Tort Law (Negligience-Duty of Care)

Tort Law (Negligience-Duty of Care) - Negligence Elements...

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Negligence Elements of Negligence Duty of care Reasonable foresight of plaintiffs Proximity Policy consideration – Fair, just and reasonable Breach of duty Reasonable foresight of risk Reasonable response in the circumstance Causation Remoteness (Reasonable foresight of damage) Duty of care Pre Donoghue negligence merely a fault element required a contract or other pre-existing relationship before liability could be found Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562 (Snail in ginger beer bottle) Held: one must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure persons whom it is foreseeable to be harmed by your carelessness Lord Atkin’s neighbour principle (obiter) “The rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes in law, you must not injure your neighbour” Legally speaking, my neighbour is anyone who is “so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question.” Lord Buckmaster’s dissent “the only safe rule is to confine the right to recover to those who enter into the contract, if we go one step beyond that, there is no reason why we should not go fifty.” Anns v Merton London Borough Council [1978] AC 728, (HL) (P lessees discovered that their property had inadequate and unsafe foundations. D council had the power, but not obligation, of inspection. Sued D when defects appeared) Held: Formulated a 2 stage test: (1) Reasonable foreseeability of plaintiffs; and (2) Policy considerations. D had a duty of care to properly inspect the foundations. It was foreseeable that P would be affected if foundations were defective and there were no policy considerations to deny the existence of such a duty. Caparo Industries Plc v Dickman [1990] 2AC 605 (P existing shareholders took over a company based on accounts audited by D, but later discovered accounts were inaccurate and company was unprofitable. Sued D for pure economic loss caused by D’s negligent misstatement) Held: The formal requirements to establish a duty of care are: (1) foreseeability of the damage; (2) a sufficiently ‘proximate relationship between the parties; and (3) it must be fair, just and reasonable to impose such a duty
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Reasonable foreseeability of the class of plaintiffs Bourhill v Young [1943] AC 92 (Motorcyclist driving really fast was killed in collision. Appellant claimed nervous shock from seeing the blood) Held: “duty only arises towards those individuals of whom it might reasonably be anticipated that they will be affected by the act which constitutes the breach.” A man is not liable for negligence in the air Palsgraff v Long Island Railway Co (1928) 248 NY 339 (A guard pushed a person boarding a train causing him to drop package containing fireworks, explosion knocked some scales which struck Plaintiff) Held: If no hazard was apparent in the eye of ordinary vigilance, an act did not take to itself the quality of a tort because it happened to be a wrong. “The orbit of the danger as disclosed to the eye of reasonable vigilance
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