was concerned with the question whether the defendant owed a duty of care in relation to nervous shock to any, and if so to which, of the plaintiffs. in Hambrook v. Stokes Brothers [1925] 1 K.B. My Lords, speaking for myself, I see no logic and no virtue in seeking to lay down as a matter of "policy" categories of relationship within which claims may succeed and without which they are doomed to failure in limine. Lord Lowry . But these are factual difficulties and I can see no logic and no policy reason for excluding claims by more remote relatives. HICKS AND OTHERS(APPELLANTS) v. WRIGHT(SUED AS CHIEF CONSTABLE OF THE SOUTH YORKSHIRE. Facts It would be inaccurate and hurtful to suggest that grief is made any the less real or deprivation more tolerable by a more gradual realisation, but to extend liability to cover injury in such cases would be to extend the law in a direction for which there is no pressing policy need and in which there is no logical stopping point. Respondent admitted negligence. The source of the shock and distress in all these cases is the affectionate relationship which existed between the plaintiff and the victim and the traumatic effect of the negligence is equally foreseeable, given that relationship, however the relationship arises. My Lords, in each of these appeals the question raised is whether the defendant is to be held responsible for psychiatric injury suffered by a plaintiff who was not himself or herself directly involved in the accident (for which, for present purposes, the defendant accepts responsibility) but who was connected to a victim by the bonds of an affectionate relationship such that he or she suffered extreme shock or anguish leading to the condition of which the plaintiff complains. and Deane J. in Jaensch v. Coffey, (1984) 155 C.L.R. In McLoughlin v. O'Brian [1983] 1 AC 410, a wife and a mother suffered nervous shock after seeing her husband and children in a hospital to which they had been taken after a road accident. 359H-360G. Facts . Even the apparent exceptions to this, the old actions for loss of a husband's right to consortium and for loss of servitium of a child or menial servant, were abolished by the Administration of Justice Act 1982. In Chadwick v. British Railways Board [1967] 1 W.L.R. Detailed case brief, including paragraphs and page references Topic: Nervous Shock. My Lords, if sympathy alone were to be the determining factor in these claims, then they would never have been contested. The shock was caused neither by fear for his own safety nor for that of close relations. My Lords, for these reasons I would dismiss each of these appeals. The common features of all the reported cases of this type decided in this country prior to the decision of Hidden J. in the instant case and in which the plaintiff succeeded in establishing liability are, first, that in each case there was a marital or parental relationship between the plaintiff and the primary victim; secondly, that the injury for which damages were claimed arose from the sudden and unexpected shock to the plaintiff's nervous system; thirdly, that the plaintiff in each case was either personally present at the scene of the accident or was in the more or less immediate vicinity and witnessed the aftermath shortly afterwards; and, fourthly, that the injury suffered arose from witnessing the death of, extreme danger to, or injury and discomfort suffered by the primary victim. Lord Oliver distinguished between primary and secondary victims to clarify the law and establish mechanisms to scrutinise secondary victims claims. My Lords, Creating a unique profile web page containing interviews, posts, articles, as well as the cases you have appeared in, greatly enhances your digital presence on search engines such Google and Bing, resulting in increased client interest. Citation of a principle so familiar may justly be described as trite but it is, I think, of critical importance in the context of the instant appeals. 3d 1316, 1326, that the existence of the duty must depend on reasonable foreseeability and. To succeed in the present appeals the plaintiffs seek to extend the boundaries of this cause of action by: (1) removing any restrictions on the categories of persons who may sue; (2) extending the means by which the shock is caused, so that it includes viewing the simultaneous broadcast on television of the incident which caused the shock; (3) modifying the present requirement that the aftermath must be "immediate.". She was held entitled to recover damages for the psychiatric illness she suffered as a result. Lord Ackner . So too Schneider v. Eisovitch [1960] 2 Q.B. In McLoughlin v. O'Brian the immediate aftermath extended to a time somewhat over an hour after the accident and to the hospital in which the victims were waiting to be attended to. It was brought by police officers on duty against the Chief Constable who was said to have been vicariously liable for the disaster. PETITIONER: Alcock. NAME OF THE COURT: House of Lords PETITIONER: Alcock RESPONDENT: Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police DATE OF JUDGEMENT: 28 December 1991 BENCH: Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Ackner, Lord Oliver of Aylmerton, … Although this lends support to the suggestion that such damages may be recoverable by a mere spectator, it