Slides in this set
Duty Of care
The idea of duty of care in the tort of negligence has developed
through judges making decisions in cases. The main case for
`duty of care' is the case of Dononghue v Stevenson.
In this case, Mrs. Dononghue went to the cafe with her friend
and the friend bought her a ginger beer. This was in dark glass
so that the contents could not been seen. After drinking
some, she poured the rest out and found that there was a
dead decomposing snail and became ill.
She wanted to claim for her illness but as she did not buy the
drink, she couldn't use the law of contract so she sued the
manufacturers claiming they owed her a duty of care.…read more
Principles Of Liability
The case of Dononghue v Stevenson established the broad
principles of liability, however there have been a number of
changes in regards to this.
In Caparo v Dickman the `neighbour test' was replaced by the
three part test:
- Was damage or harm reasonably foreseeable?
- Is there a sufficient proximate relationship between the
claimant and defendant?
- Is it fair, just and reasonable?…read more
Whether it is reasonably foreseeable that the other person will
be affected by the actions of the person who acted
negligently depends on the facts of the case.
An example would be the case of Kent v Griffiths where a doctor
called for an ambulance to take a person having a serious
asthma attack to hospital immediately and though they
replied `okay', the ambulance failed to arrive within a
reasonable time and the patient suffered a heart attack which
could've been avoided. In this case it was reasonably
foreseeable that that the claimant would suffer harm from
the failure of the ambulance to arrive.
Another example of this is the case of Jolly v Sutton London
Borough Council.…read more
In some cases the courts have decided that its not reasonably
foreseeable that the claimant would suffer harm which can be
seen through the case of Bourhill v Young.
in this case, the motorcyclist was going too fast, crashed and
died. Mrs. Bourhill was 8 months pregnant and heard the
accident and saw blood, went into shock and her baby was
stillborn. She claimed against the motorcyclists estate but the
court decided that the motorcyclist did not owe her a duty of
care as he could not have reasonably foreseen that she would
be affected by his negligent driving.
Another example of this can be seen through the case of Topp v
London country Bus Ltd.…read more
Even if harm caused is reasonably foreseeable, a duty of care will
only exist if the relationship of the defendant and claimant is
sufficiently close .
For example, in the case of Hill v Chief Constable Of West
Yorkshire. In this case there had been a serial killer killing
women in a area and the claimants daughter was the killers
last victim before he was caught and by the time of her death,
the police already had enough info to arrest him but failed to
do so and the mother claimed that the police owed a duty of
care however the House Of Lords decided that the victim and
police were not sufficiently proximate for the police to be
under a duty of care . However there can be issues regarding
this as seen in the case of Osman v Ferguson where there
was a sufficiently close relationship between the police and
the victim and the victims family…read more