Brunel Business School

Brunel Business School
Bachelor of Science

TITLE: INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS LAW MODULE CODE: MG2528

WRITTEN COURSEWORK: Isambard University (A Case Study)

DEADLINE: 9th December 2015 (12.00 noon, UK time) on Blackboard Learn.

Word Limit: 3,000 words

Assessment Criteria – You will obtain credit for:
• Identifying the areas of law involved in each situation
• Stating the legal principles that are involved in each situation
• Applying those principles to the problem(s) in hand
• Identifying possible conclusions on the basis of balanced and reasoned argument.
• Justifying those conclusions by reference to legal authority (e.g. case law, statutes, other legislation).
The coursework addresses Learning Outcomes:
A1. Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical and practical characteristics of business organizations and how legal rules and developments impact on their structures, cultures and administrative processes;
A5. Explain the nature and functions of business law generally and demonstrate an understanding of its framework and applications.
B9. Analyse quantitative and qualitative data to
B11. Identify, define, analyse and evaluate
B7. the impact of legal principles on the provision of commercial goods and services and on employment relationships and
B8 propose solutions to problems arising in the business environment relating to the provision of commercial goods and services and employment relationships.
C15. Use the variety of data sources relevant to legal research, including library and electronic information facilities, supported by a bibliography and appropriate referencing.
C17. Plan, implement and submit the assessed coursework by the deadline, demonstrating effective time management

NOTE: There are also up to 10 marks available for the professional quality of your answer. This will include the use of good English, (spelling and punctuation); effective communication of ideas; layout and structure; and evidence of academic writing, (referencing; and a bibliography).
CASE STUDIES:
PART A: Aaron:

Aaron graduated from Isambard University in 2015 with a First Class Honours degree in Business and Management. During a “high tea” reception on the day of his graduation he picked up a flyer left on a table in the graduation hall. The flyer included details of a “Special Offer”, stating that anyone joining the university’s gym, (IUG), before the end of Freshers Week, could sign up and pay for 12 months “premier membership” at the same price as the “off-peak membership” with no joining fee. On the back of the flyer it added that those joining under the special offer would also receive a complementary one hour personal training session with a fitness instructor.

The fees were set out as follows:

Duration Students NUS/Staff/Alumni Community
Premier Membership
12 Months £240 £360 £480
Off-Peak Membership
12 Months £180 £240 £360

Aaron went to the gym on Friday the 18th September to join up and take advantage of the special offer. He started chatting to Bronwynn, one of the students in the year below him, who was also joining the gym early for the same reason. As the staff were extremely busy, Crista, the manageress, came out of her office to deal with them. She gave them both membership forms to fill out and sign that included a direct debit form. Crista asked them both to fill out their bank details on the form and said that she would fill in the rest of the forms later and they could each pick up a copy of their form and membership card when they next came in. Crista booked Aaron in for his personal training session on the 26th September.

Aaron picked up his membership card on the 19th September and immediately started using the facilities. He attended his personal training session on the 26th which he was very happy with.

On the 1st October Aaron noticed that his account had been debited with £380.00, consisting of a £20.00 joining fee and £360.00 annual membership fees. Aaron telephoned the gym to ask why his account had been debited by £380.00 instead of £240.00. Dingxiang, who works at the club, explained that his membership was processed on the 19th September, after the special offer had expired.

Aaron believes he is entitled to a refund but wants to continue using the gym.
Advise Aaron (30 marks)
PART B: Bronwynn
Pleased with her “bargain” membership of £15.00 per month, Bronwynn also picked up her membership card and started using the gym on the 19th September. On the 31st October Bronwynn went for a work-out at the gym. As it was “effective learning week”, not many students were on campus. The staff recognized Bronwynn as an experienced member who visited the gym at least four times a week so left her to use the gym unattended. Half an hour later, Bronwynn, who was using a rowing machine, suffered a back injury when the chain snapped as she pulled the “oars” towards herself. The machine was only ten months old and a top-of-the-range model from a well-known manufacturer, ProwFit. ProwFit give a six month guarantee with all their products and their sale contract with IUG states that ProwFit can accept no liability for any defects in, or any injury caused by, the machine supplied, after the six month guarantee period.

Dingxiang saw Bronwynn trying to leave the club, bent over double from the pain in her back, and insisted on accompanying her to her student halls. On the way he recommended that Bronwynn get medical treatment for her back and advised her to obtain as much evidence as possible of her injuries and any costs of treating them before contacting the gym to let them know what had happened.

