Tort of Negligence Cases

These are the cases related to Tort of Negligence

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  • Created by: Channy
  • Created on: 04-03-09 11:59

Duty of Care 1

Donoghue v Stevenson (1932)
When a snail was found in Mrs Donoghue bottle of ginger where she took the impurity as an illness. However due that her neighbour bought it she could only sue the manufacturer. This brought about the neighbour test.

Caparo v Dickman (1990)
This case caused the neighbour test to be replaced by the 3 part test.
- Was damage or harm reasonably foreseeable.
Is there sufficiently proximate relationship between the claimant and the defendant.
- Is it fair, just and reasonable.

Reasonably Foreseeable:

Kent v Griffiths (2000)
When a patient was suffering from a heart attack, which a ambulance was called but failed to arrive in a reasonable time without a reasonable answer. This is foreeseeable as if the ambulance is late it is likly that this patient would die.

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Duty of Care 2

Jolley v Sutton London Borough Council (2000)
A boy, aged 14, was paralysed when a boat slipped on him while he was trying to repair it. The council knew that the boat is dangerous but didnt do ought which it would be foreseeable that children will play on it.

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Duty of Care

Not Foreseeable:

Bourhill v Young (1943)
When a motorcyclist going to fast and crashed into a car. A women who was pregnant did not see the accident but afterwards she saw blood suffering from shock and losing her baby. She then sued the estate however it was not foreeseeable that the motorcylist negligent driving would owe her a duty of care but he did owe a duty of care towards the owner of the car he/she crashed.

Topp v London Country Bus (South West) Ltd (1993)
When a bus driver left his bus unattended with the keys still the ignition. Which resulted in it being stolen and driven dangerously. The claimant was injured but could was held not to be reasinably foreeseable.

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Duty of Care 1


Hill v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire (1990)
When a serial killer murdered women and that the police has suffcient evidence to arrest him before the last victim occurred. The victims mother claimed that the police owed her a duty of care however the relationship was not proximate because the police could not predict who the victim would be.

Osman v Ferguson (1993)
Where the police knew that there was a risk of an attack on a schoolboy. Hence they have received complaints about the attackers behaviour. Later the boy and his father was murdered by the attacker. The court held the relationship was proximate but it would not be seen as fair, just and reasonable.

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Duty of Care 2

Fair, just and reasonable:

Capital & Counties plc v Hampshire County Council (1997)
The fire officer ordered the sprinklers to be shut down, which made the situation worser. In this situation it was fair, just and reasonable to recognise a duty of care against he fire brigade.

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Breach of Duty

Degree of Risk:

Roe v Minister of Health (1954)
When anesthetic was kept in a glass bottle were invinsible cracks occurred. The resulting it to be contaminated and fed to the patients. Which caused them to be paralysed. They could not recieve compensation as the risks was not known.

Bolton v Stone (1951)
A cricket ball hit a passer-by which went over a 17 foot fence and that the wicket was quite a far away. Records shows that the ball has only been over the fence 6x in 30 years. Becuase of the low risk there was no breach of duty.

Haley v London Electricity Board (1965)
A road was dug up, which the company knew it was used by blind people. Only warning signs were set up with no barriers which the risk would be known. They were found guilty.

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Breach of Duty 1

The Standard of care:

Paris v Stepney Borough Council (1951)
Were Mr Stone was blind in 1 eye which he did some metal work. He was not provided with no goggles which the resulted in him to be totally blind. His employers were held to have broken the duty of care.

Is it practicable to take precautions?

Latimer v AEC Ltd (1953)
A factory was flooded which the floor was slippery. Saw dust was spread over to minimise any risk but in the end a worker slipped. The court held that the breach of duty was not broken. The only way to totally prevent injury is to close the factory down but it was unreasonable to do this. They have taken suffcient precautions to prevent any injury. However if there was a risk of explosion then it would be reasonable to close it down.

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Breach of Duty 2

Standard of Experts:

Bolam v Friern Hospital Management (1957)
The judge said:
"A man need not possess the highest expert skill; it is...suffcient if he exercises the ordinary skill of an ordinary competent man exercising that particular art."

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Damage 1


Barnett v Chelseaand Kensington Hospitals (1969)
3 nightwatchmen went to hospital sick after drinking tea. The doctor on duty told them to go see their own doctor without examining them. Later one died. The wife sued the hospital which the court found they have broken the duty of care however the damage was not cuased by the breach. Evidence shows before they came to hospital it was already too late to save them. Therefore the wife could not receive compensation.

Remoteness of Damage:

Wagon mound (1961)
Fuel oil was split into the water in a harbour. 2 days later the oil caught fire and burnt down the claimants wharf. Although the damage caused was the result of the oil split, it was not reasonable foreeseeable.

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Damage 2

Crosseley v Rawlinson (1981)
Were a claimant running towards a fire to put it out but tripped and injured himself. The court said that the claimant was only on the way to danger created by the defendants negligence, the injury was too remote.

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Thin skull rule:

Smith v Leech Brain and Co (1962)
A man was burnt on the lip with molten metal which he already had a pre cancerous condition bring it to full cancer and death. It was held that the burn was a foreseeable injury so the defendant was held liable for his death as well.

Type of injury foreseeable:

Hughes v Lord Advocate (1963)
A postoffice workmen left a manhole unattended with a paraffin lamp by it and a tent covering it. Two young boys went to explore the manhole which they accidently knocked the lamp over which exploded. The injury was foreseeable, so, even though the explosion was not foreseeable, the denfendant were liable.

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