Breach of duty of care

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What is breach?

Blythe v Birmingham WW established breach is doing something the reasonable man wouldn't or not doing something he would.

The reasonable man is "the man on the Clapham omnibus",

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Bolom v Friern Hosp. Mgmt

... shows professionals have a higher standard of care. A doctor will be measured against the actions of a reasonable doctor.

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Nettleship v Weston

was a case where a learner driver crashed her learner car and injured her instructor. It shows that learners are not held any different to professionals, and the standard of care for a learner is the same as the standard of care of professionals.

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Mullins v Richards

was a case where two school girls were playfighting with rulers, one of which shattered and entered the claimants eye. Children have a lower standard of care.

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Risk factors

These affect a situation in which the reasonable man should adjust to:

1) vulnerable claimants: Paris v Stepney: a one eyed welder undertook some work where a shard of metal entered his eye and blinded him totally. His employer should've raised the standard of care and had failed to provide goggles. The damage was resulted by the breach.

2) magnitude/liklihood: Bolton v Stone: a cricket ground had put up 60ft fences. Balls had only escaped 6 times in 30 years. Therefore, the liklihood was low and there was no breach when the claimant had been hit on the head with a cricket ball.

3) cost of precautions: Latimer: a had flooded and sawdust was used to cover the entire area. An employee slipped over but there was no breach as the cost of precaution was financially proportionate.

4) social utility: Watt: a fireman was injured when lifting equipement. The standard of care was lower and there was no breach as the motive was for the greater good of society.

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