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Accident Compensation Cases

SOMERVILLE v McLAREN TRANSPORT LTD (DC, 10/01/96)

OSH Tracker

Defendant:
McLaren Transport
Exemplary damages of $15,000 have been awarded against McLaren Transport Ltd for personal injury to a customer severely injured in a tyre explosion. The plaintiff, a farmer and agricultural contractor, went to the defendant's garage in Ranfurly on 1 April 1992 to have a new tyre fitted to a wheel rim from his hay conditioning machine. When a tyre of the appropriate size could not be found an attempt to fit a smaller tyre was made by an employee of the defendant, with assistance from the plaintiff. The tyre exploded at a pressure in excess of 80 psi at the third attempt to inflate it. The plaintiff suffered severe shock, intra-abdominal bleeding, injury to his liver, scalp lacerations, a puncture wound in his left shoulder, a fracture of the left arm, compound fractures to three fingers, crushed and fractured ribs, and unspecified brain damage. His left leg was almost severed through the knee. In the Dunedin District Court on 10 January, Judge T H Everitt found the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff and to other persons visiting its premises. "In my view the plaintiff relied upon the defendant's employee to fit the tyre in a proficient, professional manner... it is reasonably foreseeable ... that a customer present in the workshop or tyre bay could be injured during processes carried on which are inherently dangerous." The defendant's submission that it took all reasonable care in the circumstances, and that its practice was very much in line with other garages, was dismissed. "It is not acceptable, I find, to advance a negligent practice as a defence." The defendant's suggestion of contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff was also rejected. The judge found that the defendant knowingly attempted to carry out an experiment to fit a 15 size tyre to a 15.3 rim; that it permitted the plaintiff to be present during a highly dangerous activity; that it inflated the tyre to pressures well in excess of the 35psi warning on the tyre itself; that it permitted an inadequately trained employee to carry out an inherently dangerous activity; and that it failed to use a tyre safety cage. The judge concluded there was nothing in principle to prevent an action for exemplary damages arising from personal injury as a result of negligence: "The difficulty for a plaintiff will be establishing the extent or degree of conduct which justifies an award... I am satisfied that this is one of those rare and exceptional cases where the defendant's conduct can be described as outrageous and merits condemnation by the Court." 
Industry:
Retail Trade
Sub-Industry:
Motor Vehicle Retailing and Services
Risk:
Struck by moving object
Burns/explosion
Harm:
Injury
Penalty Amount:
$15000.00
Reparation Amount:
$15000.00
Appeared in Safeguard issue 37

Judgment Text

RESERVED DECISION OF DISTRICT COURT JUDGE T H EVERITT 
Judge T H Everitt
In this action the plaintiff Mr Somerville seeks an award of exemplary damages for the negligent acts and omissions of the defendant company McLaren Transport Limited, which resulted in personal injury to him. 
On the 1st of April 1992 the plaintiff was a farmer and agricultural contractor; he went to the defendant's garage at Ranfurly in Otago to have a new tyre fitted to a wheel rim from his hay conditioning machine. 
During the fitting of a new tyre in the defendant's tyre bay, the plaintiff was severely injured when the tyre exploded on the wheel rim as the tyre was being inflated with compressed air. 
The plaintiff's injuries were severe; specifically the injuries were severe shock, intra-abdominal bleeding, and injury to his liver, lacerations to his scalp, puncture wound over the left shoulder, a closed displaced fracture of the left arm, compound fracturing of the shafts of the second, third and fourth fingers of his left hand, crushed and fractured ribs, left leg almost severed through the knee, and some unspecified brain damage. 
The inspector of factories investigated the accident, but on the evidence available to him he was unable to recommend that the defendant company be prosecuted under the Factories and Commercial Premises Act 1981. The plaintiff was not satisfied with his decision, and has brought this Action seeking punishment of the defendant by way of exemplary damages. 
The plaintiff does not claim damages arising directly or indirectly out of the personal injury suffered by him in the accident when the tyre exploded. His claim for damages relates solely to exemplary damages. Counsel for both parties acknowledge that such a claim is not barred by section 14 of the Accident Rehabiltation and Compensation Insurance Act 1992, and were it not for the provisions of that Act, the plaintiff would have been able to bring a claim for compensatory damages. Counsel also acknowledge that this claim has some novel aspects; in particular counsel have not been able to find any precedent in New Zealand involving an action in negligence claiming exemplary damages where personal injury is involved, which has been the subject of a final decision of a New Zealand Court. 