On the 3rd November Bronwynn still could not straighten up and booked an appointment to see a chiropractor. He told Bronwynn that she had a “slipped disc” that was pressing on her spinal cord and that he did not want to risk making it any worse. He referred her to a consultant specializing in spinal injuries. Bronwynn had to undergo emergency surgery which left her in substantial pain and unable to concentrate on anything, or leave the house, for several weeks afterwards. As a result Bronwyn did not feel prepared for her exams in December and was worried about how this might impact on her final year results. Following a discussion with her pastoral tutor, Bronwynn applied for Leave of Absence from the end of November intending to resume her studies in 2016.

Bronwynn has written to IUG enclosing details of the costs for her treatment and the expected costs of having to postpone her studies for an extra year. She has indicated that she will be making a formal claim for compensation.

Crista sent a letter by return, stating that the gym are refusing to accept liability for her injuries as there is no record of her having injured herself at the gym. Crista added that even if her story were true the gym would not be liable and referred her to a clause at the bottom of her application form which states the following.

“whilst the equipment is maintained to a high standard and guidance and supervision are provided, the Isambard University Gymnasium can accept no liability for injury, or for loss of, or damage to, any property, that occurs during the use of the facilities.”

Bronwynn has responded to Crista’s letter stating that she was left unattended in the gym, and that in any event Dingxiang accompanied her back to her student accommodation immediately afterwards, advised her to “sue the gym” and that she will be calling him as a witness if she has to initiate legal proceedings.
Advise Bronwynn (30 marks)
PART C: Dingxiang

Crista was furious that members were left to work out in the gym unattended and that Dingxiang had failed to fill out an incident report. She was particularly angry that Dingxiang had advised Bronwynn to “sue the gym”.

Dingxiang explained that he had just started his shift when he saw Bronwynn and he assumed that an incident report had been filled out. He stated that he never advised Bronwynn to “sue the gym”. He merely advised her to seek treatment for her injuries and keep details of the costs. He added that if he had not advised her to get treatment, her injuries could have been a lot worse in which case IUG would be liable for even more compensation.

Crista refused to listen and immediately suspended Dingxiang. The following day Dingxiang received a letter from IUG informing him of a disciplinary hearing to be held at the university in one week’s time, and stating that he was liable for gross misconduct. Dingxiang was invited to bring a friend or advisor to the disciplinary hearing but declined to do so.

At the hearing, Crista set out the facts, and pointed out one of the key rules in the staff handbook, which all staff are given on joining, that the gym should never be left unattended with clients in it.

Dingxiang’s response was to repeat that he had only just started his shift, that members were never left unattended for long and that anyway Bronwynn’s injury was not caused by her being left unattended, but by the machine breaking. He explained that he did not believe he was on duty when the incident happened and he failed to fill out an incident report because he assumed it had already been done.

Nevertheless Dingxiang was found guilty of gross misconduct and was dismissed. IUG paid him one week’s pay claiming it was “in lieu of notice”.

Dingxiang has been working at the gym for over two years and his contract states he is entitled to a month’s notice.
Advise Dingxiang (30 marks)
NOTE: There are also up to 10 marks available for the professional quality of your answer. This will include the use of good English, (spelling and punctuation); effective communication of ideas; layout and structure; and evidence of academic writing, (referencing; and a bibliography).
UG grades and grade point bands [Senate Regulation 2] are:
Grades/
Bands
CRITERIA
Knowledge
Identifying the areas of law and legal principles involved in each situation Understanding and Communication
Applying those principles to the problem(s) in hand
Structure
Providing systematic balanced and reasoned argument
Analysis
Identifying possible conclusions on the basis of balanced and reasoned argument. Scholarship
Justifying those conclusions by reference to legal authority (e.g. case law, statutes, other legislation)
A* (17)
(90%+) Demonstrates a sophisticated, critical and thorough understanding of the topic.
Displays an excellent grasp of detail (evidenced by the choice of relevant examples which are well integrated into the answer’s structure). Shows an exceptionally high level of clarity, focus and cogency in communication at the current Level.
Provides evidence of originality and independence of thought, and identifies points rarely seen by others.
No grammatical or spelling errors Clearly demonstrates the ability to develop a highly systematic, logical and insightful argument, solution or evaluation at the current Level. Demonstrates a high degree of excellence in the ability to analyse and synthesise at the current Level. Demonstrates a high degree of excellence in the appropriate use of the relevant literature, theory, practices, methodologies, tools.
Includes competent & appropriate citation and referencing of legal sources referred to.
Displays personal reflection informed by wider reading of articles and/or other commentaries
A+ (16)
(80-89%) Demonstrates a sophisticated, critical and thorough understanding of the topic.
Displays an excellent grasp of detail (evidenced by the choice of relevant examples which are well integrated into the answer’s structure). Shows an exceptionally high level of clarity, focus and cogency in communication at the current Level.
Provides evidence of originality and independence of thought, and identifies points rarely seen by others.
Only minor grammatical or spelling errors Clearly demonstrates the ability to develop a highly systematic, logical and insightful argument, solution or evaluation at the current Level. Demonstrates a high degree of excellence in the ability to analyse and synthesise at the current Level. Demonstrates a high degree of excellence in the appropriate use of the relevant literature, theory, practices, methodologies, tools.
Includes competent & appropriate citation and referencing of legal sources referred to.
Displays personal reflection informed by wider reading of articles and/or other commentaries
A (15)
(73-79%)

