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Tame V New South Wales Case Analysis


Task: Explain in detail the case analysis and the statutes related to the case of Tame V New South Wales


The basic details of the case of Tame V New South Wales, were that the complainant had experienced an accident which was not prompted by her negligence. The complainant then requested compensation from insurance and she became very nervous. But there was a significant delay in the settlement. The plaintiff's litigants notified her that the authorities had indicated on the report that she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 while at the time of the incident the alcohol limit was 0.05. Whereas, in fact, this alcohol level as reflected in the report was of the other driver involved in the accident with the plaintiff. The police later accepted they indeed made an error and also gave a formal apology to the complainant. Though, after two or three months, this blunder was corrected by the authorities and not in time so that it can be handed on to the complainant's insurance provider. At that same point, the proof was available which indicated that at the time of the incident, the insurance provider did not consider the complainant to be intoxicated. Although it took a little time until the insurance company paid the reimbursement, a considerable amount had been compensated to the complainant. The complainant acquired persistent and overwhelming fear under such conditions that perhaps the postponement of reimbursement was indeed linked to alleged intoxication. She even kept hearing that when she experienced the crash, everybody around her believed she was intoxicated. It was found that the complainant's fixation was the consequence of the psychotic depression which was caused by the accident. Under certain situations, the complainant had experienced negligence on the part of the police officers.

In this case of Tame V New South Wales the legal matter was connected to the duty of care, psychological impairment and the clear instance of mental distress. In this circumstance, the Court dismissed Mrs. Tame's claim as she had acquired a mental condition when a New South Wales police department officer' recorded forensic incident report found high blood-alcohol reading to be unacceptable. In this respect, the complainant alleged that over the last 20 years she had hardly ever consumed any alcohol. Hence, she was particularly worried that her public image will be irreparably damaged and her reputation will suffer if the people found out about the incident. Even though the fact sheet was subsequently rectified and she also received an apology from the authorities, but she became fixated with the misstatement. The complainant stated she began to feel as though she had been penalized for her previous alcohol abuse. She began to feel terrible as a consequence. Because of this, she endured tremendous stress through depression and needed help from a counsellor.

The judge in the case Tame V New South Wales, agreed that the complainant had formed a psychiatric depressive disorder and thus issued the decision in the plaintiff's favour. However the New South Wales Court of Appeal ruled that in situations involving emotional pain, only if the defendant becomes conscious that the complainant is particularly vulnerable to mental harm, the defendant may legitimately presume that the complainant is an individual with normal mental strength [1]. Under these conditions, McHugh J concluded that the accused had no duty of care towards the plaintiff. He cited Mason J Wiley delivering the ruling in Wyong Shire Council v Shirt, 1980 [2] in justification of his opinion. It was consequently indicated that the chance of injury, which is peripheral in the manner that such ailment is highly unlikely to occur, can still amount to a predictable risk. A threat that could not be viewed as imaginative or too far-fetched must be deemed to be possible and therefore predictable.

Under such conditions in the case of Tame V New South Wales, the court found that Mrs. Tame's disorder could not be characterized as fairly predictable in the case at hand. Furthermore, the Court of Appeal's decision was affirmed no other individual with normal mental strength would develop a psychiatric condition after becoming aware that the reading of blood-alcohol level was wrongly stated in a police report, whereas in these cases the person could become upset or even disdainful.

In this circumstances of Tame V New South Wales, though, the court held that Mrs. Tame's mental condition could not be characterized as fairly predictable The court then affirmed the Court of Appeal's decision that any individual of normal mental strength will not experience the psychiatric condition after finding the inaccurate measurement of blood-alcohol level was reported in a police report even though the individual is going to get upset. The judge has claimed that there are two forms of damage, mental damage and physical damage. Often the physical injury could cause psychological harm in an individual [2]. It means a person can experience psychiatric illness because of the physical harm that the body has endured, or it is quite likely that the person may sustain the mental injury alone, particularly if a person has experienced a position because such a person has undergone a traumatic incident. The law stipulates that victims of psychological shock may come within the primary or secondary victim classification. Furthermore, the patients undergo trauma with respect to their own health in the case of the primary victims, and the victims are also the attendees in the incident in the same manner. On the other hand, in the event of secondary victims, they encounter the discomfort about that other person's health, and likewise, they do not experience the participants in the incident [2].

