Proving Negligence in a Civil Case

analytical Essay
1412 words
1412 words

Duty of Care is the first essential element that has to be established in order to prove negligence in a civil case. The Claimant should be able to prove that the duty of care was owed to him, that the duty of care was breached because it failed to meet the standards required by a ‘reasonable man’ and lastly that the claimant suffered loss and injury due to his actions which were not too remote. This paper will discuss how the courts use the concept of duty of care in the English legal system to limit liability and how through case law they have created specific principles and standard tests which have placed limits on dealing with negligence. The Neighbour Principle is a proximity test used to determine whether the defendant had foreseen the likelihood of injury to the claimant and whether a duty of care is owed. In Donoghue v Stevenson (1932), Donoghue fell ill after drinking Ginger beer her friend had bough for her in a café. She realized there was a decomposed snail after drinking a little which gave her an upset stomach. She was unable to sue the shopkeeper, as she was a third party. Therefore she sued the manufacturer and the court ruled in her favor, as the manufacturer owes a duty of care to its customers. Lord Atkins held: “The rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes in law, you must not injure your neighbour; and the lawyer’s question, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ receives a restricted reply. You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions, which you can reasonably foresee, would be likely to injure your neighbour. Who, then, in law is my neighbour? The answer seems to be: persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected w... ... middle of paper ... trainees who escaped. In Smith v Littlewoods (1987) it was held that the Littlewoods were not liable, as they did owe a care of duty they did not breach their duty, as they were unaware of the previous incidents. property in front of the cinema , to begin with there was no relationship between the vandals and the defendants.And they did not have a duty to prevent a fire started by vandals. The duty on the occupier would be too wide if they were responsible for the damage caused to the Haynes v Harwood(1935) The Defendant left a horse in a van in a crowded street , a boy on the street threw a rock at the horse which led him to bolt out of the van. The police officer tried saving a woman and a kid and was injured in the process. The defendant owed a duty of care and he had created a source of danger for the public by leaving an unattended horse in a busy street.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the defendant left an unattended horse in a crowded street. a boy threw rocks at the horse which led him to bolt out of the van.
  • Explains that duty of care is the first essential element that has to be established in order to prove negligence in a civil case.
  • Explains that the neighbour principle was very broad allowing liability in many situations, but many cases narrowed it down to where the consumer was suing the manufacturer.
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