Is her employer responsible for the broken elbow she suffered while in hospital

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Question - Consider the following factual scenario and explain if causation, as an element of a negligence claim, is present: Cleo Archer works as a sous chef in a restaurant. She has a medical condition called 'Osteogenesis Imperfecta', which is a disease that results in fragile bones that break easily. While cooking at work one morning, she accidentally burned her hand with hot oil and had to go to hospital. While in hospital, she also broke her elbow. This increased the number of days she had to be confined and, consequently, her hospital bill was higher than she expected. Is her employer responsible for the broken elbow she suffered while in hospital?

Answer -

In the given scenario, Cleo Archer is appointed as a chef in a restaurant despite the consideration of her medical condition of fragile bones. One of the most significant areas of Tort law is the negligence whose modern version was established in 1932. Negligence is when an individual fails to exercise reasonable skill and care that has a foreseeable consequence. In the given scenario, considering the factual causation, the defendant restaurant owned duty of care while working in the restaurant, which was breached due to which the plaintiff, that is Cleo Archer suffered damages that is burnt her hand.

The restaurant is responsible in this regard and liable to pay for the damages incurred. However, breaking of elbow while in hospital is negligence on behalf of chef Cleo Archer, wherein, she should have taken due care while going for the treatment knowing her medical condition. Herein, the defendant did not owe any duty of care and hence did not breach the same. The plaintiff suffered damages as a consequence of her negligence to which the restaurant shall not be held liable.

So, the increase in the hospital bill because of rise in days in the hospital is not the responsibility of Cleo Archer's employer and hence, the employer is not entitled to pay the extra charges incurred by Cleo Archer in the hospital because of her broken elbow.

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