Special characteristics of defendant
Once we have established that a duty of care is owed we must decide if the duty of care has been breached by the D failing to act in the manner of a reaosnable man.
Wells v Cooper - man fixed door handle, claiment fell down outside stairs - Defendant not liable as performed task to standard of reasonable man.
There are 5 things to consider when looking at breach of duty
special chaacteristics of the defendant
Nettleship v Weston - D is a leanrer driver, crashed and injured claiment 'instrustor'. - judge ruled the learner driver should still be able to drive to standard of reasonable man.
Bolam v Friern Barnet hospital committee - Man had ECT but no muscle relaxant given, broke bone, - In court was 50/50 on whether or not to give muscle relaxtant , decided that as long as one of the bodies of opinons was followed they had not breached their duty of care.
Special characteristics of the claiment
A duty of care can be elevated if there are any special charateristics of the claiment that may make them more vulnerable. e.g - elderly people, disabled, children.
Paris v Stepney Borough Council - C worked in garage and was bilnd in one eye, hit in eye while wokring, blind in both eyes - Increased duty of care to someone with a physical disability
Walker v Northumberland city council - man left work due to stress, something should have been put in place to stop stress when he returned to work - increased duty of care to someone with a mental health problem
Morrell v Owen - 2 events at disabled sproting event next to each other, discuss was thrown and hit a woman on other side causing brain damage. - increased duty of care to those who have a disability and also if its a potentially dangerous activity
The size of the risk
If an activity is risky the duty of care is elevated
Bolton v Stone - Woman walking past cricket club,cricket club had large wall around it, hit with ball from over the wall. - Risk was so small the elevated duty of care didn't exist
Hayley v London electricity board - Workers working in man hole, Left spanner as warning for man hole, blind man didn't detect spanner, fell down hole - duty of care elevated as leaving the tool as a warning was too risky as people may not see it.
Have all practical precautions been taken?
We must consider if all practical precautions were taken to stop the risk from occuring
Bolton v Stone - practical precautions were taken
Hayley v London electricity board - practical precautions were not taken
Latimer v AEC - oil spill on floor, saw dust put down to soak up spill, signs put up, workers warned before entering, claimant slipped and fell - all practical precautions had been taken, a breach of duty had therefore not occurred
Benefit of the risk
In an emergency situation the duty of care is lowered
Watt v Hereford city council - fire fighter responding to 999 call, injured lifting equipment which fell of a lorry- not attached properly, Needed to save someone's life - Duty of care lowered as benefit (saving a life) outweighed the risk (injury to a fire fighter) - Duty of care not breached
Day v High performance sports - professional rock climber climbing inside and got to top, rope not tied properly, she froze, manager attempted to save her but she fell before he could, hit her head that caused brain damage - duty of care not breached as benefit of saving her outweighed not saving her.