Tort of negligence

Tort of Negligence revision cards

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Duty of care

Donoghue v Stevenson 1932

  • Start of tort of negligence
  • Drink bought by a friend, contained a dead snail, made the claimant ill.
  • Could not claim under law of contract
  • Sued manufactures claiming they owed her a duty of care

"Neighbour test"

  • Set out by House of Lords, showing who can owe a duty of care

Caparo 3 part test

  • Replaced the neighbour test
  • Under Caparo v Dickman 1990
  • Was damage or harm reasonably foreseeable?
  • Is there sufficiently proximate relationship between the claimant and the defendant?
  • Fair just and reasonable to impose a duty?
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Reasonably foreseeable

Kent v Griffiths 2000

  • Reasonably foreseeable, that claimant would suffer from the failure of an abulance to arrive within a reasonable time, with no satisfactory reason

Jolly v Sutton London Borough Council 2000

  • Reasonably foreseeable that the 14 year old boy repairing a boat, that was in a dangerous condition would cause him harm.

Bourhill v Young 1943

  • Pregnant lady, heard an accident but did not see it
  • Saw blood on the road, suffered shock, lost baby
  • Defendant not owe duty of care, not reasonably foreseeable that this could happen

Topp v London Country Bus South West Ltd 1993

  • Bus left unattended with keys in ignition
  • Stolen and caused an accident
  • Held not reasonably foreseeable
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Proximity

Hill v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire 1990

  • Serial killer had been murdering women
  • Claimants daughter was last victim
  • Thought that police should owe a duty of care, already had enough information to arrest killer
  • Held by Lods that relationship was not sufficiently proximate.
  • Police did not know who the next victim would be

Osman v Ferguson

  • Police knew there was risk of an attack on a schoolboy, took no action
  • Boy was injured
  • Court held there was sufficient proximity
  • BUT unfair to impose a duty on the police
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Fair, Just and Reasonable

Hill v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire

  • Imposing a duty on police, lead to lower standards of policing, defensive.

Capital v Countries plc v Hampshire County Council 1997

  • If public services increase a risk that already exists, then courts more likely to hold it fair just and reasonable
  • Fire officer ordered sprinkler system to be turned off. Fire spread and caused even more damage
  • Fire brigade held a duty of care
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Breach of Duty - Degree of risk

Roe v Minister of Health 1954

  • If there is no risk, no breach
  • not known that anaesthetic was contaminated
  • Claimant became paralysed as a result, could not claim compensation

Bolten v Stone 1951

  • Cricket ball hit a passer by in the street
  • Small risk, only 6 times in 30 years had a ball gone over the fence
  • risk small, no breach of duty

Haley v London Electricity Board 1965

  • Road used by blind people
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