1)The Law Uses The Distinction Between Primary Victims

1977 Words8 Pages
1) The law uses the distinction between primary victims and secondary victims (where they receive no injury but witness the incident of someone with whom they have a close relationship of love and affection and suffer a mental illness). All claimants, prima facie, seem to suffice this criteria for a secondary victim. Furthermore, they all have a medically recognised psychiatric illness, PTSD. As all the claimants here are secondary victims, they must all show that the psychiatric illness was reasonably foreseeable, meaning that someone of ordinary fortitude or “customary phlegm” would have got a psychiatric illness due to the situation. Then all claimants must satisfy three “control mechanisms”, established in Alcock. 1) Proximity…show more content…
Secondly, is that the claimant must show a high degree of proximity to the accident in time and space, i.e. encountering its “immediate aftermath”. In relation to Laura, her live broadcast of the event must be analysed. The idea has been left open of whether live television could sometimes be treated as the equivalent of being present at the scene of the disaster . The courts decided 2 factors in which people could claim due to the witnessing of the event on live TV. 1) the broadcasters had not shown any suffering of recognisable individuals due to their professional code of ethics. 2) the combination of camera angles meant no individual present at the scene would have been able to see with their “own unaided ”senses . However, the court did not want to limit the rule. In the instant case, it is clear that Laura saw the “immediate aftermath” of a recognisable individual, and there was one camera angle, as she would have had if she was present, leaving a claim likely. It would seem Bill would not be able to satisfy this element due to arriving 4 days after the incident. However, the verdict in Galli-Atkinson could leave a potential satisfying of this element, although the contrast in arriving from 1 hour to 4 days would probably leave Bill unable to claim. This third rule considers how the harm was caused. The psychiatric illness must result from a “sudden shock”. Laura would satisfy this requirement as it was
Open Document