Liability for Alice's Death
I am asked to advise in relation to the death of Alice, as it appears that Noah may have contributed significantly to this death. According to the facts, the death of Alice appears to have been caused by the events preceding Noah leaving the vessel in the life raft. The question is whether this act would amount to involuntary manslaughter, given that there would be insufficient grounds for a charge for murder given the lack of intent.
The modern test for involuntary manslaughter is requires the proving of four key substantive elements, which can be described as follows:
• Whether Noah owed a duty of care to Alice in these circumstances;
• Whether ...view middle of the document...
Therefore, Noah appears to be liable for the death of Alice by involuntary manslaughter.
Re: Liability for Bob's Death
I am asked to advise in relation to any liability that Noah may have in relation to the death of Bob. According to the facts of the event, it would appear that Bob passed away after swimming to shore following the sinking of the vessel he was on. Also according to the facts it would appear that the significant cause of death was the fact that he was dropped on a stretcher by paramedics, which loosened a blood clot which travelled to his brain. Based upon these circumstances, it would appear that Noah has played no role in the factual causation of these events, and hence is not liable in this regard. However, one must also consider the possibility of legal causation, which may mean that Noah could be liable if it could be proven that he ‘set in train' the events causing the death of Bob.
There are probably two main legal principles that need to be considered in this circumstance. The first is the substantial cause test, which provides that the event must have had more than a minimal cause of the death. Indeed, in order for Noah to be held liable in this circumstance, it must be proven that he was the cause of the sinking of the vessel, which in turn caused Bob to swim for safety. It is questionable as to whether Noah caused the sinking of the vessel, as it had been checked by a maintenance crew before sailing, as well as its upkeep being the responsibility of Tony, as the managing director of Cruising for Pleasure Ltd. While Noah may have had opportunities to prevent the incident himself, the fact is that he took all reasonable steps to bring it to the attention of the company before the vessel departing, and thus should not be held personally responsible. Also, it would appear that the chain of causation has been broken by the intervention of the ambulance officers treating Bob, and hence Noah could not be held liable under this argument either.
Re: Liability for Caitlin's Death
I am asked to advise in relation to the death of Caitlin, and whether Noah has any liability accordingly. According to the facts presented, Caitlin was one of the persons who swam for shore from The Fluke, and hit her head as she dove off. According to medical reports, she was in a stable condition and doing well, although the ambulance was involved in a crash on the way to the hospital and Caitlin died as a result. In order for Noah to be held liable for Caitlin's death, it would again need to be proven that there was a causal link between the actions of Noah and the death of Caitlin, either in fact or in law.
In regards to law, it would be my advice that Noah could not be held to have been the cause of Caitlin's death under the causation tests. This is because the chain of causation has been broken by the intervention of the ambulance officers, and that the death occurred as a result of Caitlin being in the ambulance and not as a...