Tort of Negligence - damage (harm)

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  • Created by: TashaChlo
  • Created on: 10-01-15 14:43

Damage (harm)

causation'but for' test

damage must be caused by the defendants breach – 'but for' the defendants act or omission the claimant would not have suffered damage

Barnett v Chelsea Hospital

two builders went to a&e and the doctor there sent them home without examining them, they died of arsenic poisoning that night. Although the doctor was negligent in sending them home without examining them first their deaths were inevitable and were not caused by the doctors breach as there would have been nothing the doctor could have done had he found out anyway

intervening events may break the chain of causation

Smith v Littlewoods

vandals breaking into unoccupied but secured building and setting fire to it was a new act intervening so the defendant was not liable as vandals were not common in the area

Remoteness of damage

damage must be reasonably foreseeable

The Wagon Mound (no.1) 1961

due to the defendant's negligence, oil had been spilled into the water of a harbour, and the oil had drifted across to the claimants wharf where welding work was being carried out. Having taken advice that it was safe to do so, the claimant continued welding secure in the knowledge that oil in the sea at sea temperature was not flammable. Nevertheless, the oil ignited, and the ensuing…


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