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CELE SQE1 模拟练习

Examination Timing: 00H00M02S

Greg suffered psychiatric injury after witnessing catastrophic death and destruction on an oil rig. Although he was in no physical danger, he witnessed the events at close range from a support boat and knew that friends and colleagues were perishing before his very eyes. He has been diagnosed as suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of witnessing the accident and seeks damages. Would Greg be able to sue for his psychiatric illness on the stated facts?

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Greg’s claim would likely fail because he was a mere bystander. The elements of proximity of relationship, time, and place were not satisfied. In McFarlane v EE Caledonia Ltd [1994] 2 All ER 1, the Court of Appeal held that witnessing the "horrific catastrophe" of the "Piper Alpha" oil rig disaster at close range was not sufficient for a mere bystander to claim for psychiatric injury. The court emphasised that there must be a close relationship with the primary victims and proximity in time and space to the event or its immediate aftermath. 


Key Point: The McFarlane v EE Caledonia Ltd case highlights the strict criteria for bystanders to recover damages for psychiatric injury. The claimant must demonstrate proximity to the event and a close relationship with the primary victims. Without these elements, the courts are reluctant to extend liability to bystanders, even in cases of severe emotional distress.

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