Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police
PPH- DofC to secondary victims
1) Foreseeability of psychiatric harm
It must be reasonably foreseeable that a person of normal fortitude in C's position would suffer a psychiatric illness (if an ordinary person in C's position witnessed these events, is it foreseeable that he would suffer a psychiatric injury?)
2) Proximity of relationship
C must have a close relationship of love and affection with the person who is endangered by D's negligence.
This is presumed in the case of parent/child, husband/wife, fiance/fiancee. However, this can be rebutted by D if it can be proved they were not close.
In the absence of a presumed relationship of love and affection, this must be proved by C.
3) Proximity of time and space
C must be present at the accident or its immediate aftermath.
4) Proximity of perception
C must see or hear the accident, or is immediate aftermath, with his own sense.
In this case, Cs were not able to see TV pictures showing the suffering of identifiable individuals, although it was live. The court decided that what Cs did see was not equivalent to seeing and heating the event or its immediate aftermath.
However, this case did state that a live television broadcast might be sufficient to render the broadcaster a tortfeasor liable to C for shcok if the 'impact of the simultaneous TV pictures would be as great, if no greater, than the actual sight of the accident.'
The example give was of a 'special event of children travelling in a balloon, in which there was media interest, particularly amongst parents, and TV images showed the balloon suddenly bursting into flames.'