Law of Tort

Product Liability,Psychiatric injury, economic loss, occupiers liability, nuisance, rylands v fletcher,vicarious liability, remedies

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  • Created by: Maria
  • Created on: 29-05-11 14:59

Product Liability

  • Product Liability cases in tort are subject to the ordinary rules of negligence. i.e. Donoghue v Stevenson
  • duty
  • breach
  • damage (causation)
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Product Liability

  • a key issue in product liability is proving that the defendant's lack of reasonable care caused the defect that made the product dangerous therefore we have the Consumer Protection Act 1987
  • What is a product? any good or part of that good
  • Case: A v National Blood Authority, it was even held that contaminated blood counted as a 'product'
  • Who is the defendant? manufacturer, supplier, importer, producer
  • Defect? safety wasn't what was expected
  • Case: Abouzaid v Mothercare
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Product Liability Defences

  • the defect is attributable to compliance with a legal requirement
  • the defendants did not at any time supply the product to another. this protects the defendants if the product has been stolen and then sold on to a customer who is injured because of a defect
  • the supply by teh defendants was not in the course of business nor was it supply with view to profit. example- charity shops
  • the state of scientific and technical knowledge at the time when the producer put the product into circulation was not such as to enable the existance of the defect to be discovered. this is known as the 'development risks' defence.
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Psychiatric Injury

What is psychiatric injury?

  • must be a recognised psychiatric illness: insomnia, claustrophobia, PTSD, Anxiety Syndrome, Driving Aversion
  • Mere distress, fright, grief and sorrow are insufficient
  • Case: REilly v Merseyside Regional Health Authority
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Psychiatric Injury

Primary Victims:

  • person who suffers psychiatric injury
  • fears for his or her own safety
  • proximity of time and space
  • directly affected by the negligent act
  • not necessary for victim to suffer physical harm (Dulieu v White and Sons)
  • distinction between primary and secondary victim (Page v Smith)
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Psychiatric Injury

Secondary victims:

  • proximity of time and space (witnessed accident or its aftermath)
  • proximity of relationship-must have close ties of love and affection with the primary victim
  • psychiatric must be caused through the victims' own unaided sight and hearing of an event or its immediate aftermath
  • secondary victims must prove psychiatric injury itself was foreseeable
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Psychiatric Injury

Rescuers:

  • the law recognises that danger invites rescue
  • tortfeasors are expected to be liable to those who try to save their victims
  • Case- Chadwick v British Transport Commission
  • who qualifies as a rescuer?
    • White v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police
    • rescuers must objectively have placed themselves in danger or reasonably have perceived themselves to be doing so.
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Economic Loss

  • The law of tort does not generally allow recovery of compensation for pure economic loss
  • however, the rules concerning when a duty of care is owed have been adapted by the courts
  • therefore in limited circumstances a claim for economic loss suffered as a result of the defendants negligence may be made when the loss:
    • is the direct result of damage to propert or personal injury
    • is caused my negligent mistatement
    • falls within the extended Hedley Byrne principle
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Economic Loss

Consequential economic loss

  • case- Spartan Steel
  • economic loss hat is consequent upon physical damage or injury is recoverable in negligence
  • but there is no liability in respect of pure economic loss arising from negligent acts
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Economic Loss

Negligent Misstatement

  • traditionally, a claimant who suffered economic loss caused by statements would have had to bring action in the tort of deceit
  • the law as it stands today developed from the dissenting judgement of Denning
  • case-Candler v Crane
  • denning said the defendants owed a duty of care to their 'employer or client, and ... any third person to whom they themselves show the accounts, or to whom they know their employer is going to show the accounts so as to induce them to invest money to take some other action on them
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Economic Loss

  • Special Relationship
    • in addition to the requirements of foreseeablity, proximit and its being fair, just and reasonable to impose a duty, there must be a special relationship between the parties for a duty of care
    • D must possess a special skill
    • C must rely on the statement to his or her detriment
    • the reliance must be reasonable
    • D knew C relied on advice
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Economic Loss

Hedley Byrne principle

  • in addition to the courts permitting recovery in negligence claims for economic loss arising from personal injury, damage to property or a negligent misstatement
  • some circumstances where liability has been imposed that do not fall squarely within these exceptions to the general rule against recovery
  • there does not appear to be a consistent principle applied in these circumstances, although recently there has been an attempt to fit them into the so-called 'extended Hedley Byrne principle'
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Occupiers Liability

Occupiers' Liability Act 1957:

  • Who is the occupier?
    • the persons who are to be treated as occupiers are the same as those who would at common law have been treated as occupiers
  • To whom is the duty owed?
    • lawful visitors
    • those who are present on the premises by the occupier's invitation
    • expressed or implied or in exercise of legal right
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Occupiers Liability

Occupiers Liability 1957

  • Where is the duty owed?
    • imposes a duty on occupiers of premises
    • premises is given a broad meaning and may be 'any fixed or movable structure, including any vessel, vehicle or aircraft'
  • What is the duty owed?
    • 'a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably sade in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there'
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Occupiers Liability

Occupiers Liability 1957

  • the duty owed to children
    • an occupier must be prepared for children to be less careful than adults
    • what may pose no threat to an adult may neverthless be dangerous to a child.
    • Moloney v Lambeth
    • may be attracted to the danger
    • an occupier should guard against any kind of allurement that places a child visitor at risk of harm
    • Glasgow Corporation v Taylor
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Occupiers Liability

Occupiers Liability 1957

  • warnings
    • occupier's liability is discharged if the occupier gives effective warning of the danger
    • the warning must be sufficient to enable the visitor to be reasonably safe
    • Roles v Nathan
    • in some circumstances, a mere warning may be insufficient to safeguard the visitor and the occupier may be obliged to set up barriers
    • Rae v Mars
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Occupiers Liability

Occupiers Liability 1957

  • negligence of independent contractors
    • the occupier will not be liable for loss or injuries suffered by visitors when the cause of damage is the negligence of an independent contractor hired by the occupier
    • two requirements must be met for this section to apply:
      • it must have been reasonable for the occupier to have entrusted the work to the independent contractor
      • the occupier must have taken reasonable steps to satisfy themself that the contractor was competent and that the work was properly done
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Occupiers Liability

Occupiers Liability 1957

  • Defences
    • Contributory Negligence
    • Volenti Non fit injuria
      • no injury is done to a person consenting to the risk
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Occupiers Liability

Occupiers Liability 1984

  • To whom is the duty owed?
    • the act states that the duty is owed to people other than visitors.
    • usually entrants covered by the 1984 act will be trespassers
    • also applied to people who are involuntarily on the premises to people exercising a private right of way
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Nuisance

  • Nuisance comes under two headings: public nuisance and private nuisance
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Nuisance

Private Nuisance

  • unlawful interference with a person's use or enjoyment of land, or some right over, or in connection with it
  • unlawful interference
    • not all interference with enjoymet of land will constitute a nuisance
    • such interference will only be unlawful if it is unreasonable
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Comments

Alexandra

helpful,  thanks :)

Jazz Kaur

Good

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