Negligence Breach Of Duty.doc - Negligence Breach Of Duty...

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Negligence Breach Of Duty - Reasonable Man Test The Reasonable Man Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided upon those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs would do, or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do. A potential defendant will be negligent by falling below the standards of the ordinary reasonable person in his/her situation, ie by doing something which the reasonable man would not do or failing to do something which the reasonable man would do. See the statement of Alderson B in: Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks Co (1856) 11 Exch 781 A water company having observed the directions of the Act of Parliament in laying down their pipes, is not responsible for an escape of water from them not caused by their own negligence. -The fact, that their precautions proved insufficient against the effects of a winter of extreme coldness, such as no man could have foreseen, is not sufficient to render them liable for negligence. -Fire-plugs properly constructed having been inserted as safety-valves in these pipes, in pursuance of their Act:- Semble, per Bramwell, B., that the company are not liable for not removing accumulations of ice in the streets over such plugs. This was an appeal by the defendants against the decision of the judge of the County Court of Birmingham. The case was tried before a jury, and a verdict found for the plaintiff for the amount claimed by the particulars. The particulars of the claim alleged, that the plaintiff sought to recover for damage sustained by the plaintiff by reason of the negligence of the defendants in not keeping their water-pipes and the apparatus connected therewith in proper order. The case stated that the defendants were incorporated by stat. 7 Geo. 4, c. cix. for the purpose of supplying Birmingham with water. By the 84th section of their Act it was enacted, that the company should, upon the laying down of any main-pipe or other pipe in any street, fix, at the time of laying down such pipe, a proper and sufficient fire-plug in each such street, and should deliver the key or keys of such fire-plug to the persons having the care of the engine-house in or near to the said street, and cause another key to be hung up in the watch-house in or near to the said street. By sect. 87, pipes were to be eighteen inches beneath the surface of the soil. By the 89th section, the mains were at all times to be kept charged with water. The defendants derived no profit from the maintenance of the plugs distinct from the general profits of the whole business, but such maintenance was one of the conditions under which they were permitted to exercise the privileges given by the Act. The main-pipe opposite the house of the plaintiff was more than eighteen inches below the surface. The fire-plug was constructed according to the best known system, and the materials of it were at the time of the accident sound and in good order.

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