is doubtful how far the case, which was disapproved by three members of this House in Bourhill v. Young [1943] AC 92, 100, 110 and 116, can be relied upon. Thus, it holds a very significant place in the sphere of tort law. In the case of those within the sphere of reasonable foreseeability the proximity factors mentioned by Lord Wilberforce in McLoughlin v. O'Brian [1983] 1 AC 410, 422, must, however, be taken into account in judging whether a duty of care exists. It was decided in Alcock that in order to succeed in bringing a claim as a secondary victim, claimants must prove eligibility criteria as follows: These requirements narrowed defendant’s liability towards secondary victims. The Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police Defendants - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ... the police force which polices the South Yorkshire area, which I shall call SYP. But injury by psychiatric illness is more subtle, as Lord Macmillan observed in Bourhill v. Young. To essay any comprehensive definition would be a fruitless exercise. INTRODUCTION 1. And, in the end, it has to be accepted that the concept of "proximity" is an artificial one which depends more upon the court's perception of what is the reasonable area for the imposition of liability than upon any logical process of analogical deduction. Interact directly with CaseMine users looking for advocates in your area of specialization. Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle . However, the precedent set by Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire precluded any successful claims in negligence against the police for damage caused in the course of apprehending a suspect. The Supreme Court Judgment. The closeness of the tie would, however, require to be proved by a plaintiff, though no doubt being capable of being presumed in appropriate cases. Eventually, a stampede occurred and many were crushed to death. The means by which the shock is caused constitutes a third control, although in these appeals I find it difficult to separate this from proximity. In this chapter, I argue that Alcock was an essentially conservative 503, 509 - there is nothing in it which necessarily limits the liability of the tortfeasor to compensating only the primary victim of the event. The Chief Constable of South Yorkshire has admitted liability in negligence in respect of the deaths and physical injuries. CHIEF CONSTABLE OF SOUTH YORKSHIRE POLICE - and - DISCLOSURE AND BANNING SERVICE First Defendant ... Approved Judgment . In Jaensch v. Coffey (1984) 155 C.L.R. Whilst not dissenting from the case-by-case approach advocated by Lord Bridge in McLoughlin's case, the ultimate boundaries within which claims for damages in such cases can be entertained must I think depend in the end upon considerations of policy. If there exists a sufficient degree of proximity to sustain a claim for damages for nervous shock, why it may be justifiably be asked, does not that proximity also support that perhaps more easily foreseeable loss which the plaintiff may suffer as a direct result of the death or injury from which the shock arises. Alcock and Others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police. Deane J. said, at p. 608: As regards the means by which the shock is suffered, Lord Wilberforce said in McLoughlin v. O'Brian [1983] 1 AC 410, 423 that it must come through sight or hearing of the event on or of its immediate aftermath. All of them were connected in various ways with persons who were in that area, being related to such persons or, in one case, being a fianc e. In most cases the person with whom the plaintiff was concerned was killed, in other cases that person was injured, and in one case turned out to be uninjured. in Heaven v. Pender (1883) 11 Q.B.D. That cannot, I think, be attributable to some arbitrary but unenunciated rule of "policy" which draws a line as the outer boundary of the area of duty. This case represents a further stage in the long and unhappy dispute between the He then considered the arguments on policy which had led the Court of Appeal to reject the plaintiff's claim, and concluded, at p. 421, that they were not of great force. Equally obviously, the foreseeability of such injury to such a person will be more difficult to establish than similar injury to a spouse or parent of the primary victim. The traumatic effect on, for instance, a mother on the death of her child is as readily foreseeable in a case where the circumstances are described to her by an eye witness at the inquest as it is in a case where she learns of it at a hospital immediately after the event. 