Harry and Will are employees of Australia Post at a mail sorting centre in suburban Sydney. A few weeks ago, they noticed a large bulging parcel that had arrived while they were sorting the mail. Suspecting that it might contain something dangerous or illegal, they placed it in an unlocked cupboard and notified the police.
Unknown to both Harry and Will, the parcel contained a number of live snakes that were being transported illegally. Before the police arrived, the snakes escaped from the parcel and found their way onto the street where they were seen by a number of people.
Meghan, a pedestrian, was so distressed when she saw the snakes that she suffered a heart attack.
Catherine was bitten when she tried to retrieve one of the snakes. She was rushed to the nearest hospital where a doctor administered a drug that was not effective against the snake venom. Catherine has been severely affected by the venom and can no longer walk. Had she been given the correct treatment she would have fully recovered.
Meghan and Catherine have approached you for advice as to who they can sue in these circumstances and the likelihood of success if they sue in the tort of negligence. Advise the parties.