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Liability in negligence
3 things must be proven;
Duty of care ­ Breach of duty ­ Damage

Duty of care;

The definition of negligence is found in Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks 1956; `Negligence is the
omission to do something that a reasonable man would do or to do something which…

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`Is it just, fair and reasonable to impose a duty of care?'
This is often a matter of public policy, where the courts will take into account the interests of society
as a whole. Therefore many cases have concerned liability in the public sector.
Hill v Chief Constable of…

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Breach of duty;

If a duty of care exists, then it must be proven that the defendant has breached the duty.
e.g. has broken the duty of care by failing to reach the required standard of care.
The standard of care is that of the `reasonable man' as established in…

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Wells v Cooper 1954 ­ The defendant fitted a door handle for the claimant. The claimant had
trouble shutting the door as it was a windy day. The door handle fell of causing the claimant
to fall down his steps and sustain an injury.
The court ruled that the standard…

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This concerns the loss of the claimant.
It requires examination of;
(a) Causation;
Factual and
(b) Remoteness
(a) Factual causation
Factual and legal causation must be proven
The `but for' test is applied;
`but for the defendant's action / omission, would the claimant have suffered harm?'
Barnett v…

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Doughty v Turner Asbestos 1964 ­ Claim failed as there was no scientific knowledge of the
reaction. Therefore the damage was not foreseeable.
The most recent guidelines for remoteness came from Gabriel v Kirklees Metropolitan
Council ­ A six year old was injured by children playing on a building site.…

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The burden of proof

The claimant must prove that the defendant is liable on the balance of probabilities.
e.g. it is more likely than not, that the defendant was negligent

Cases can be pursued in both, the criminal and civil courts. If the defendant has already been
convicted of a…

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Multi track cases are heard by a circuit judge


The claimant will fill in a claim form
This form will have details about the claimant and the claim. It will contain a statement of facts and a
fee will be paid.

The claim form is `served on the defendant'…




Really good! :)



also mention in bourhill v young, that the court stated that the harm was not foreseeable as she brought herself in the area of danger (not a primary victim) thus it was not fair, just and reasonable to impose a duty. In fact this is a good case that outlines the Caparo test.

Nettleship v Weston: any reasonable "competent" driver

"Bolam": If it meets standard of a "responsible body of medical opinion"

Also mention that "take your victim as you find him" is the thin skull rule




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