Mental harm, rescuers and the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW)
Carver, Tracey (2010) Mental harm, rescuers and the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW). Torts in Focus, 85, pp. 1-5.
At common law, a duty of care may be owed to a claimant who suffers nervous shock or pure mental harm due to witnessing, or hearing about, physical injury caused to another due to a defendant’s negligence. “Pure mental harm” is the ‘impairment of a person’s mental condition’ that is not suffered as a consequence of any other kind of personal injury to them. However, as many accidents have the potential to create a wide circle of mental suffering to bystanders, family members or others not physically injured themselves, it has traditionally been ‘thought impolitic that everybody so affected should be able to recover damages from the tortfeasor.’ ‘To allow such extended recovery would stretch liability too far.’ Nevertheless, whilst adopting a restrictive approach to liability, the common law courts have recognised that a defendant might owe a duty in relation to the pure mental harm suffered by one who foreseeably attends an accident scene to rescue another from a situation created by the defendant’s negligence.
Impact and interest:
Citation countsare sourced monthly fromand citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloadsdisplays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||duty of care, rescuers, civil liability act, mental harm, psychological harm|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)|
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law|
Current > Schools > School of Law
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2010 CCH Australia Limited|
|Copyright Statement:||Reproduced with the permission of CCH Australia Limited. Originally published in the Tort in Focus, 2010, 85, 1-5. For more information see www.cch.com.au|
|Deposited On:||23 Mar 2011 09:48|
|Last Modified:||07 Apr 2011 08:28|
Repository Staff Only: item control page