The Tort of Negligence

Gary Lam 2009067958 Kelly Koh 2009536868

Duty of Care
‡ Special relationship between a defendant and a plaintiff ‡ Breach could be found to be at fault

Negligence
Negligence arises when a duty of care based on the neighbor principle is breached. It is a tort in its own right. It is one of the basic principles established by the case of Donoghue versus Stevenson, 1932.

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Duty Breach Causation Damages

Duty
‡ It must be established that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff ‡ There are various conditions that can help us establish whether the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. ‡ Foreseeability

Nova Mi k v

ans Canada Ai lines

[1951]
‡ A low flying airplane flew over a commercial mink farm ‡ The animals were frightened ‡ Result: Mink Cannibalism ‡ But this situation was not foreseeable, and the airline was held to owe no duty of care to the mink farm.

Breach
‡ Reasonable man ‡Breach: ‡Did something that a reasonable man should not do ‡Didn t do something that a reasonable man should do

What if«
Inexperience

Lack of intelligence

What if

Slow reaction

Personal characteristics

‡ Legal standards generally take no account of the personal characteristics of the Defendant ‡ Exceptions:
± Children:
‡ Mullin v Richards 1998 CA

± Professionals:
‡ Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee 1957

Causation
1. Did the Defendant owe a duty of care?
YES

2. Was the Defendant in breach of his duty?
YES

3. Did the Plaintiff suffer harm as a result of the breach? If YES causation

ÒBUT FORÓ test
‡ If harm to the claimant would not have occurred but for the Defendant s negligence then that negligence is a cause of the harm ‡ if the loss would occur in any event, the defendant s conduct is not a cause

Damages
‡ Economic loss ‡ Other methods possible

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Negligence case

Donoghue versus Stevenson
1932

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