The plaintiff in paragraph 12 of his statement of claim, set out 8 particulars alleging negligence of the defendant by its employee. The defendant in paragraph 14 of its statement of defence pleaded contribution by the defendant and/or negligence and set out 5 particulars of such contribution or negligence. 
In a “statement of issues”, counsel sought determination of 3 issues set out as follows: 
1.
Is the defendant liable in the respects described in paragraph 12 of the statement of claim? 
2.
Is the plaintiff liable in respects described in paragraph 14 of the statement of defence? 
3.
Subject to the findings of issues 1 and 2 above: 
3.1
Is the defendant liable for exemplary damages? 
3.2
If so, what is the appropriate quantum for exemplary damages, having regard to the conduct of both parties? 
Issues 1 and 2 simply state in effect the usual question in claims involving negligence and personal injury: 
“Whose fault was it? See Ginty v Belmont Building Supplies [1959] 1 AUER 414 at page 424, Pearson J. ”
Issue 3 involves consideration by the Court of the appropriateness of exemplary damages in the circumstances, and the level, if any, of the award taking into account the various factors and circumstances of the claim, and looking at the matter in the round. 
The determination of liability requires resolution of the facts in dispute. The defendant has raised as part of issue 1 its requirement that the plaintiff proves that there existed a duty of care on the part of the defendant. 
The first issue in chronological order is to determine what took place between the plaintiff and Mr Clark at Patearoa and secondly what did Mr Clark say to Mr J Stumbles about the plaintiffs requirements concerning a new tyre. 
The plaintiff claims that he was unaware of the significance of the tyre size in relation to the rim size. He said that all he knew was that he needed a new tyre and that the defendant's garage at Patearoa did not have a tyre in stock that would fit. Although I am satisfied that the plaintiff had the same or a similar tyre repaired a few weeks earlier at the defendant's garage at Patearoa, I am not satisfied that the plaintiff saw any significance in the tyre size other than that it was from imported machinery. 
I find that the defendant's employee Mr Clark was aware of the size 15.3 as he could see that from the markings on the tyre. I find that he checked to see if he had this size in stock at Patearoa believing that he did not and was not surprised to find that he could not supply the plaintiff with a new 15.3 tyre. It is clear that the plaintiff was anxious to finish a hay-making contract, having about half an hours work before it would be finished. 
I am satisfied that he felt anxious because he was held up and expressed this anxiety to Mr Clark. It is clear that Mr Clark wanted to help the plaintiff who was a well known customer and wanted to satisfy him. Mr Clark was willing to go to extra lengths to do this. 
Much has been made of the fact that the plaintiff was an agricultural contractor and that he was experienced in changing tyres and fixing his machinery. It was claimed that he had been in to the defendant's garages on several occasions to carry out his own repairs using the defendant's equipment. I am satisfied that this aspect has been overstated by the defendant's witnesses and all that I am prepared to find on the evidence before me, is that the plaintiff being an agricultural contractor and farmer was something of a handyman who could take off tyres and wheels from his equipment, change the oil in his trucks and do the odd running repairs. I also find that he was able to assist as an extra hand on occasions when using the expertise of the defendant's employees. The evidence is quite insufficient for me to conclude however that the plaintiff was in any way responsible or at fault for failing to appreciate the significance of what eventuated when Mr Clark made arrangements for him to go to the Ranfurly branch of the defendant's garage. 
I accept the evidence that Mr Clark telephoned the defendant's Ranfurly branch and spoke to Mr J Stumbles about the plaintiffs difficulty. I find it more probable than not that Mr Clark told Mr J Stumbles exactly what the problem was. I accept the evidence of Mr McPhee that he heard Mr Clark mention on the telephone the tyre size was 15.3. It is most likely in the circumstances that Clark and Stumbles discussed trying to see if a 15 inch tyre they had in stock at Ranfurly would fit the plaintiffs rim. I cannot accept that Mr Clark did not mention the origin of the problem to Mr Stumbles namely that a 15.3 tyre was required, an odd size that Patearoa did not have in stock and that the plaintiff needed to get on with his contracting job and have it finished as soon as possible, I find that Messrs Clark and Stumbles decided to try and help the plaintiff by seeing if a size 15 tyre that was held in stock at Ranfurly would fit the plaintiffs rim. 
