Essay on The Ingredients Required to Establish the Tort of Negligence

Essay on The Ingredients Required to Establish the Tort of Negligence

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The tort of Negligence is defined by Winfield as, ‘as breach of a legal duty to take care which results in damage to the claimant’ . To bring an action in the tort of negligence it’s not enough to prove that defendant behaved carelessly. It is just one of the ingredients required to establish the tort of negligence, the claimant must prove that the defendant owes the claimant a duty of care. The defendant has acted in breach of that duty and as a result of that breach, the claimant has suffered damage which is not too remote a consequence of the defendant’s breach. As it was observed in Heaven v Pender ‘Action in negligence must fail where a duty is not established’

Duty of care is a concept which developed throughout the nineteenth century, In Heaven v Pender Brett M.R provided a vague definition of duty of care, and it did refer to one person with regards to another but failed to describe the nature of the relationship which had to exist between the claimant and the defendant. Lord Atkin in Donoghue v Stevenson elaborated that causing harm should not be enough to establish a duty of care and presented the neighbour principle.
This developed two stages to establish a duty of care first likelihood and then proximity ‘In the case of Home office v Dorset Yacht it was held that home office owed a duty of care for their emissions as they were in position to control the third party which caused that harm and it was foreseeable that harm would be caused with their inaction. In regards to proximity it was held in Bourhill v Young that, ‘No duty of care was owed by the defendant to the claimant. There was not sufficient proximity between the claimant and defendant when the incident occurred.
In Caparo v Dickman it was conclude...


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Table of cases



Heaven v Pender [1883] 11 QBD 503, at 507, per Brett M
Heaven v Pender (1883) 11 Q.B.D. 503 at 509
Home office v Dorset Yacht 1970 AC1004
Bourhill v Young 1943 AC 92
Caparo Industries pIc v Dickman [1990] 2 AC 605 House of Lords
Bourhill v Young [1943] A.C. 92
Palsgraf v Long Island Railway Board 248 N.Y. 339 (1928); 162 N.E. 99
General Cleaning Contractors Ld V Christmas; HL 1953
Blyth v British Waterworks Company [1856] 11 Ex Ch 781
Barnett v Chelsea & Knights hospital management committee [1968] 1 ALL ER 1068
Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority [1998] A.C. 232
Summer v tice [1984] 33 cal. 2nd 80, 199 P.2d
Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority [1998] A.C. 232
Fairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd [2002] UKHL 22
Barker v Corus UK PLC [2006] UKHL 20
Barker v Saint Gobain Pipelines [2004] EWCA civ 545

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