BUSINESS
SESSION 10 - TORT OF NEGLIGENCE.pdf

She then sued the manufacturer of the ginger beer in

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She then sued the manufacturer of the ginger beer in negligence. 11
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Held . The defendant manufacturer of the ginger beer owed a duty of care to the plaintiff as the ultimate consumer. The defendant manufacturer could have reasonably foreseen that the plaintiff was likely to be injured as a result of their negligence in not making sure that the ginger beer was safe to drink. 12
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Currently, the neighbour principle is seen as applying to the following common business- related situations: Highways, roads, railways etc. all road users owe a duty of care to other road users. This duty appears to apply to other modes of transportation like aircraft and shipping, where the operators owe a duty of care to third parties, passengers and goods (in addition to their contractual duty). 13
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Employer’s liability. An employer is under an obligation to provide a reasonably safe system of work, safe place of work, providing reasonably safe equipment and to exercise care in the selection of competent employees. Professional persons. Persons holding themselves out as skilled persons, with expert knowledge and qualifications, owe a duty of care to their clients to exercise such skill as is expected of his profession. 14
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The current legal position regarding the duty of care has expanded and in Singapore is represented by the case of Spandeck Engineering (S) Pte Ltd. V. DSTA 2007. The Singapore Court of Appeal questioned the different tests for determining duty of care in different categories of negligence claims and affirmed that: “… a single test is preferable in order to determine the imposition of a duty of care in all claims arising out of negligence, irrespective of the type of the damages claimed, and this should include claims for pure economic loss, whether they arise from negligent misstatements or acts / omissions . 15
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Spandeck’s Test (1) “Factual” determination. The first step in determining a duty of care is a “factual” determination whether it was reasonably foreseeable that the defendant’s actions would cause harm to the plaintiff. (2) Followed up by a 2-stage test to determine: A. Proximity Whether there was a proximate relationship (i.e. a close and direct relationship) between the parties involved; and if so B. Public policy Whether there are any public policy reasons that would negate the finding of a duty of care. 16
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The test is an objective one. Can a reasonable person in the defendant’s shoes foresee that his acts or omissions are likely to harm the victim. Is it foreseeable (from the defendant’s point of view) that the plaintiff would suffer harm or loss? i.e. did he realise beforehand the likely effects of his actions or inactions. See Smith v. Littlewoods.
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