Business Law Four Cases and Options Analysis

Sue Fairbairn is 35 years old. She is a commercial boat skipper who works for Whale Watching. She has held a commercial skipper’s licence for 15 years and is considered to be a very experienced whale watching skipper. To ensure she is always at the peak of her health she has annual medical examinations, which are conducted by her local doctor.

Last week she was booked to take a group of tourists on a whale watching cruise leaving from Byron Bay and cruising up to the Gold Coast before returning to Byron. As they were approaching a large pod of whales, Sue briefly lost consciousness. When she came to she was forced to take fast, evasive action to avoid running into the whales. Several tourists were thrown to the deck and injured because of the sudden change of direction of the boat and lack of a warning to hold on. Sue has gone back to see her doctor and he has advised her that she needs to have some blood tests to ascertain whether she might be a diabetic. Sue has never previously had any health problems and this is something completely unexpected for her.

Identify the relevant parties and discuss whether there is a cause of action in negligence against Sue.

QUESTION 2It was late at night and very wet and, rather than wait for a taxi to take her home, Anna was only too happy to accept a lift from Michael. He smelt strongly of alcohol and had trouble keeping the vehicle on the road. Anna decided to continue the journey as it was raining very heavily. Shortly afterwards, Michael lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree, leaving both Anna and himself seriously injured.

Will Anna be able to successfully sue Michael in negligence? What does she need to establish in order to succeed in such an action?

QUESTION 3Norris had decided for some time that he wanted to purchase a motel. After looking at several different areas, he settled on Port Stephens in New South Wales as offering him both the potential for a business and the lifestyle he was seeking. He rang a number of real estate agents, inquiring whether they had any motels listed for sale. He finally found a motel and general business listed with Dr Cedric Spencer 1

HA2022 Business Law Tri 1, 2011 an estate agent called Evatt. Evatt told Norris that once he got going in this business it would be a gold mine. Norris sought an accountant’s advice and then proceeded to buy the business. Within six months of buying the motel and general business Norris was broke because there were neither the tourist numbers nor the local population to sustain the business.

Can Norris sue the estate agent for his statements about the business? Will he succeed? Explain your answers.

QUESTION 4Houghland, a passenger in one of McAnn’s buses, had his suitcase stored in a luggage compartment of the bus for a trip from Brisbane to Cairns. The suitcase was lost during the course of the trip north.

a) Has a bailment been created? b) If so, what sort of bailment is it? c) Can Houghland recover damages for the cost of the lost suitcase?

Dr Cedric Spencer