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Avoid the Hustle

Employment law

Category: Law

identification and explanation of relevant legal issues

understanding and application of relevant case law

clarify, structure and organisation of response

coherence and persuasiveness of arguments


Tom Smith is a house painter. He owns his own painting equipment and work van. He advertises his business (which is also registered) and generally earns an income through performing minor domestic painting work.

Will Harvey lives in the same street as Tom. They have been friends for around ten years. Will owns a bicycle shop. Will asks Tom to paint the inside of the shop. Will states to Tom, “I can’t pay you, but I will give you a dozen bottles of beer if you do the work”. Tom agrees to this.

Tom works on the walls and roof of the shop for three days. For most of this time, Will watches Tom work and directs him as to which areas to paint first, which type of paint to use, and what time to start and finish work each day.

At the end of the third day Will invites Tom to stay for a drink. They drink several bottles of beer each. Tom suddenly realizes that he needs more paint to complete the work, and the paint shop is about to close. Will says to Tom, “You’d better not drive, you’ve been drinking. Better take a bike”.

Tom borrows a bicycle and rides towards the shop. While riding very fast along the footpath, he collides with Annie Woods. Annie is severely injured and requires medical treatments in hospital for two days.

The work performed by Tom is to a poor standard. Tom leaves wet paint on the floor of the shop with no warning sign. Fred Howard, a staff member who works part-time in Will’s shop, is injured when he accidently slips on the wet paint. He incurs medical costs due to the injury.

Annie and Fred come to you for advice. Advise Annie and Fred whether they are able to sue Will in relation to their injuries and loss, and, if so, what legal issues arise and what legal cases are relevant to your answer.