September 30

Implications for foreseeability in claims for personal injury

first_img Philip Noble is a barrister practising at Thomas More Chambers, Lincoln’s Inn. He represented both claimants in Jones Psychological injury Jones provides a salutary lesson to builders who press ahead with building developments without consideration of the planning rules and the wellbeing of their neighbours and shows that the consequences of running roughshod over the feelings of the local community can be extremely costly. As a result of the prolonged works and the refusal to address and recognise their complaints, one of the neighbours suffered considerable distress and psychological injury resulting in her being unable to continue working. Doctors anticipated that she would not recover sufficiently to resume work until at least six months after the ­conclusion of the litigation and that she would need counselling and possible retraining before she could get another job. The defendants argued that they should not be liable for her injury or consequential loss of earnings, as it was not foreseeable that she would suffer injury as a result of their activities. The trial judge upheld that argument at first instance. However, the Court of Appeal held that forseeability of injury was not the correct test for damages arising out of harassment. All that was needed was to show that the act was deliberate and that personal injury was the consequence of that behaviour. The following award was made by the trial judge: £30,000 for nuisance, £6,000 damages for distress caused by the harassment, £15,450 for costs of repairs and making good, and £45,000 for trespass. The Court of Appeal gave an award of £28,750 for general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity with a further award of £115,000 loss of earnings, together with interest of around £15,000. The court referred the issue of losses from the date of trial and other claimed expenses to a master for further hearing. The award for trespass was reduced to £15,000. The net bill as a result of the blatant disregard of the rules by the builder will almost certainly exceed £250,000. The costs are likely to be even greater. The value of each of the houses is less than £200,000. The case underlines the need for builders to use the services of a party wall surveyor and to serve the requisite notices on the owners of adjoining properties before embarking on wholesale refurbishment and redevelopment, if they want to avoid the danger of being found responsible for damage to adjoining properties. It acts as a warning that they will be liable for the consequences of failing to act with consideration for the wellbeing of adjoining occupiers and that a failure to conduct building works in a reasonable fashion may make them liable for damages for nuisance as well as damages for distress, anxiety and/or personal injury arising from harassment. Inconsiderate conduct The Court of Appeal has ruled that in order to recover damages for personal injury all a claimant for damages for anxiety and distress arising from the negligent conduct of building works needs to prove is that the injury was the foreseeable result of the intrusive works. All that was necessary to prove was that the conduct of building works amounted to harassment and that the injury was a natural result of that ­conduct. The case of Jones and Lovegrove v Ruth and Ruth demonstrates the need for builders to take considerable care before going ahead with residential developments without serving the requisite party wall act notices or obtaining the consents of neighbours. A failure to serve a party wall act notice may well result in the builder becoming liable for any damage to adjoining property and, if he carries out the works in an inconsiderate fashion, he may well be liable for a substantial claim for damages for nuisance and harassment – particularly where his inconsiderate actions cause anxiety and distress to neighbouring occupiers amounting to physical or psychiatric injury. The case also clarifies the test for damages resulting from the negligent conduct of building works amounting to the harassment of neighbouring residents where that conduct results in distress and personal injury. The Court of Appeal ruled that, provided the inconsiderate conduct of building works was deliberate and caused personal injury, it was not necessary for those injuries to have been foreseeable. In this case, a builder purchased a house in Northampton for refurbishment as a home for his family. He added an additional floor, building onto the house next door as well as the rear extension at the back. The works included gutting the whole of the interior, knocking out internal walls and the insertion of rolled steel joists, and building a garage at the back. No proper building act notice was served and, apart from being aware of a vague proposal to build onto the rear extension, the neighbours were not given any details of the proposed redevelopment. They realised that the works were going ahead only when scaffolding was erected at the front and rear of the property, partially ­trespassing over their land. Despite the lack of permission from the neighbours or the service of notices, the builder pressed ahead with the work, inserting purlins into the neighbours’ gable end wall and attaching the new roof to their property. The works were carried out carelessly, dislodging bricks and damaging the adjoining roof. Part of the parapet wall between the two properties was removed and replaced in blockwork causing further damage to the adjoining roof, which began leaking. Repairs by the builder were carried out under protest and were ineffective. As a result of the removal of internal walls and the vibration caused by the works, the cross walls in the next door property dropped, causing extensive cracking. The builder denied all responsibility and claimed that the cracking had occurred spontaneously. The building works were carried out sporadically over a four-year period largely between other jobs and including weekends and evenings. The use of power tools caused vibration and noise and there was generalised banging from the works. The workmen frequently played radios in the house and garden, creating further noise and disturbance. The builder failed to keep the neighbours informed of his plans and the works caused a considerable disruption to their lives over a lengthy period of time, spoiling their enjoyment of the property. The court found that the protracted and spasmodic nature of the works amounted to a nuisance. Whenever the neighbours raised concerns, the builder and his wife reacted with hostility but failed to modify the programme of works or provide a timetable for the works. At one stage, a number of abusive notes were thrown into the house and garden of the builder’s neighbours. The trial judge found that the building works carried out over a number of years, the use of radios by the builders and the refusal to enter any constructive discussions with the neighbours amounted to a nuisance, and the conduct of the builder and his wife constituted harassment. The building of an additional floor annexed to the neighbouring property amounted to trespass. In addition to creating noxious fumes by burning rubbish in the garden, the builder demolished part of the neighbours’ garden wall to allow him easier access to build the garage, and used the rear garden for the storage of scaffolding and building materials over a protracted period of time.last_img read more