I am satisfied that the plaintiff left the Patearoa branch of the defendant's garage fully expecting that the Ranfurly branch would fix his problem by fitting a 15 tyre which they had in stock. I find that the plaintiff was not aware that any attempt to fit a 15 tyre to a 15.3 rim was doomed to failure and indeed an inherently dangerous act. I find that the plaintiff relied on the expertise of the defendant's employee Mr Clark and eventually Mr J Stumbles. I accept that for the most part the plaintiff relied upon the expertise of the defendant company as is shown by the invoices produced as exhibits for tyre repairs and the like which had been carried out for the plaintiff by the defendant. 
The main remaining issue which involves a number of factual disputes is what exactly happened at Ranfurly from the time of the plaintiffs arrival to the time of the explosion of the tyre. Here there is a significant dispute as to who in fact was inflating the tyre when it exploded. 
I have already found that Mr J Stumbles knew an attempt was to be made to fit a 15 tyre on to the 15.3 rim. I find he did not check the size of the rim, not because he assumed it was a 15 but because he knew it was a 15.3. More importantly however Mr J Stumbles did not bother to read the instructions printed on the side wall of the tyre that he was about to fit. Namely that “the tyre may burst with explosive force causing serious personal injury or death, never exceed 35 psi when seating beads.” 
Mr J Stumbles was the foreman and he took it upon himself, in the absence of Mr Smith the usual tyre fitter and apprentice mechanic, to carry out the job. The new tyre, the 15 tyre was fitted to the old rim without difficulty and the tyre was inflated on the tyre stand. Notwithstanding Mr J Stumble's evidence which I find was conflicting, I am satisfied that the initial inflation of the tyre went up to 60 psi. Even at that pressure the tyre would not bead, that is the tyre would not fit properly and neatly to the appropriate flanges on the rim. 
The tyre was lubricated with a detergent mixture which is used to reduce friction and help the beads pop out into position. 
At about this time Mr J Stumbles was called away to attend to another customer and the plaintiff decided to go off and do some messages in Ranfurly. The plaintiff says he was away for about 20 minutes having visited 2 merchants for various purposes. Mr J Stumbles thought that the plaintiff was only away for about 5 minutes, however I accept the estimate of the plaintiff as being more reliable at 20 minutes. 
I find that both men returned to the tyre bay at approximately the same time or within a minute of each other and at that time Mr J Stumbles deflated the tyre and took it off the tyre stand and put it on to the floor, whereupon he then began to inflate it for a second time. Mr Somerville the plaintiff was present when the tyre was inflated for the second time. Again Mr Stumbles has given conflicting evidence as to the pressures reached on the second attempt, stating that it was 60 psi, however I find that the evidence discloses that it was more probable that it went to 80 psi on the second inflation. 
At this time Mr J Stumbles was again called away and told the plaintiff to deflate the tyre and to loosen the tyre off the rim. The plaintiff says he was told to “break the beads” but he says that he did not understand what that meant. The plaintiff was left alone in the tyre bay with the assembly containing the tyre and the rim and was observed by other employees to be working on the tyre, however, none of the witnesses could say that the plaintiff was inflating the tyre during the absence of Mr J Stumbles. 
Evidence discloses that Mr J Stumbles then returned and attempted to fit the tyre for the third time. I am satisfied that he was becoming anxious at the difficulty he was experiencing in getting the tyre beads to fit the flanges on the rim. He was having trouble getting the tyre on, and did not know the reason why. He was curious and thought he would give it one more try. 
The real conflict between the plaintiff and Mr J Stumbles now arises in that Mr J Stumbles says that on his return he saw the plaintiff had the wheel and tyre leaning up against his legs. The plaintiff was crouched or bent over it and was inflating the tyre. Mr J Stumbles says that the plaintiff had both his hands on the gauge holding part of the gauge on to the tube of the tyre and his other hand was holding the gauge and trigger. Mr J Stumbles says that he was assisting the plaintiff at this stage by applying lubrication and he noted that the pressure on the gauge indicated 40 psi and he thought that was acceptable. He said the beads were about to pop out when the tyre exploded. 
The plaintiff denies the truth of Mr J Stumbles evidence saying that it was Mr J Stumbles who had the air hose and was inflating the tyre when it exploded and that he was assisting Mr J Stumbles by applying lubrication to the tyre to assist with the beads popping out. He denies that he had the tyre leaning against his legs and was crouching over it inflating the tyre when it exploded. 
