Negligence.doc - Topic Liability for Negligence Donoghue v...

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Topic: Liability for Negligence Donoghue v Stevenson Facts: Plaintiff consumed ginger beer containing decomposed snail and suffered from nausea, shock and severe gastro-enteritis. Ginger beer was purchased by a friend from café proprietor. Held: The Court held that the manufacturer of the ginger beer owed a duty of care to the ultimate consumers. A neighbour is someone who is so closely and directly affected by your actions or omissions that you ought reasonably to have him or her in contemplation as being so affected when you are directing your mind to the acts and omissions which are in issue. Law: Negligence Palsgraf v Long Island Railway Facts: Ms Palsgraf was injured by a heavy set of scales which had been knocked over by the force of an explosion caused by a boarding passenger dropping his parcel of explosives on the ground. Two Long Island Railway guards negligently knocked the parcel out of the grasp of the passenger while helping the passenger to board. Held: There was not enough causal connection between the careless action of the guards and the damage suffered by Ms Palsgraf. The conduct of the defendant’s guards, if a wrong in relation to the holder of the package, was not a wrong in relation the plaintiff standing 25 feet away. Law: Negligence Duty of care Forseeability of plaintiff: To be a “ foreseeable plaintiff”, the plaintiff must not piggy back on a duty of care owed to another person Bourhill v Young Facts: A motor cyclist negligently collided with a car and was killed. Bourhill, being 45 feet away from the site, heard the noise of the accident and she later saw the blood on the road. Bourhill suffered from nervous shock and her baby born a month later was stillborn. P sought to recover damages from the dead motor cyclist’s estate. Held: © Alex Yu 2004 1
Users of motor vehicles on public roads owe a duty to drive with care to all persons who could foreseeably be injured. The plaintiff had not been sufficiently close to the area of potential danger and thus the motor cyclist had not owed her a duty of care . Law: Negligence Duty of care Forseeability of plaintiff: To be a “ foreseeable plaintiff”, the plaintiff must not piggy back on a duty of care owed to another person Russell v McCabe Facts: An injured volunteer fire fighter recovered against the person whose negligence caused the fire in the first place. Held: Rescue cases: The defendant’s negligence placed a person in peril and someone else tries to rescue that person. The courts did not make much inquiry as to whether the rescuers are within the circle of foreseeability . Law: Negligence Duty of care Forseeability of plaintiff: Independent duties may be owed to more than one person . Meah v Mccreamer Facts: D negligently crashed his car and caused brain damage to his passenger, who becomes so deranged that some months later he sets fire to P’s house. Held: D owes no duty of care to P because P was so far removed in time from the negligent conduct to be reasonably foreseeable.

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