SECTION A
Has the Consumer Protection Act 1987 [CPA] improved the English law of product liability, or would it have been better to retain the previous negligence-based regime for defective products? Discuss with reference to both the CPA and relevant case law.
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Critically evaluate the main characteristics of the contributory negligence defence. How should the defence of contributory negligence relate, if at all, to the defences of volenti non fit injuria (consent) and ex turpi causa non oritur actio (illegality)?
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“The law determining when there is liability for pure economic loss is an incoherent mess.” Do you agree? Can the cases in this area be explained in a coherent, principled way?
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Should the tort system be replaced by a loss compensation scheme as in New Zealand? Does tort law serve any important purposes that could not be served by such a scheme?
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LA1240 Continued
LA1240
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SECTION B
Gary and John, both aged 15, decided to go cycling one afternoon in the countryside surrounding Moldhaven. After cycling for a few miles, they decided to stop for a drink. They entered an off-licence, where they were served by Filipe. Gary asked for a six-pack of Headbangers Extra Strength Lager for each of them. Gary told Filipe that “cycling up those hills will be much easier after we’ve drunk that lot”. Filipe sold the six-packs to Gary. The two boys returned to their bikes and cycled several more miles, drinking from the cans of lager as they did so. After each of them had consumed three cans of lager, they decided that they should start a “Mexican wave”, which involved each of them in turn standing up on the bike pedals and waving his hands in the air. As they were doing this, Gary lost control of his bike and crashed into the back of John’s bike, pushing him into the path of an oncoming car, driven by Didier. Both John and Gary were seriously injured in the subsequent collision with the car. The car was severely dented in the collision and one of the front tyres was punctured. Despite realising that the tyre was damaged, Didier decided to drive Gary and John to Moldhaven County Hospital for treatment. Anxious to get them to the hospital as soon as possible, Didier exceeded the speed limit of 30 mph. On the way to the hospital, he lost control of the car because of the puncture. The car crashed into a ditch, causing extensive damage to the bodywork of the car, but no further injury to those in the car. Didier then used his mobile phone to call an emergency ambulance. Ten minutes after he had made the phone call, the ambulance arrived at the scene of the crash and took Gary and John to Moldhaven County Hospital for emergency treatment. Unfortunately, Gary suffered from the rare blood disorder Haemophilia (a hereditary, genetic disorder that impairs the body’s natural ability to control blood-clotting), and despite the best efforts of the surgical team, he died on the operating table. One week later, Didier asked his neighbour Oscar, who is a keen amateur car-repairer, if he would repair the damaged bodywork on his car. Oscar replied: “Yeah, I’ll give it a go”. Oscar made a mess of the repairs and Didier had to have the car repaired professionally at considerably greater cost than would have been necessary before Oscar had done any work on it.
Advise all parties as to any possible claims and liabilities in Tort.
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LA1240 Continued
LA1240
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Abe organised a party and invited two of his friends, Beatrice and Callie. Beatrice did not like Callie and resented the fact that she was invited. At the party, Callie sensed Beatrice’s hostility and gave Beatrice a series of dirty looks. This enraged Beatrice, who punched Callie in the face, breaking her nose. In response, Callie said to Beatrice, “I will break your legs!” On hearing this, Abe held Callie down, as he was determined to prevent the situation from escalating.
Abe told Callie to “go and cool off”. Callie visited the bathroom to examine her broken nose. She had always been curious about her friend Abe and so she entered his bedroom to look around. There was a live wire exposed in Abe’s bedroom, and he had not bothered to call an electrician. Callie accidentally touched it and suffered an electric shock. She recoiled and hit her hand against the wall, breaking her hand.
The encounter at the party reignited Beatrice’s grudge against Callie, and Beatrice started to follow Callie home after work. She also made anonymous calls and breathed threateningly down the phone. As a result of these experiences, Callie developed a panic disorder. Beatrice confronted Callie and, hoping to upset her even further, falsely told Callie that Abe really hated her and had insulted her behind her back. Callie was so upset by this that she felt physically sick, and later developed severe social anxiety.
Discuss the liability in tort of Abe, Beatrice and Callie.
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Gail, a famous movie star, gave an interview in which she claimed to have donated the earnings from her latest film to charity. The Daily Tattle published an article stating that Gail made 15 million pounds from the film and used it to buy a lavish London home. The article was based on an anonymous source and was rushed into print without further investigation. The paper did not contact Gail for comment.
The article also claimed that Gail was in a romantic relationship with Hillel, a software designer from Camden. In fact, Hillel had never met Gail, but as a result of the article he was subject to a great deal of unwanted public attention, as well as constant requests by newspapers and magazines for interviews.
The article was so successful for The Daily Tattle that the editor decided to publish a follow-up piece about Gail. Journalists for the paper hacked into Gail’s phone and listened to her messages, hoping to discover details about her personal life. One journalist took a photo of her sunbathing topless on a beach to be published along with the article.
Advise The Daily Tattle as to any liability it may have in tort to Gail and Hillel.

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