Previously, as per the statute, it was hard to claim liability for the psychological trauma caused by negligence relative to the bodily harm or indirect psychological damage caused by the defendant's neglect. However, it is important to note that, opposed to your psychological damage, it was much easier to recognize physical injury. Likewise, it is harder to anticipate in the sense of the defendant's duty of care. In order to claim that perhaps the defendant had a duty of care, it is important for the accused to be reasonable in the circumstances that he or she had an obligation toward the victim [2]. It is also necessary to validate the infringement of duty of care. Under these conditions, the duty of care would only be valid if it can decently be anticipated as a consequence of the act any individual of normal strength may experience psychological damage. Given this provision, it is not possible to take into account the complainant's irregular susceptibility when determining the standard of care required in a specific case [4]. An exception to enforcing this provision is applied to situations in which the accused is aware of or ought to have learned about the claimant's existence of such weakness.

The judge also attempted to explain the reasoning behind the regulatory systems in this particular instance. The court also claimed that it could be explained as follows the reasoning for placing limits on the obligation to prevent causing mental harm on someone else. Discerning psychological damage is more difficult, and as a direct consequence, it's more easily faked. Likewise, an implicit disincentive to regain the money is likely to be the opportunity to claim reimbursement for psychological harm. This will result in indefinite obligation to provide such capacity without setting limits. It will also imply that any individual may file a lawsuit over anyone. Furthermore, if the right to sue for psychological distress is not subject to any limits, it may lead to the application of an unfair hardship on the accused. The above explanations, though, are not beyond consideration. Firstly, in the case of physical injuries, too, almost all of the above-mentioned considerations can still be extended. It was not recommended to enforce such control mechanisms as well. Additionally, if a clear separation is established between simple emotional turmoil and proper medically diagnosed psychological damage, or in other words, the clinically identified psychiatric illness, such issues can be adequately resolved. Specialist definitive proof can be used efficiently for this intent, and in such a scenario it would be "abolished by means of professional medical point of view rather than purely eclectic judicial interpretation." The next concern about these regulatory systems that can be posed is that normal laws apply to negligence. Already implement adequate constraints in the form of rational predictability and mandating the accused to take appropriate care.

Consequently, in this case of Tame V New South Wales, the court held that there were two explanations why it could be said that the authorities did not have a duty of care towards Mrs. Tame which needed them to take adequate care that the ailment of the nature that she experienced was not to aggravate her. The first explanation was due to the complexity of the incident involving the police in carrying out the act of preparing the incident report and wrongly reporting the details about the findings of Mrs. Tame's blood test and the prior association between both the police and Mrs. Tame. The secondary reason why the Court had ruled against Mrs. Tame was due to reasonable predictability. For the very first reason, the court concluded that it seems to be supported by the same standards on the grounds of which the court had dismissed duty of care in the case of Sullivan v Moody's (2001) [6]. The police completed an investigation report on the conditions in which the vehicular accident was incurred by carrying out their duties. In general, such an investigation report is used to make a decision as to the need for an individual involved in the crash to be taken to court. Two people have been involved in the crash in the current case of Tame V New South Wales, Mr. Lavender and Mrs. Tame. On request and after paying fees, editions of this report will also be made accessible to external parties. Furthermore, this was primarily an official police document related to the investigation and the outcome of police assessment, investigations and inspection.

Under the conditions of the case Tame V New South Wales, the court found that the Court was correct in stating that the mental damages endured by Mrs. Tame, whereby the police negligence contributed a great deal can not be characterized as fairly foreseeable. This court's decision is not based on the criterion of normal strength being enforced as an overly rigid measure of accountability, but a significant factor to be recognized is Mrs. Tame's specific vulnerability to such psychological condition. The judge was thus not only concerned with clinical predictability, as mentioned earlier. In the case of Tame V New South Wales, the issue was attributed to the reasonability of allowing the police to have this option in the elimination of information when the investigation was finished. Consequently, the authorities could not reasonably be assumed to predict that their error could lead to an increase in the possibility of psychological damage to Mrs. Tame. It was therefore unethical to ask the police to have Mrs. Tame's mental wellbeing in their elimination of information as they reported the findings of Mrs. Tame's blood test results. As a direct consequence, the court with costs denounced the claim. Tame v new south wales case assignments are being prepared by our law assignment help experts from top universities which let us to provide you a reliable top assignment help service.

Reference List
[1] Annetts v Australian Stations Pty Ltd 23 WAR 35, 2000.

[2] Wyong Shire Council v Shirt, HCA 12, 1980.

[3] Perre v Apand Pty Ltd. 198 CLR 180, 1999.

[4] Frost v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, 2 AC 455, 1999.

[5] Donoghue v Stevenson, AC 562, 1932.

[6] Greenland v Chaplin 5 Ex 243, 1850.

[7] Sullivan v Moody, HCA 59, 2001.


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