AS Law02 - Tort - Breach of Duty


  • Standard of care
  • what is breach of duty?
  • factors that affect standard of care
HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Henry Ng
  • Created on: 29-05-12 18:18

Standard of Care

  • once duty of care is established via 3 part caparo; breach of duty must be reached by failing to meet the standard of care required.
  • Standard of Care - what level of care must be maintained; reasonable man in the conditions of the activity.
    • Blyth v Birmingham waterworks co. - Baron Alderson

Reasonable man - expression used to describe the basis of the law of negligence: typical ordinary person.

  • it is an objective test - looks at how the reasonable man would act in a situation.
    • Wells v Cooper 1954 (fitting a door handle that came off resulting in damage to C) - No special charactersitics should be standard of a reasonably competent person doing DIY
1 of 5

Factors affecting standard - Special Characteristi

Special characteristics of defendents:

  • Nettleship v Western 1971(learner driver crashes car into lampost)
    • learner driver must be treated to a normal drivers standard of care
  • Bolam v Friern (electro therapy led to injury of C)
    • such medical therapy must be to a standard of a specialist
  • Richard v Mullins (child threw mud at Cs eyes)
    • children and teenagers must be treated to the standard of one at their age

Special Charactersitics of Claiment:

  • Paris v Stepney B.C (sight only one eye, blinded at work due to no goggles) - higher standard of care needed due to C's charactersitics
  • Walker v Northumberland CC 1995 (stress from overworking, after time off same amount of work was given) - employer must take more care as to not repeat injuries due to it having occurred before!
2 of 5

Size of Risk

If the magnitude of risk is reasonable or greater than reasonable then breach of duty is apparent, if it is too minimal then it is not.

  • Bolton v Stone 1951 (cricket ball hit over fence, only ever happened 30 times in 70 years, ended up hinding a passer by)
    • size of risk was too small thus not in breach of duty
  • Haley v LEB 1964 (blindman walked into an electrical trench due to no sufficient warning signs for the non sighted.)
    • This was a reasonable risk and statistically would occur due to the lack of precautions thus LEB was in breach of duty.
3 of 5

Practical precautions

Have all practical precautions been taken? if not then breach of duty is apparent.

  • Latimer v AEC Ltd (factory was flooded with water and oil but sawdust and clean up was sufficient)
    • not liable as the company acted in the fashion of a reasonably responsible company by clearing up the mess and putting up warning signs.
4 of 5

Benefits of Taking risk

Do the benefits of taking risks outweigh the dangers; if so then there is no breach of duty.

  • Watt v Hertfordshire CC. (firefighters improvised equipment to save the life of a woman but resulted in jury as vehicle was no sustainable) 
    • benefit of saving a life outweighs the risk
      • this is also known as a social utility risk!
5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all Law of Tort resources »