Commercial Law Aldi Supermarket Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Commercial Law Aldi Supermarket.

Answer:

Issue

The chief concern based on the given situation is to highlight if Tamara would be able to recover damages from the Aldi Supermarket on the alleged charges of being negligent in their conduct resulting in damages sustained by her.

Rule

The concerned law which is applicable is the negligence tort. The burden of proof lies on the plaintiff who essentially needs to comply with three conditions in order to hold the defendant responsible for negligence and thereby legally recover damages. Non-adherence of any of the three conditions would lead to failure on the part of the plaintiff to hold the defendant liable (Harvey, 2009)

The first condition requires that a duty to care must be owed on behalf of the defendant for the plaintiff. This would be possible only when the two have a neighbor relationship. In order to establish the same, the plaintiff would have to prove that any decision on part of defendant to go ahead or abort a particular action could have adverse impact for the plaintiff. This is apparent from the verdict of the Donoghue v. Stevenson [1932] AC 562 case (Lindgren, 2011). This duty of care has limitations as it is applicable only for those damages which are foreseeable and hence thereby preventable. It is expected that the defendant would put in place measures to safeguard the plaintiff (Latimer, 2016).

The next conditions relates to complying with the duty to care established above by the defendant by making sure that requisite preventive actions are taken to ensure that the plaintiff is not harmed. The level fo care required would be in the form of conduct which would be expected under the relevant scenario by a reasonable person (Harvey, 2009). Further, in accordance to the risk of damage along with the extent of potential damage that could be caused to the plaintiff, the defendant would require to act and take appropriate measures. Cases where the damage could be huge would require more stringent steps on part of the defendant to protect the plaintiff from any harm. The breach of duty would arise if the defendant does not take the appropriate measures expected from a reasonable individual (Gibson and Fraser, 2014).

Finally, negligence would be incomplete if the breach of duty does not cause any damage to the plaintiff. However, only the presence of damage would not be suffice as it needs to be linked with the breach of duty on behalf of the defendant. The most potent way to ensure this is to establish that the plaintiff would not have suffered any damage had the defendant not violated with duty to care bestowed (Davenport and Parker, 2014). Also, it is noteworthy that the damage as defined for the purpose of negligence is quite wide and includes physical, monetary, mental or emotional damage (Lindgren, 2011). Also, the plaintiff has a responsibility to act in a manner which upholds the safety of the same. Any negligent action on behalf of the plaintiff leading to injury would amount to contributory negligence and would serve as a potent ground for the defendant to argue for minimization of liability payment or damage payment to plaintiff (Latimer, 2016).

Application

As per the details offered, Tamara has a chocolate addiction but has a problem since her favorite brand of chocolate is available at only one supermarket in the town which happens to be the local Aldi Store. She visits the store daily to buy her favorite brand but often has to return disappointed as these are sold out. But on one Saturday, while shopping in the Aldi store, she saw that one last bar of the chocolate that she loves was remaining. She wanted to buy the same before anyone else and thus made a sprint towards the far end of the aisle where she was standing. Further, she noticed a customer on the other side of the aisle approaching the lone bar which her hurry even more. In her path was a spilled ice cream which she did not notice in the haste to reach the chocolate bar and thereby slipped on the same and suffered damage in the form of a broken back which required prolonged hospital stay for recovery besides monetary loss.

It is apparent that the first condition is satisfied as per which there is a neighbor relation between Tamara and Aldi store. This is because negligence on the part of the Aldi store in performing or not performing certain actions could potentially cause damage to the customers located within the premises. The damage caused due to customer stumbling or falling over from spillages is a foreseeable one for a retail business and thus requisite measures have to be taken. In order to prevent damage to customer, Aldi makes sure that at a frequency of 40 minutes, there is cleaning of the aisles coupled with their inspection. Clearly, this is in line with the action any reasonable person would undertake and also the period of 40 minutes seems quite reasonable. Therefore, it may be concluded that the breach of duty is not present in Aldi’s conduct. Further, there is satisfaction of damage caused to Tamara but the same cannot be attributed to any breach since there is none. Also, it is her own conduct which amounted to gross negligence due to her addiction for chocolates as she should have been aware that there could be spillages and she should have exhibited precaution. Thus, Aldi is not responsible for the loss suffered by the plaintiff Tamara.

Conclusion

The discussion above clearly indicates that the local Aldi store is not responsible for the loss suffered by Tamara since it has not acted in a negligent manner. On the contrary, it is Tamara who was negligent in her conduct which has amounted to injuries being suffered by her.

References

Davenport, S. & Parker, D. (2014). Business and Law in Australia, 2nd ed. Sydney: LexisNexis Publications.

Gibson, A. & Fraser, D. (2014). Business Law, 8th ed. Sydney: Pearson Publications.

Harvey, C. (2009). Foundations of Australian law, 2nd ed. Victoria: Tilde University Press.

Latimer, P. (2016). Australian Business Law, 4th ed. Sydney: LexisNexis Study Guide.

Lindgren, KE. (2011). Vermeesch and Lindgren's Business Law of Australia, 12th ed. Sydney: LexisNexis Publications.

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