Tort (AILET Legal-Aptitude): Questions 11 - 12 of 29
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Question number: 11
Appeared in Year: 2014
PRINCIPLES: The master/principal is liable for all acts done by his duly appointed servant/agent for all acts done by him lawfully in the course of his employment.
FACTUAL SITUATION: A had an agency which used to lend carpenters to people on need basis. A deputed B to do some repair work in C’s shed. While so doing, B lit up a cigarette and threw it as soon as he saw someone coming there. The cigarette remaining lit caused a fire and the shed was reduced to ashes. C sued A and B. Decide.
A is not liable but B is liable.
A is liable as B was his servant
A is liable as he should have chosen responsible people.
A is not liable as B’s act was not an authorized act.
Question number: 12
Appeared in Year: 2015
LEGAL PRINCIPLE: Whoever stores a substance which could cause damage on escape shall be absolutely liable (i. e. liable even when he has exercised necessary care) for any damage caused by the escape of the substance.
FACTUAL SITUATION: Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) manufactured methyl isocyanate, an extremely toxic gas. Due to a storm, the gas that was being stored in sealed containers got released. Before much could happen, the local municipal authorities managed to contain the disaster. The authorities filed a suit against UCIL for the costs that were incurred in decontamination. However, later it was realized that the clean-up by the authorities could have been done without spending as much resources and the damage was not that significant. UCIL argued that it would pay only part of the amount demanded by the authorities, which could have dealt with the contamination.
UCIL is liable only to the extent of contamination caused. It does not need to pay the authorities the entire amount demanded by them.
UCIL can plead that the escape of the gas had been caused by a storm and not due to its own negligence. It was an inevitable accident.
The municipal authorities should have analyzed the damage first before jumping into action. It was due to their own negligence because of which they had to shell out more than required.
The authorities are entitled to the whole sum, as UCIL shall be held liable for all the repercussions of their act even if they had exercised due care.