I find that it was more probable than not that Mr J Stumbles was inflating the tyre when it exploded. I found Mr J Stumbles to be an unreliable witness who has not given accurate evidence. He has given estimates or guesstimates of air pressure on each occasion when he inflated the tyre or admitted inflating the tyre and referred to intuition and chose to ignore, on his own admission, safe operating pressures. I regard all of his estimates of tyre inflation pressures during the crucial and material period as to be totally inaccurate and at best a wild guess. He made no record from the tyre gauge at any time preferring to rely on his intuition as to what was the pressure and in my view took an unreasonable risk. I find that the pressures on each of the last two attempts to inflate the tyre, were not less than 80 psi. 
Further Mr J Stumbles claims some experience and expertise as a tyre fitter; I do not accept this evidence. It was plain to me that he had no training as a tyre fitter other than training on the job from his employer's other mechanics. He was unaware of basic safety requirements (other than inflation pressures) and had not seen or read any booklets or materials published on tyre safety such as the tyre safety booklet Exhibit 2 In my view his claim to some expertise based on his experience was misleading. I accept the evidence of Mr Smith that it was Mr Smith who was employed as the usual tyre fitter. Other than some very basic training I find that Mr J Stumbles had no expertise at all in tyre fitting. Basic failure in his competence has been clearly demonstrated in his actions in grossly over inflating the tyre during an attempt to fit it to the rim. He failed to heed the warning signs printed on the tyre and failed to heed the warning signs when the tyre beads failed to pop, even when excessive pressure was applied by over-inflation. 
I also found Mr J Stumbles evidence, on the whole, to be unbelievable and improbable. He was clearly under a great deal of pressure to deny any personal fault and avoid blame. He was clearly of the view that the plaintiff was to blame and even went to the extent of expressing strong anger that the plaintiff could have caused serious injury to him (Mr J Stumbles). I find that his evidence has been prepared and given with the benefit of hindsight to such an extent that it is misleading. Mr J Stumbles and his employers have constructed a theory, and rationalised the accident, on the basis of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff, and the position of the rim and tyre in the ceiling after the explosion. I am satisfied that had the tyre in fact been leaning against the plaintiffs legs as described by Mr J Stumbles there would have been some evidence of severe compressed-air burn and torn clothing. In short I accept the version of events given by the plaintiff. 
In this regard, the tyre expert from Firestone, Mr Whyte, had in my view sufficient expertise from his life time in the tyre field and from having carried out various experiments with exploding tyres, to offer a reliable and acceptable view of how the accident happened, which is more probably correct than the theory propounded by the defendant. In Mr Whyte's view, when the tyre exploded, the bead was cocked, and as a consequence the air exploded on an angle, and not straight down evenly on to the concrete floor. In his view the tyre would not go straight up in the air, there is always an angle associated with an exploding tyre which has a habit of flying sideways as well as up on an angle. 
I find that when the tyre exploded it was lying flat on the ground and it was being inflated to a grossly excessive pressure in excess of 80 psi by Mr J Stumbles. 
I reject any suggestion as made by Mr J Stumbles that due to his anxiety to have the tyre repaired so that he could get on with his contracting job, the plaintiff took over the attempt to fit the tyre on the third occasion. Mr J Stumbles suggested in his evidence that the plaintiff was in command and that he was being of some assistance to the plaintiff at the time. 
I am satisfied that the plaintiff was anxious to get the job done, was frustrated at the delay and puzzled by the difficulty that the defendant's foreman, Mr J Stumbles was having, I do not accept that he took command and relegated Mr J Stumbles to, in effect, an assistant. The plaintiff suggested that he remarked to Mr J Stumbles that the tyre cage was there and why was it not being used. There was uncertainty in my view in the plaintiffs expression of this query during the giving of his evidence, and I find that it is unlikely that such a remark was made at the time. 
Mr Mitchell submitted that the defendant was not negligent as there is no proven duty of care which has been breached. 
For the reasons set out below I find that in law and on the facts that the defendant did have a duty of care to the plaintiff and other persons visiting its respective premises. 
In South Pacific Manufacturing Co Ltd v New Zealand Security Consultants & Investigations Ltd [1992] 2 NZLR 282Has partially negative history or cases citing, but has not been reversed or overruled[Yellow] , Court of Appeal distilled a number of points to be applied when considering whether a duty of care arose in a particular situation. In particular the points are set out in detail at page 294 by Cooke P. His Honour commenced the discussion of the principles at page 293 line 40 under the heading of Duty of Care Principles. 