September 22

Japan spikers beat Kazakhstan

first_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES KOBE (Kyodo) Megumi Kurihara and Miyuki Takahashi each had a match-high 15 points, leading the Japan women’s volleyball team to a straight-sets win over Kazakhstan at the World Grand Prix on Friday.Japan won its opening match of the 12-nation tournament 25-17, 25-13, 25-23 in Pool A at Kobe Sports Park. last_img

September 9

From protests to pro golf as postponed Hong Kong Open tees off

first_img COMMENT Last Updated: 8th January, 2020 17:07 IST From Protests To Pro Golf As Postponed Hong Kong Open Tees Off Open champion Shane Lowry and US big hitter Finau are the headlines acts as the Hong Kong Open finally goes ahead on Thursday, 6 weeks after it was postponed FOLLOW US WATCH US LIVE “If you hit it in the fairway and hole some putts you could be holding the trophy at the end of the week,” said the world number 16, the first Polynesian to play in a Ryder Cup. Press Trust Of India LIVE TVcenter_img Open champion Shane Lowry and US big hitter Tony Finau are the headlines acts as the Hong Kong Open finally goes ahead on Thursday, six weeks after it was postponed over the pro-democracy protests gripping the city. Organisers hope a successful staging of the $1 million golf tournament will show that normality is returning to the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, which has seen months of unrest and demonstrations. “Hopefully the tournament this week shows everyone that things are starting to get back to normal… that it’s safe to come back here and stage your event,” Asian Tour commissioner and CEO Cho Minn Thant told AFP.READ | Israel Adesanya Takes A Brutal Dig At Jon Jones’ Entire MMA CareerThe tournament at the historic Fanling course — whose previous winners include Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose — was originally slated for November, but was postponed as the finance hub wrestled with the often-violent protests. After a WTA tennis tournament, a Formula E race and other events were cancelled, a recent period of calm encouraged organisers to squeeze the Hong Kong Open — one of Asia’s biggest and oldest golf fixtures — back onto the sporting calendar. The re-scheduled tournament is sanctioned by the Asian Tour but not the European Tour, which will resume its support when the event returns to its November slot later this year. The changed date also resulted in the loss of original headliners Patrick Reed, Henrik Stenson and Aaron Rai, the defending champion. Finding big names to come and play “wasn’t easy”, said Cho. “But, most of the burden was on the (Hong Kong) golf club, and they’ve come through with flying colours.” READ | Red Sox Sign-stealing Scandal: MLB Investigating Team For Using Video Replay Room In 2018On the busesThat includes tempting Lowry to make his first appearance at Fanling in a decade as he kicks off a year where “the main thing” is securing selection to countryman Padraig Harrington’s Ryder Cup team. Australia’s Wade Ormsby, the 2017 champion, and the Asian Tour Order of Merit Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand are also in the field. Finau, who averaged 309 yards per drive in the 2019 season, said he was looking forward to the unusual challenges of Fanling’s short fairways, small greens and dog legs.READ | Raiders’ Josh Jacobs Embodies Rags-to-riches Story After Successful Rookie Season SUBSCRIBE TO US Written By First Published: 8th January, 2020 17:07 IST Lowry’s last appearance in Hong Kong came in 2010, shortly after he had turned professional, and on the heels of close friend Graeme McDowell’s victory at the US Open. The Irishman remembered McDowell “getting all the red carpets laid out for him… and all the cars and I was on the (player’s) bus”. Since that year, when he failed to make the cut at Fanling, he has had an “incredible” decade, topped off by the win at Portrush. “I’m certainly going to take it all in and enjoy it,” Lowry said. “It’s nice to be back and it’s nice to have my own car this week.” READ | Antonio Brown Challenges YouTube Star Logan Paul To A Fight, YouTuber Gives Fiery Response last_img read more

January 6

Self-described pedophile says he’ll leave state

first_imgHis Internet service provider took down his Web site more than a month ago. McClellan maintained he launched the site as a form of therapy and wouldn’t do anything illegal. He has never been charged with molestation. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Self-described pedophile Jack McClellan said he is leaving California after a judge ordered him to stay away permanently from places where children gather, it was reported today. “I have to leave the state, really, I can’t live here under this Orwellian protocol,” he told KABC-TV. “It’s nightmarish.” A call to McClellan’s cell phone on Sunday by The Associated Press was not immediately returned. McClellan has been unemployed and living out of his car since arriving in Southern California this summer from Washington. On Friday, Superior Court Judge Melvin Sandvig issued a permanent injunction and a three-year restraining order that prohibit McClellan from coming within 30 feet of schools, playgrounds and other places where children congregate. The judge’s ruling narrowed a previous injunction, issued earlier in the month, that had barred McClellan from coming near anyone under age 18 anywhere in the state. McClellan spent 10 days in jail for violating that injunction when he was arrested earlier this month near a child care center at the University of California, Los Angeles. Sandvig’s new ruling also bars McClellan from contacting, videotaping or photographing children or publishing their photos without written consent from a guardian or parent. McClellan could be arrested if he violates that prohibition. McClellan, 45, came to the attention of authorities for a Web site where he posted photos of children in public places and discussed how he liked to stake out parks, public libraries, fast-food restaurants and other areas where little girls congregated. last_img read more