Yvette is a medical student assisting at a doctor’s surgery. Benjamin visits the surgery, complaining of chronic fatigue. Yvette conducts a brief examination of him while the doctor is out for lunch, without informing him that she is not a fully qualified medical practitioner. Yvette tells Benjamin that he is in good health and has been studying too hard. On his way home, Benjamin falls asleep at the wheel and hits a parked car, causing significant damage to both vehicles. Medical examinations after the accident show that Benjamin has a sleeping disorder, which could have been diagnosed and treated by a competent doctor.
Consider the following in your answer:
- The IRAC method of problem solving
- Is the damage to person or to property?
- In light of the harm suffered by P, what is the most appropriate action? Negligence?
- Does Yvette owe a duty of care to Ben?
- Was it reasonably foreseeable that her acts or omissions could affect Ben’s well-being?
- Is there a relationship of proximity?
- What is the standard of care in this case?
- Is the standard of care higher than that of a reasonable person?
- Has Yvette breached her duty of care to Ben?
- Has Ben suffered damage?
- Can Ben establish causation and remoteness?
- Are there any defences available to Yvette?