Duty of care

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  • Created by: Michaela
  • Created on: 29-01-13 23:16
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  • Duty of Care
    • One person has  a responsibility to take proper care, not to injure or cause loss to another
    • House of Lords developed a single test to decide when one person owes a duty to another.
      • This step was taken in the case Donoghue V Stevenson (1932)- Person owes a duty to anyone who is his neighbour.
        • Neighbour is a person the defendant should reasonably be thinking of when considering his actions
    • Courts recognise that this new duty of care exsisted in a number of commonly circumstances. E.g. Manufacturer of goods owes a duty to ultimate consumer of the goods.
      • E.g. Manufacturer of goods owes a duty to ultimate consumer of the goods. This was seen in the case Donoghue V Stevenson. Claimant fell ill after drinking ginger beer. It was posioned because it contained a decomposed snail, claimant hadnt seen and it was in an opaque bottle.
        • Assuming facts could be proved,claimant could sue the manufacturer of the ginger beer as the manufacturer owed a duty to ensure that its products were safe to drink
      • Proffessional person e.g. solicitor owes duty to his proffesion properly
      • Employer owes his employees a duty to keep them safe in the workplace. Duty has been supplanted by health and safety legislation
    • Establishing a duty of care
      • Using Caparo V Dickman (1990) duty of  care exists if:
        • 1. Reasonably foreseeable to defendant  that his negligence will cause injury, damage or loss to claimant
        • 2. Relationship of sufficent proximity between the two
        • 3. Would be fair, just and resonable to impose liability
      • Test if set for guidelines to help the court to rech a sensible decision as to when a duty should be introduced to a new area of liability
      • Court will consider questions of policy.
        • Which party is in the better position to buy insurance
        • Its likely a new duty will prevent accidents in the future, simply dicourage people from undertaking activities fir fear if being sued.
        • Claimant should have a reaponsibility to look after himself
      • E.g Watson V British Board of Control (2001)- Claimant Boxer, injuries, following a fight, organised by defendant, made worse because proper medical equipment and doctors trained to use it were not immediately available at the ring side. Court decided  that the defendant owed a duty of care to provide proper medical back up because injuris in a boxing match were foreseeable. Defendant promoted and profited from the actvity and defendant controlled the organisation of the event.


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