A- (14)
(70-72%)
Demonstrates a sophisticated, critical and thorough understanding of the topic.
Displays a good grasp of detail (evidenced by the choice of relevant examples which are well integrated into the answer’s structure). Shows a high level of clarity, focus and cogency in communication at the current Level.
Provides evidence of originality and independence of thought, or identifies points rarely seen by others.
No major grammatical or spelling errors Clearly demonstrates the ability to develop a highly systematic and logical or insightful argument, solution or evaluation at the current Level. Demonstrates excellence in the ability to analyse and synthesise at the current Level. Demonstrates excellence in the appropriate use of the relevant literature, theory, practices, methodologies, tools, etc.
Includes competent & appropriate citation and referencing of legal sources referred to.
May display personal reflection informed by wider reading of articles and/or other commentaries
B+ (13)
(68-69%)
B (12)
(63-67%)
B- (11)
(60-62%) Demonstrates a well-developed, critical and comprehensive understanding of the topic.
Displays a good grasp of detail. Shows clarity, focus and cogency in communication at the current Level.
Provides some evidence of independence of thought. Clearly demonstrates the ability to develop a systematic and logical or insightful argument, solution or evaluation at the current Level. Demonstrates competence in the ability to analyse and synthesise at the current Level. Demonstrates a high degree of competence in the appropriate use of the relevant literature, theory, practices, methodologies, tools.
Includes competent and appropriate citation and referencing of legal sources referred to.
C+ (10)
(58-59%)
C (9)
(53-57%)
C- (8)
(50-52%) Demonstrates a systematic and substantial understanding of the topic.
Provides evidence of clarity and focus in communication at the current Level.
Demonstrates the ability to develop a systematic or insightful argument or solution at the current Level.
Demonstrates the ability to analyse and synthesise at the current Level. Demonstrates a significant degree of competence in the appropriate use of the relevant literature, theory, practices, methodologies, tools.
Includes adequate and appropriate citation and referencing of legal sources referred to.
D+ (7)
(48-49%)
D (6)
(43-47%)
D- (5)
(40-42%) Provides evidence of a systematic or adequate understanding of the key aspects of the topic. Provides evidence of effective communication at the current Level.
Demonstrates the ability to present a sufficiently structured argument or solution at the current Level.
Demonstrates the ability to analyse or synthesise at the current Level. Demonstrates an acceptable degree of competence in the appropriate use of the relevant literature, theory, practices, methodologies, tools.
Includes some appropriate citation and referencing of legal sources referred to.

E+ (4)
(38-39%)
E (3)
(33-37%)
E- (2)
(30-32%) Provides evidence of some understanding of key aspects of the topic Provides some evidence of effective communication at the current Level.
Demonstrates some ability to present an appropriate argument or solution at the current Level.
Demonstrates some ability to analyse or synthesise at the current Level.
Demonstrates some competence in the appropriate use of the relevant literature, theory, practices, methodologies, tools.
Poor or non-existent citation referencing of legal sources.
F (1)
(0-29%) No real evidence of understanding of any of the key aspects of the topic.
Poor communication.
No real evidence of understanding.
No evidence of ability to present an appropriate argument or solution at the current Level. No evidence of the ability to analyse or synthesise at the current Level. No evidence of use of the relevant literature, theory, methodologies, practices, tools..
Poor or non-existent citation and referencing of legal sources referred to.