Thursday, 14 February 2008

Legal Responsibility

An intriguing and interesting legal issue is being given coverage in the British news. A gambling addict is suing William Hill for negligently allowing him to continue gambling, after he had requested that he not be allowed to gamble with them. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7243656.stm; or http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/2008/02/14/punter-sues-bookie-for-letting-him-lose-2m-89520-20318661/

As with all media reports it is worth looking at the facts! But some important legal issues are raised -
  • what responsibility does an addict have for their own behaviour?
  • if another person is aware of that person's addiction, do they have (should they have) a duty of care to avoid feeding that addiction?
  • where another person promises to help a person avoid his addiction, do they have a duty of care to avoid feeding that addition?
  • what responsibility do companies have where the 'service' or product they supply is known to be highly addictive?
  • What is the standard of care required for such duties, if they exist?

These are important issues - and with obesity; alcoholism; gambling and drug taking causing so much personal misery to individuals and costs to society - what should the law be doing?

1 comment:

amanda said...

Should gamers take responsability!??

The food industry is only now with the current reported obesity problems, begining to take responsability for their labelling. The tobbacco industry has begun to take responsability for labelling... The cost to the publis purse to treat such conditions associated with smoking, and obesity, is so much so that the government have backed these campaigns. However gambelling also costs the public purse wether it be in the form of councelling or rehousing etc. I have never seen a health warning associated with gambelling. Why??? perhaps our society still views mental health as a taboo subject... (isnt depression one health risk associated with debt????), Im waffelling here but it is important to take into account that children are openly introduced to gambelling each time they visit either their fairground or seaside pier...but grabbing a teddy for 50p or putting 2pence in a pushing machine..these ammusement arcades grow with the childrens age.. racing car games positioned next to fruit machines????, Bookmakers advertising the potential winnings and not the potential losses??? why does the gaming industry openly get away with encouraging a society that is already plagued by debt?? why shouldent they take responsability. like the food industry, and the tobacco industry, I think that William Hill should be prosecuted for breach of contract, or in the very least the gaming industry should take responsability for the potential risks associated with gambelling. And this case would be the best starting point for anyone who wishes to make a stand!! It will be interesting to watch.