The headnote of the case states: 
“When a duty of care issue arose in a situation not clearly covered by an existing authority, the proper approach was to look at all the material facts in combination, in order to decide whether as a question of mixed law and fact, liability should be imposed. The ultimate question is whether in the light of all the circumstances of the case it was just and reasonable that a duty of care of broad scope was incumbent on the defendant. This was an intensely pragmatic question requiring most careful analysis. It was helpful to focus on two broad fields of enquiry. The first was the degree of proximity or relationship between the alleged wrong doer and the person who had suffered damage. That involved consideration of the degree of analogy with cases in which duties were already established and reflected on assessment of the competing moral claims. The second was where there were other policy considerations which tended to negative or restrict or strengthen the existence of a duty in that class of case. ”
The starting point is the close proximity between the plaintiff and the defendant. The defendant was a garage proprietor and the plaintiff was its customer. The plaintiff came in to the garage premises on numerous occasions for repairs to tyres and machinery and on the day in question was present for a considerable period of time in the defendant's tyre bay at Ranfurly. He was permitted to be present and was permitted to assist Mr J Stumble as a helping hand during the tyre fitting operations. In my view the plaintiff relied upon the defendant's employee Mr Stumble to fit the tyre in a proficient professional manner. I am satisfied that in general, garage premises are potentionally dangerous places for the public. It is clear that inherently dangerous activities take place such as welding and gas cutting, the operation of lathes and other machines; other dangers include, open inspection pits, vehicle hoists, inflammable gases and liquids, and matters of that kind. 
I am satisfied that it is reasonably foreseeable that an inexperienced or unauthorised person could misuse or mishandle equipment and cause harm, and indeed it is reasonably foreseeable in my view that a customer present in the work shop or tyre bay could be injured during processes carried on which are inherently dangerous. A garage such as the defendant's, is very similar to a factory where there are similar inherent dangers present. Customers of a garage repair shop should not be exposed to such potential harm. The closeness of the relationship of garage proprietor and customer in my view makes the customer vulnerable to harm if that the customer is permitted to be in the work shop or tyre bay where inherently dangerous processes are carried out. 
On the 1st of April 1992 the defendant's premises were subject to the provisions of the Factories and Commercial Premises Act 1981. Pursuant to section 18 the occupier of premises such as the defendant's was required to “take all reasonable precautions for the safety and health of workers, and persons lawfully on the premises.”. Sub-section 2 of section 18 stated “no person employed in or about any undertaking shall without reasonable cause, do anything likely to endanger himself or any other person.” 
Section 20 of the Act placed a further obligation on the defendant as occupier “to ensure that no worker undertook any work unless he had been adequately instructed as to the dangers likely to arise in connection with that work and the precautions to be taken against them; or that he is a person with a sufficient knowledge and experience of that work, or he is being adequately supervised by a person with a sufficient knowledge and experience of that work.” 
The plaintiff submitted through his counsel, that relying on AHI Operations v Department of Labour [1986] 1 NZLR 645Has Cases Citing which are not known to be negative[Green]  (dealing with the Machinery Act) by analogy, offences under the Factories and Commercials Premises Act 1981 would be offences of strict liability. It is argued that the Factories and Commercial Premises Act 1981, is a public welfare statute reflecting the need to maintain a high standard of public health and safety. 
Mr Corkill counsel for the plaintiff argued that the existence of strict liability duties under the Factories and Commercial Premises Act 1981, lends support to the finding of a duty of care in negligence by the occupier of premises such as the defendant's garage. 
I accept Mr Corkill's submissions, that there is sufficient proximity between the plaintiff and the defendant, and that by analogy with other situations of an occupier's duty of care, the occupier of a commercial undertaking such as a garage, has a duty of care of a broad scope to ensure that persons lawfully on the premises are not unreasonably exposed to injury or harm. 
Looking at the matter overall I can see no policy considerations why occupiers of garage premises and work shops in April 1992, which were open to and attracted custom from the public, should not have a duty of care in negligence, to ensure that all reasonable steps were taken to provide for and ensure the safety of customers and other persons lawfully present on those premises. 
Having found as a question of law that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, I now turn to the consideration of the allegations of negligence referred to in paragraph 12 of the statement of claim, being issue 1 referred to earlier. 
