Torts

Paper , Order, or Assignment Requirements

Assignment

Word count: Approximately 1500 and footnotes- 2,000 in total maximum

Back ground and context

You are a trainee with a mid-sized firm of solicitors (‘Taylors Lawyers’).

Memo from G.B Taylor

To Trainee

Background facts

Lorraine Smith (LS) was until 9 months ago a senior marine biologist in the maritime research division of the CSIRO.
Whilst an employee of CSIRO, LS had been heavily involved in the Victorian South Coast Whale conservation program (‘Whale program’).
Six months ago LS resigned from the CSIRO and became a consultant working from her home in Warrnambool.
LS has a 4 wheel drive which has LS Marine Consultancy badges on the vehicle for promotional purposes.
LS has continued to do quite a bit of work with CSIRO. She would estimate three days a week on average have been taken up with her continuing working on the Whale program.
LS writes reports for the senior supervisor (Dr Renae Slater) under whom she worked whilst at the CSIRO. Dr Slater directs LS as to where she works when she is performing tasks for the CSIRO.
LS has her own lap-top. The CSIRO pay her an hourly rate; they do not provide any superannuation or other employee benefits. She provides her own clothes but a lot of her work involves scuba diving, and CSIRO provide this equipment for her.

The incident

Last month LS was diving about a kilometre off Warrnambool with a team of three others. They were in about 15 metres of water. She was with CSIRO employees and they were in a CSIRO boat.
From the boat they were in radio contact with Dr Slater, who is based in Warrnambool. BLB1115 Torts 17S1 Page | 13

Whilst descending to about thirty feet to check on a pod of Southern Wright whales, LS experienced troubles with her breathing. She had to ascend to the boat quicker than was ideal, and as a result suffered a mild form of the ‘bends”. She needed to be hospitalized over the weekend and her specialist has advised her that she is not going to be able to dive for at least two months.
This obviously means a considerable loss of income.
It appears that she had a faulty air-line. It was showing signs of perishing and excessive wear and tear. This was not picked up by Simon Banks, the CSIRO’s maintenance officer responsible for all dive equipment on the southern Victorian coast.

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