Causation and Remoteness

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  • Created on: 11-12-19 14:49
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  • Causation and Remotness
    • The Claimant must prove that the defendant's breach of duty was the cause of the damage.
      • Causation in fact.
        • That the damage was not considered at law to be too remote.
        • The claimant must prove on the balance of probabilities, that the defendant's negligence was in fact the cause of the injury
          • Barnett v Chelsea and Kensington Hospital Management Committee 1968
          • The "but for" test of causation: But for the D negligence, the C's injury would not have occurred.
            • Therefore, that negligence is the cause of the injury. If the harm would have occurred anyway then it is not caused by the negligence.
              • Where a disease was already developing: Cutler v Vauxhall Motors Ltd 1971
              • Where the object 'damaged' had already been damaged before: Performance Cars Ltd v Abraham 1961
              • Adding to the risk
                • Hotson v East Berkshire A.H.A 1987
              • Here the 'but for' test may not be appropriate
                • Fitzgerald v Lane 1987
                  • Multiple impacts,which could not be separated
                • Fairchild v Gienhaven Funeral Service 2002
                  • Liability based on a "material contribution to the risk"
            • Successive Injuries: Where two successive causes would have resulted in the same harm
              • Baker v Willoughby 1969
              • Jobling v Associated Dairies Ltd 1981
    • In law a person can only be liable for those consequences which law does not regard as too remote.
      • In addition to proving factual casution, the claimant must prove that the D's breach of duty was, as a matter of law, a proximate cause of the damage, i.e. the damage must not be too remote.
        • The "direct consequence" test
          • Where the D has been negligent, liability will be imposed for all the direct consequence, whether those consequences were foreseeable or not, provided they are the direct result of the negligent act.
            • Re Polemis 1921
        • The "Foresight" test
          • The D is liable for all the reasonably foreseeable consequences of he negligence
            • Wagon Mound No1 1961
              • There is liability for all the consequences which the reasonable person being in full possession of all the materila facts at the time of the breach of duty would have foreseen as occuring
                • The precise sequence of events need not be foreseen, as long as the consequences falls within the general range which the reasonable man would have foreseen.
                  • Hughes v Lord Advocate 1963
                  • Approches to the meaning of "same type of harm", is it a different type of harm or just more of the same kind.
                    • Tremain v Pike 1969
                    • Bradford v Robinson Rentals Ltd 1967
    • Rules of Remoteness/Causation in particular situation
      • Existing State of Affairs
        • Where the pecuniary amount of harm is larger than could reasonably have been foreseen
          • The Arpad 1934
      • The Thin Skull rule: D takes his victim as he finds them
        • Sith v Leech Brain 1961
        • Lagden v O'Connor 2004
      • Intervening Acts or Events
        • Intended consequences are never considered too remote, however convoluted the chain of events leading to them.
          • Scott v Shepherd 1773
      • Novus Actus Interveniens
        • Where harm is the "but for" consequence of a negligent act, it may nevertheless be regarded as too remote if the link is not direct, and the chain of causation between act and harm includes some independent act or event.
          • An Intervening Natural Event
          • The Intervening Act of a Third Party
            • Innocent Acts
              • The Oropesa 1943
            • Negligent Act
              • Rouse v Squires 1973
              • Knightley v Johns 1982
            • Deliberate Acts
              • Lamb v Camden LBC 1981
              • cf Ward v Cannock Chase DC 1985
            • The Claimant's Intervening Act
              • McKew v Holland Ltd 1969
              • Wieland v Cyril Lord Carpets Ltd1969


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