此外，还应引入“合理的人”的概念，这是在布莱思诉伯明翰自来水公司案中设立的。在这种情况下，马修的工作模式是，雇员必须在大城市繁忙拥挤的地区驾驶车辆运送货物，雇主有必要分派送货任务当员工开车时，以最快的速度完成大部分工作任务。对于一个合理的司机来说，在繁忙的街道上追逐送货速度冠军应该被视为一种危险行为，因为员工不能很好地集中精力驾驶，这可能在任何时候造成严重的交通事故和进一步的交通堵塞或损害。在这种情况下，Matthew作为其雇主的代理人，应对其特殊的工作方式负责，在其日常工作中代表其雇主，而在街道上为运输业工作的必要性不应被视为辩护（William Norris QC 2009）。
Analysis on Several Cases of Tort and Employer’s Liability
In this provided case of Matthew’s misfortune, there could be at least 3 relationships which are respectively revolved these parties: Matthew, his employer, the driver, and the victims who suffered losses from the car accident. There are two kinds of legal relationships referred to tort liability and employer’s obligation included in this case. This article is divided into three parts according to each independent relationship and will be discussing the two types of relationships and analyzing the possibilities of success for each party’s litigation.
Matthew, his employer and the businesses as victims are three parties in this first issue. The fact should be concluded as that the victims suffered damages because of the electricity cut caused by a car accident which happened between a car driver and Matthew during his routine of delivery work. As a result, the businesses are now suing both Matthew and his employer for the losses.
This issue contains two relationships. The main relationship is between the businesses and Matthew’s employer while another one is between Matthew and his employer. Compared with a third possible relation between the victims and Matthew, which will bring little good to the victims for their success, it is more meaningful to take those the former two relations into discussion.
Before starting the discussion, it is necessary to introduce several important points of tort. Generally, a claim of tort contains these factors: the existence of the defendant’s duty of care, the defendant’s behavior breaching his duty, the losses suffered by the claimant and the causation between the behavior and the losses (Blay, 2013). Negligence has been considered the most important form of tort behaviors. The concept of “Negligence” was firstly pointed out by the judge Atkin in the case of Donoghue V Stevenson. The defendant’s liability of negligence will not be held until his reasonable duty of care is proved to exist. There is another concept related to the negligence, the “Neighborhood Principle”, which was in disputes for a long time who should bear the duty of care and to what extend the defendant should be determined negligent. The most typical case about the widen application of this principle, which is also related to Matthew’s case, should be the one Home Office v Dorset Yacht Co. In this case, both Matthew and his employer owe the duty of care to other people who may get affected by the special working mode as described hereinafter.
Moreover, the concept of “reasonable man” should also be introduced, which was set up in the case of Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks Co. In this case, Matthew’s working mode is that the employee has to send goods by driving vehicles among busy and crowded districts of a big city, and it is necessary for his employer to dispatch delivery tasks when the employee is driving so that they can fulfill the most work tasks by the fasted speed. To chase for the champion of delivery speed in busy streets should be considered as a dangerous conduct as to a reasonable driver, which could cause serious road accidents and further traffic jams or damages at any time since the employee cannot focus well on his driving. In this case, Matthew, as an agent of his employer who should be liable for its special mode of working, represented his employer during his daily work, and the necessity of working in the streets for delivery industry should not be taken as a defence (William Norris QC 2009).
There is another concept of “Negligence in Employment” (Feliu & Johnson 2002). The negligence in training in this case was reflected as Matthew’s employer should have remind its employee of the danger to pick up phone calls when driving from time to time, however, in this case, such dangerous driver had been permissive impliedly by the employer, which led to the final accident. Though there was no other injury except Matthew’s in this case, there was reasonably foreseeable losses to the businesses. The employer, as a principal, should undertake the obligation to pay damages to the victims for the tortious conducts of its employee, Matthew in this issue, as long as there exists a employment contract between them, no matter the contract is express or implied.
Though there is no commercial relation between the employer and the victims, which could be reckoned as a defense for the employer, the whole accident was caused by its employee performing his duty, especially during the time of daily work. The result of such accident should be foreseeable for the employer, as an enterprise of delivery, of any commercial structure. A reasonable person can realize the significant consequence of that it is dangerous to make phone calls when driving a car, which could probably distract the attention of the driver. In this case, the causal relationship was necessarily established between the victims’ losses and the employer’s working mode.
The final point to discuss is the amount of damages that Matthew and his employer would have to pay. Though the fact of tort has been proved to exist, it’s not yet been described in the materials how much the businesses have suffered and what is the amount of their claimed damages. It should be noted that if the claimed amount of damages has been proposed unreasonably, their claims would probably rejected by court according to the causation theory. Similarly, the claimed amount of damages should depend on their causations with the accident in the following issues, which would not be discussed in details in each issue hereinafter.
It’s obvious that the businesses could probably be awarded damages from the employer as long as they can prove the employment relation between Matthew and his employee. However, compared with the damages from the employer, the businesses would not get enough sums from such a singer individual as Matthew.