Tort of negligence past cases

Case examples for tort of negligence

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Duty of care: Donohuge V Stevenson (1932)

  • Snail in bottle of ginger beer
  • She became ill
  • Sued manufactures owned her a duty of care
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Reasonably forseeable: Kent V Griffiths (2000)

  • Doctor called for ambulane for patient suffering from a asthma atack
  • ambulane control said "ok"
  • Ambulence failed to arrive in time
  • patient then suffered a heart atack which could have been avoided in ambulence tiurned up in time
  • It was reasonable forseeable would suffer harm from the faliure of the ambulence to arrive
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Caparo V Dickman (1990)

  • created three part test
  • Was damage or harm reasonably forseeable?
  • Is there sufficent (proximate) relationship betewn the claiment and the defendant?
  • Is it fair just and reasonable to inpose a duty?
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Reasonably forseeable: Jolley V Sutton borough cou

  • Abandoned boat left on land belonging to the council
  • council failed to remove it
  • thje boy aged 14 was paralysed when the boat slipped on top of him as he was attempting to repair it
  • Council knew that the boat was in a dangorous condition and children where likley to play on it
  • so the injury to the claiment was reasonable foreseeable
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Not forseeable: Bourhill V Young (1943)

  • Women heavily pregnat saw accident

  • suffered shock and the baby was stillborn

  • Court decided that the motorcyclist did not owe her a duty of care as he could not have reasonably foreseen that she would have been affected by his negligent driving

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Not forseeable: Topp V London country bus (south w

  • Driver left keys in ignition
  • the bus was stolen and driven dangerously causing an accident
  • the damahe to the claiment was held not to be foreseeable
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Proximity: Hill V Chief constable of south yorkshi

  • Serial killer murdering women in yorkshire
  • claiments daughter was the killers last victim
  • by the time of her death police hhad enough infomation to arrest the killer
  • it was decided that the relationship betewn the victim and the police was not close (proximate)
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Proximity: Osman V Ferguson (1993)

  • where the police knew that there was a risk of an attack on a schoolboy
  • the attacker was obsesed with the boyand had been following him
  • they hasd been complaints to the police
  • the boys father was then murdered and the boy was seriously injured
  • the court held that there was a proximate relationship between the victim and the police
  • but it was ruled out as is was not fair to inpose a duty of crae on the police
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Fair, just and reasonable: Capital & counties plc

  • where fire officer had ordered sprinkler system to be switched off
  • this caused a fire which started to spread
  • this lead to more damage
  • in this situation it was fair, just and reasonable to recognise a duty of care against the fire brigade
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Degree of risk: Roe V Minister of health (1954)

  • If the risk of harm is not known there is no breach
  • e.g. contaminated anaesthetic used, but risk of this not known
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Degree of risk: Bolton V Stone (1951)

  • a cricket ball was hit out of the ground and hit a passer by on the head in the street
  • there was a 17high fott fence around the ground
  • a ball has only been hit out of the ground 6 times in 29 years
  • because of the low risk involved there was no breach of the duty of care
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Degree of risk: Haley V london electricity board (

  • It was known that a particular road was used by blind people
  • The electricity board dug a hole but only put up warning signs
  • they did not put up any barriers
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Standard of care: Paris V Stepney borough council

  • Mr Stone was known to be blind in one eye
  • He was given work by his employers which involved a small risk of injury to his eye
  • He was not given any protective goggles
  • When doing the work a small piece of metal hit his good eye and he became totally blind
  • His enployers where held to have broken their duty of care to him
  • They knew that a injury to his good eye would be very serious
  • They should have taken greater care because of this and provided him with goggles, even though it was not neccesary to provide goggles for other workers
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Is it practable to take precautions?: Latimer V AE

  • A factory flooded and the floor was very slippery with a mixture of oil and water
  • Sawdust was spread over the floor to minimise any risk of workersc slipping
  • One workman slippes and was injured
  • The court held that there was no breach of the duty of care
  • The onley way to prevent any injuries was to close the factory
  • it was unreasonable to expect the owners to do this
  • They had taken sufficent steps to prevent injury in the circumstances
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damage/ causation: Barnett V Chelsea Kensington Ho

  • three night watchman went to a hospital A&E department compaining of sickness after drinking tea made by a forth man
  • A nurse phoned the doctor on duty who did not come to examine the men, but told thjem to go home and see their own doctors
  • One of the men died during the night from poisoning by arsenic
  • His widow sued the hospital claiming that the doctor was negligent in not examining her husband so he has broken the duty of care
  • The doctor had broken the duty of care, but evidence showed that by the time the husband have been to the hospital it was too late to save his ;ife
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Remoteness of damage: The wagon mound (1961)

  • Oil was spilt in a harbour
  • Two days later the oil caught fire due to wleding being done on a ship
  • the fire spreaded and burnt down the claiments wharf
  • It was too remote that the oil wpuld catch fire
  • The chances of iy catching fire and causing damage in that wya were not
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Remoteness of damage: Crossley V Rawlinson

  • The claiment was running towards a burning veichel with a fire exstingusher he fell and was injured
  • It was held that the claiment was only on the way to damage created by the defendants negligence
  • the injury was too remote
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