Held liability was imposed where a defendant by a

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Held: liability was imposed where a defendant, by a breach of duty, had materially increased the risk that the employee would contract mesothelioma where more than one person was in breach of duty and might have been responsible, liability should be attributed according to the defendant's relative degree of contribution to the risk, probably measured by the duration and intensity of the exposure involved; and that, accordingly, the defendants' liability was several Legal Causation This novus actus interveniens ("new intervening act") might be an act of the plaintiff, a third party or even a natural event that take, place between the defendant’s alleged negligence and the damage that ensued. Where an act or omission is of such a nature as to constitute a wholly independent cause of the damage , the intervening conduct may be regarded as novus actus interveniens. If there is a novus actus interveniens which is sufficient on the facts to break the chain of factual causation, the defendant's breach would not be regarded as the cause of the plaintiff's damag e. Cases in which the alleged novus actus interveniens was sufficient to break the chain of causation normally involve intervening acts that are unreasonable, deliberate, reckless or unforeseeable . Salcon Ltd v United Cement Pte Ltd[2004] CA held: Novus actus interveniens–before Salcon could effect repair of the silo, TEPP’s actions (load silo to full capacity intervened complete reconstruction now necessary –chain of causation broken by TEPP Salcon no longer liable for Claim C Another legal causation issue involves situations where one tort is followed by another tort or a natural event . ln Baker v Willoughby (1910) , the plaintiff injured his left leg in a road accident. He was later shot in the same leg by an armed robber. It was held that the defendant remained liable for the injury, even though the efforts of his negligence had been wiped out by the second tort. However, where the second event is a natural cause which wipes out the physical effects of the first tort, the tortfeasor’s liability ceases at the point when the natural supervening condition manifests itself (see Jobling v Associated Dairies (1982)). Otherwise, the defendant would be liable for damage which would have occurred naturally as part of the vicissitudes of life. REMOTENESS OF DAMAGE Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Marts Dock & Engineering Co Ltd (or Wagon Mound (No 1)) (1961) . The loss would not be too remote where the type of loss which actually occurred was reasonably foreseeable , notwithstanding that the precise extent of the loss was not foreseeable.
On the facts of Wagon Mound (No 1), the defendants (charterers of ship) breached their duty in spilling fuel oil which spread to the plaintiff's wharf, thereby causing damage to the wharf. The molten metal from the plaintiff's welding works on the wharf had set fire to cotton waste floating on the oil. Though the fire damage was a direct consequence of the defendants' breach, the plaintiff's claim in negligence failed. This was because the Privy Council determined that it was not foreseeable that the fuel oil would burn in water.

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