6.9 Judgment on Withdrawal – part - rule 52 EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNALS Claimant: Ms S Morgan Respondent: The Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police JUDGMENT The claims at paragraphs 5 and 16 of the “Discussion” section of the Order of 29 January 2020 are dismissed following a … It was argued for the plaintiffs in the present case that reasonable foreseeability of the risk of injury to them in the particular form of psychiatric illness was all that was required to bring home liability to the defendant. In those cases in which, as in the instant appeals, the injury complained of is attributable to the grief and distress of witnessing the misfortune of another person in an event by which the plaintiff is not personally threatened or in which he is not directly involved as an actor, the analysis becomes more complex. This is, of course, fully recognised by the appellants, the plaintiffs in these actions, whose claims for damages to compensate them for their psychiatric illnesses are based upon the allegation that it was the defendant's negligence, that is to say his breach of his duty of care owed to them as well as to those who died or were injured in controlling the crowds at the stadium, which caused them to suffer their illnesses. Case: Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [1991] UKHL 5 Secondary victim claims: Is the tide turning? If one goes back to what may be regarded as the genesis of the modern law of tortious negligence - that is to say, the judgment of Sir Baliol Brett M.R. Vincent [1991] UKHL J1128-1. The principal interest of the case lies in the view expressed by Kennedy J., apparently following an earlier, unreported decision of Wright J., that illness caused by fear for the safety of anyone other than the plaintiff herself was not capable of grounding liability - a view clearly now unsustainable in the light of subsequent authority. Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire – Case Summary. I doubt whether the reason for this can be found by an appeal to logic, for there is, on the face of it, no readily discernible logical reason why he who carelessly inflicts an injury upon another should not be held responsible for its inevitable consequences not only to him who may conveniently be termed "the primary victim" but to others who suffer as a result. But, as I shall endeavour to show, the law in this area is not wholly logical and whilst having every sympathy with the plaintiffs, whose suffering is not in doubt and is not to be underrated, I cannot for my part see any pressing reason of policy for taking this further step along a road which must ultimately lead to virtually limitless liability. Packenham v Irish Ferries Limited [2004] In each case it is admitted for the purposes of these proceedings that the defendant was in breach of a tortious duty of care owed to the primary victim and that each plaintiff has suffered psychiatric illness. I will deal with those three elements seriatim. The south Yorkshire police force that was responsible for crowd control at the match had negligently directed a large number of spectators to one end of the stadium into a caged pen as the result of which a fatal crash took place, succeeded by a stampede killing 95 people and physically injuring many others. Lastly, in each case there was not only an element of physical proximity to the event but a close temporal connection between the event and the plaintiff's perception of it combined with a close relationship of affection between the plaintiff and the primary victim. 70 after Alcock. In that case the primary victims of the accident caused by the respondent's negligence were the husband and two children of the appellant, who were injured, and another child of hers who was killed. If liability is to be denied in such a case such denial can only be because the policy of the law forbids such a claim, for it is difficult to visualise a greater proximity or a greater degree of forseeability. 549, 558, for the proposition that the test for establishing liability is the unfettered application of the test of reasonable foreseeability - viz. But I do not think that too much should be read into these remarks. para 5 Donoghue v. Stevenson [1932… Alcock -v- The Chief Constable of South Yorks [1992] 1 AC 310. that there may well be circumstances where the element of visual perception may be provided by witnessing the actual injury to the primary victim on simultaneous television, but that is not the case in any of the instant appeals and I agree with my noble and learned friend, Lord Keith of Kinkel, that, for the reasons which he gives, the televised images seen by the various plaintiffs cannot be equiparated with "sight or hearing of the event." The answer cannot, I think, lie in the greater foreseeability of the sort of damage which the plaintiff has suffered. White v Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police was a 1998 case in English tort law in which police officers who were present in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster sued for post traumatic stress disorder. It is common ground that such elements do exist and are required to be considered in connection with all these claims. He did not altogether close the door to an enlargement of the area of the possible duty but observed: In so far as this constituted an invitation to courts seized of similar problems in the future to draw lines determined by their perception of what public policy requires, it was an invitation accepted by Parker L.J. 428, 429. psychiatric illness. So I am of the opinion that in addition to reasonable foreseeability liability for injury in the particular form of psychiatric illness must depend in addition upon a requisite relationship of proximity between the claimant and the party said to owe the duty. in Heaven v. Pender, 11 Q.B.D. It is customary to classify cases in which damages are claimed for injury occasioned in this way under a single generic label as cases of "liability for nervous shock." Neither speech contained anything inconsistent with that of Lord Wilberforce. gave judgment allowing the defendant's appeals in the cases of the nine formerly successful plaintiffs and rejecting the appeals of the six unsuccessful ones. They permitted thousands of football fans to gather in one part of the stadium. 