Posted: September 17th, 2017


1- Use the IRAC Method (Issue, Rules, Analysis/Application and Conclusion) to provide the answers.

2- Provide answers within the Australian Commercial Law context.
Q #1: Law of Torts
[Max 1000 words]

Matthew, an experienced driver for an express postal service, has been doing the Sydney CBD route for many years. His job is highly stressful as his employer’s business model focuses on being the fastest delivery network in all of Sydney. Matthew has grown accustomed to taking calls whilst driving his van and is paid
well for his services.

One day Matthew is called onto one of the busy inner-city routes. He picks up the goods from the supplier and begins driving to the delivery point. On his way he receives a call from his employer and as he reaches down to take the call he realises there is a car coming towards him in his lane. Matthew swerves to miss the oncoming car but, in the process of doing so, mounts the kerb and collides with a telegraph pole. Matthew is rendered paraplegic as a consequence of the car accident.

Although no one else was injured, the force of the collision also causes the telegraph pole to fall over and hit a shopfront, resulting in damage worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars. The electricity supply is cut to the street because of the downed telegraph pole. It takes several days for the electricity to be restored, causing problems for all of the businesses in the street.

Each of the affected businesses are pursuing both Matthew and Matthew’s employer for damages for loss of business. The owner of the business whose shopfront was damaged is also suing both Matthew and Matthew’s employer for the damage caused to the shop. Although Matthew has been able to obtain workers compensation he also wants to bring an action against his employer for unsafe working conditions and sue the driver of the other car for negligence. Matthew claims that a combination of these two factors caused the accident.

Advise all parties of their likelihood of success.
Main references to use and refer to:

Turner, C. and Trone, J. (2014). Australian Commercial Law 30th ed. Thomson Reuters, Sydney.

Balkin, R.P. and Davis, J.L.R. (2013). Law of Torts, 5th ed. LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney.

Barker, K., Cane, P., Lunney, M. and Trindade, F. (2011). The Law of Torts in Australia, 5th ed. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Q #2: Agency
[Max 1000 words]

Fraser and Carter have been friends since they were children. Now middle-aged, they share an apartment in Sydney’s Inner-West and both work as financiers. Fraser needs to travel overseas to secure a business deal which promises a promotion if he is successful. He has a few items of business to take care of at home and asks Carter if he would act as his agent. ‘All you need to do is receive three phone calls. I will leave the relevant bank details ready to execute the transactions. Basically, you are just buying a fixed quantity of shares for a few of my clients. I will let both the clients and the broker know you will be doing business with them,’ Fraser tells Carter. Carter agrees, and whilst envious of his friend’s trip and job prospects, he would never deny Fraser’s wishes. Fraser acknowledges that he owes Carter a nice dinner when he returns.

Fraser leaves on 17 October 2014 and is due to return on 27 October 2014. On 20
October 2014, Carter receives the three “buy” instructions as Fraser’s agent. On 21 October 2014, Carter, increasingly disgruntled by his friend’s success, triples the buy amount when he puts through the relevant transactions with the broker. The broker makes the trades and a confirmation receipt is sent to Fraser’s email address. On 23 October 2014, Fraser checks his email and is shocked by what has occurred. Before he can undo the trades the share price plummets and each client loses a significant amount of money.

Fraser calls his broker and says: ‘You idiot! We’ve been working together for 5 years and you don’t know by now the type of money that comes in?’ The broker replies that he had instructions Carter would be doing business on Fraser’s behalf and was merely following Carter’s orders.

Angry at their losses, Fraser’s clients have sent him aggressive emails and left voice messages stating that if they don’t receive an explanation soon their lawyers will be involved. Fraser does not reply to any of these messages, having returned to an empty apartment on 27 October 2014.

Fraser consults you for advice as he is certain he bears no responsibility for this mess.

Advise Fraser.

Main references to use and refer to:

Turner, C. and Trone, J. (2014). Australian Commercial Law 30th ed. Thomson Reuters, Sydney.

Dal Pont, G. (2014). Law of Agency, 3rd ed. LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney.

Fisher, S. (2000). Agency Law. Butterworths, Sydney.

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