Liability in Negligence AS LAW

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Liability in Negligence
Civil law is concerned with settling disputes between individuals
A civil case is started by the person who has suffered loss (the claimant) as the
result of a wrong which only directly affects him
The claim requires proof that the defendant was negligent
The claimant's usual remedy is financial compensation, known as damages
The civil process is the procedure by which a claim makes it way through the
court system, so that the court can decide whether the claim will succeed and if
so, what amount of damages should be awarded
The claimant may have to go to court for some or all of the issues to be tried
These are rules of civil evidence that set out how the facts must be powered and
the degree of certainty that is required
The burden of proof is the obligation on a party to establish the facts in issue in a
case to the required degree of certainty (standard of proof) in order to prove their
case
Standard of proof is on a balance of probabilities
Negligence
To succeed, there must be proof that the act of the defendant falls within the relevant
definitions of what must be proved for a successful claim in negligence
A duty of care was owed by the defendant to the claimant
The defendant broke that duty of care (his act was not performed to the standard
the law requires which is that of the reasonable man)
The broken duty caused the loss complained of, and that the law recognises that
the loss is not too remote from the act
Duty of Care one person has a responsibility to take proper care not to injure or
cause loss to another.
Duty of care was first established with the case of Donoghue V Stevenson which gave
use the 'neighbour test' (must take reasonable care to avoid acts or ommisons which you can
reasonable foresee would be likely to inure your neighbour)

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The leading case today for Duty of care is the case Caparao V Dickman which gave
us the 'three part test'.
THREE PART TEST:
Was the damage foreseeable?
The issue of forseeability simply means that a reasonable person would of forseen
some damage or harm to the claimant at the time of the alleged negligence.
Kent v Griffiths (2000) where a doctor called for an ambulance to take a patient
suffering from a serious asthma attack to hospital immediately.…read more

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Was damage or harm reasonably foreseeable?
The issue of forseeability simply means that a reasonable person would of foreseen some
damage or harm to the claimant at the time of the alleged negligence.
A good case to illustrate this is Kent v Griffiths (2000) where a doctor called for an ambulance to
take a patient suffering from a serious asthma attack to hospital immediately. The ambulance, without
a satisfactory reason failed to arrive within a reasonable time.…read more

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Are there any special characteristics of the defendant?
Are there any special characteristics of the claimant?
What is the size of the risk?
Have all practical precautions been taken?
What are the benefits of taking the risk?
Any special characteristics of the defendant?
The defendant is expected to be a reasonable competent person performing the task.
This is straightforward when dealing with everyday people doing everyday tasks.…read more

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The test here is whether his operating to the
standard expected under a known and
accepted procedure. This can be seen from
the case of Bolam V Friern Barnet Hospital
Management Committee (1957).
Finally, it should be noted that where a
reasonable man cannot know that a standard
procedure is in fact dangerous, he will not
break the duty of care. This is because the
reasonable man is not expected to know and
protect against risks of harm that are not yet
known scientifically.…read more

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While he was using a hammer to remove a
bolt on a vehicle a chip of metal flew off and entered his good eye.
This resulted in his becoming totally blind. The council did not
provide goggles for him to wear, in 1950, it was not common
practice for employers to supple goggles to men employed in
garages on the maintenance and repair of vehicles. So had Mr Paris
been fully sighted, the council might not have broken their duty of
care.…read more

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