Neighbour principle- Donoghue v Stevenson

Caparo v Dickman three-part test:

1.       Reasonably foreseeable.

2.       Proximity.

a.       Space and Time- Bourhill v Young

b.       Relationship- Mclaughlin v O’Brien

3.       It must be fair, just and reasonable as to whether a duty of care is to be imposed. (Policy reasons)



Reasonable man- Blyth v Birmingham Water Works


Learners- Nettleship v Weston

Young people- Mullins v Richards

Professionals- Wilsher v Essex

Medical Professionals- Bolam/ Bolitho

Objective Test:

1.       Likelihood of harm- Bolton v Stone

2.       Seriousness of harm-  Paris v Stepney

3.       Cost of prevention- Latimer v AEC

4.       Utility of defendant’s action- Watt v Hertfordshire



Causation in Fact-

·         ‘But for test’- Barnett v Chelsea & Kensington Hospital

·         Multiple injuries- Performance Cars v Abraham

Causation in Law-

·         Novus actus interveniens

o   Act of third party WILL break chain of causation- Home Office v Dorset Yacht

o   Reasonable/ unreasonable actions of the victim- Roberts/ Williams

o   Poor/ palpably wrong medical treatment- Smith/ Jordan

o   Medical Complications- Cheshire



Type of harm- Wagon Mound no.2

Extent of harm- Hughes v Lord Advocate

Thin skull rule- Smith v Leech Brain

Psychiatric harm

·         Recognised medical illness

·         Caused indirectly


·         Directly involved in accident

o   Must be in range of physical injury- Dulieu v White

o   Unaided senses- Hambrook v Stokes

o   Reasonably foreseeable- Bourhill v Young

o   Individual characteristics of the claimant- Page v Smith

·         Rescuers

o   Must be actively involved- White v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police

o   Cannot be bystander- McFarlane v EE Caledonia

o   Must be at risk of physical injury- Chadwick v British Railways Board

o   Professional rescuer- going beyond what is expected of the reasonable rescuer- Hale v London Underground Ltd


·         Alcock test:

1.       Close tie of love and affection- McLaughlin v O’Brien

2.       In immediate aftermath- Jaenish v Coffey

3.       Perceived by own unaided senses

·         Sudden shock, not slow- Sion v Hampstead Health Authority

·         Reasonable ‘fortitude and phlegm’

·         A Primary Victim owes no duty of care to a Secondary Victim- Greatorex v Greatorex 2000


Medical Negligence

·         Owe a duty of care to anyone arriving in casualty- Barnett v Chelsea and Kensington Hospital

·         Acting in accordance with proper practice- Bolam

·         Risks and benefits of a medical practice- Bolitho

·         State of medical knowledge at time of events- Roe v Minister of Health

Employers Liability

·         Employers liability covers liability of employers TO their employees.

·         Employers bound to take reasonable care to not subject those employed to unnecessary risk- Harris v Brights Asphalt Contractors

·         Employers liability test common law- Wilsons and Clyde Coal Co.


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