599 on the rather different grounds (Stephenson L.J.) None of the other plaintiffs who lost relatives sought to establish that they had relationships of love and affection with a victim comparable to that of a spouse or parent. It is well established that the defendant owes a duty of care not only to those who are directly threatened or injured by his careless acts but also to those who, as a result, are induced to go to their rescue and suffer injury in so doing. It must, I think, be from these elements that the essential requirement of proximity is to be deduced, to which has to be added the reasonable foreseeability on the part of the defendant that in that combination of circumstances there was a real risk of injury of the type sustained by the particular plaintiff as a result of his or her concern for the primary victim. But the critical part played by this element is very clearly expressed by Lord Bridge himself in his speech in Caparo Industries Plc. 439-443. In the Court of Appeal Rose L.J. I do not consider that this case is of assistance where, as here, the plaintiffs were not personally involved in the disaster. Inevitably the impact of the event and its aftermath, whether immediate or prolonged, is going to be felt in greater or lesser degree by those with whom the victim is connected whether by ties of affection, of blood relationship, of duty or simply of business. Two of the plaintiffs were spectators in the ground, but not in the pens where the disaster occurred, the remainder of the plaintiffs learned of the disaster through radio or television broadcasts. The failure of the law in general to compensate for injuries sustained by persons unconnected with the event precipitated by a defendant's negligence must necessarily import the lack of any legal duty owed by the defendant to such persons. LORD TEMPLEMAN. Lord Edmund-Davies and Lord Russell of Killowen both considered the policy arguments which had led the Court of Appeal to dismiss the plaintiff's claim to be unsound: pp. The algorithms of the law must keep pace with new and emerging technologies. The defendant appealed to the Court of Appeal in the cases of nine out of the ten successful plaintiffs, and the six unsuccessful plaintiffs also appealed to that court. If the claimant has so established and all other requirements of the claim are satisfied he or she will succeed since the shock to him or her will be within the reasonable contemplation of the tortfeasor. On that day a football match was arranged to be played at the stadium between the Liverpool and the Nottingham Forest football clubs. As regards the class of persons to whom a duty may be owed to take reasonable care to avoid inflicting psychiatric illness through nervous shock sustained by reason of physical injury or peril to another, I think it sufficient that reasonable foreseeability should be the guide. Cup. But see the pre-Alcock approach inHevican v.Ruane [1991] 3 All E.R. The defendant has throughout contested liability on the ground that, in all the circumstances, he was not in breach of any duty of care owed to the the plaintiffs. Was proximity of perception satisfied by spectators watching the incident on television? Lord Atkin in Donoghue v. Stevenson [1932] AC 562, 580 described those to whom a duty of care is owed as being: The concept of a person being closely and directly affected has been conveniently labelled "proximity," and this concept has been applied in certain categories of cases, particularly those concerned with pure economic loss, to limit and control the consequences as regards liability which would follow if reasonable foreseeability were the sole criterion. Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire. For him to have been reasonably in contemplation by a defendant he must be: The requirement contained in the words "so closely and directly affected ... that" constitutes a control upon the test of reasonable foreseeability of injury. In essence this involves answering the twin questions of (a) whether injury of this sort to each particular plaintiff was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the acts or omissions constituting the breach of duty to the primary victim and (b) whether there existed between the defendant and each plaintiff that degree of directness or proximity necessary to establish liability. witnessing a relative die from a disease over days or weeks. Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire House of Lords. Of the six plaintiffs who were successful before Hidden J. only one, who lost two brothers, was present at the ground. Alcock and others claimed damages for the psychiatric harm they suffered as a result of experiencing such a horrific event. In Bourhill v. Young [1943] AC 92, 103, Lord Macmillan said: It is now generally accepted that an analysis of the reported cases of nervous shock establishes that it is a type of claim in a category of its own. 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