The first allegation is that the defendant by its employee 
a
“Failed to check the size of the wheel rim before fitting the tyre”. I am of the view that on the facts that I have found that this allegation is now not relevant. 
b.
“Attempted to fit a 15 inch tyre to a 15.3 inch rim”. I am of the view that this allegation has been proved on the facts. 
c.
“Attempting to fit an 8 ply rather than the appropriate 6 ply tyre”. In my view this allegation is not relevant. 
d.
“Ignored the warning on the tyre and inflated the tyre to a grossly excessive pressure when attempting to bead it to the rim”. I am satisfied on the facts that this allegation has been established. 
e.
“Failing to adequately communicate with the employees at McLarens Garage, Patearoa regarding the size and type of tyre required”. On the facts that I have found this allegation is established in so far as Mr Clark failed to communiate the danger of what was proposed. 
f.
“Failed to use a tyre cage when over-inflating the tyre when the defendant's employee knew or ought to have known the practice of over-inflating the tyre was dangerous and could have caused an explosion”. On the facts that I have found I find that this allegation has been established. 
g.
“Failing to warn or require the plaintiff to stand a reasonable safe distance away from an area in which potentially dangerous activity was occurring”. I am satisfied that this allegation has been established. Mr J Stumbles, the defendant's employee, took no steps whatsoever to ensure that the plaintiff was kept away from the dangerous activity of over-inflating the tyre. Indeed the evidence satisfies me that the defendant's employees generally took no steps to prevent any customer whom it regarded as a farmer or a contractor from entering into the work shop areas of the premises and participating in work. 
h.
“Continued to inflate the tyre in an attempt to get it to bead to the rim regardless of the risk when the defendant's employee knew or should have reasonably known the tyre would not fit”. On the facts that I have found I find that this allegation has been established. 
The defendant led evidence from its witnesses to the effect that it was usual practice in rural areas for customers such as farmers and contractors to come in to the garage premises and use the work shop and equipment for their own work. It was said that this was expected of garage proprietors and that it was part of the goodwill between customer and proprietor. 
I have no doubt that the practices described from time to time did occur in some garages where the obligations of the proprietor were not well understood. I am satisfied that not all garage premises in rural areas permitted such activities as claimed by the defendant. I find that such practices are dangerous and expose vulnerable persons to risks of harm and injury. Any application of common sense would disclose the reasonable possibility of such a customer being injured for a number of reasons such as improper use of equipment, falling into an inspection pit, sparks and fire from welding and matters of that kind. 
The evidence clearly discloses that as a result of the exploding tyre the plaintiff suffered injury. 
I have already mentioned the evidence concerning the practice of rural garage proprietors alleged by the defendant, however the defendant submitted that it was not unreasonable for the defendant to employ the method of work that was in fact adopted and that such method was generally in accord with the normal practices of the ordinary rural garage carrying out that work in these circumstances. It was submitted that the plaintiff had failed to prove that the defendant's conduct fell short of the standard that would be observed by the ordinary reasonable rural garage operator doing the job that the defendant was doing in this case. It was submitted that the defendant was not required to do more than take reasonable care, the defendant is not an insurer and is not negligent simply because an accident occurs. 
The defendant submitted that in the present case the defendant took all reasonable care in the circumstances and that its practice was very much in line with other garages operating under similar circumstances. 
It is not acceptable I find, to advance a negligent practice as a defence. 
The evidence of the tyre expert Mr Whyte, establishes the proper standards to be followed by all garage proprietors operating tyre fitting bays. I am satisfied that the defendant did not meet even minimal standards for safe working. 
Mr Stumbles senior gave the impression initially that no special expertise was required in tyre fitting, and attempted to repair the damage of his brief by referring to special technical training. 
I am satisfied that an indifferent attitude was adopted by the defendant company to the training of its employees. It did not encourage any of its employees to attend special training courses in tyre fitting. It did not ensure that its employees read the tyre safety booklet or any other material that was readily available from the Department of Labour or tyre companies. There was at best a general understanding and awareness that tyres should not be over-inflated. Apart from that, there was a significant lack of appreciation of the real dangers which could reasonably arise in tyre fitting operations. A safety cage was present on the premises, but even when difficulty was being experienced by Mr J Stumbles, he did not consider using the safety cage. I am satisfied that he lacked the experience and knowledge to be able to see that he was getting out of his depth in a dangerous area. This was mainly due to his lack of proper training in tyre fitting. 

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