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Tort Law
Word Limit 1200 words
Olly owns an outdoor activity centre. At a trade show he saw a new range of protective goggles and overalls (designed for paint-balling). These were significantly cheaper than the ones he currently used at his centre. Some trade magazines had expressed doubts about the reliability of this cheaper range, based upon reports of three incidents where the equipment failed to offer adequate protection during live play. The manufacturer dismissed these as isolated incidents and blamed staff at the centres concerned for not fitting the equipment correctly or using it for activities it was not designed for.
Olly decided to replace his existing stock of paint ball safety equipment (goggles and overalls, both of which would have offered 100% protection) with the newer and cheaper range of goggles and overalls. Some weeks later, he received a telephone booking from the local Chamber of Commerce who were organising a charity paint balling day. Olly offered a generous discount because the event was for a good cause. The organiser told Olly that one of the party, Irfan, had an eye condition which would worsen if any paint made contact with his eye. Olly assured Irfan that the goggles supplied provided total, 100%, protection.
On the morning of the charity paint balling day, Olly noticed that a defect in one of the paint storage tanks had caused paint to leak onto the floor near the changing rooms. The usual procedure for dealing with such spillages was to close the centre until the paint had been cleaned up. Olly did not want to cancel the Chamber of Commerce event because of the financial consequences for the charities concerned. So, he hurriedly hosed the floor down and spread sand over the affected areas.
Later that day, Irfan suffered a serious eye injury when the new protective goggles shattered after being struck by a paintball. The group cancelled the rest of the activity and returned to the changing rooms. One of the party, Nelda, slipped on an untreated patch of floor and broke her arm. She also ruined her expensive designer jacket when some of the spilt paint soaked through the overalls she was wearing. She was wearing the new overalls Olly had purchased.
Discuss whether Olly will be liable in negligence for all, or any, of the losses suffered by Irfan and by Nelda arising out of these incidents. You are asked to focus on the standard of care expected from him.
OSCOLA  Quick Reference Guide
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