The underlying principle of the concept of duty is the neighbour principle which is a regulation to love our neighbours and must not injure them. Thus, one has to take reasonable care of their own actions to avoid carelessness that could foreseeably harm others. Duty of care also can only be established when both parties are proximate to each another and the circumstances of the case is justifiable to impose liability.
In Donoghue v Stevenson (1932) case, Donoghue’s friend bought a bottle of ginger beer for her from a café and a decomposing snail was found in the drink when the last bit of the beer was poured out into her cup. She later suffered gastric problems and sued the manufacturer in tort. The court held that the manufacturer was liable in negligence as they owed her a duty of care, which was breached and also that it was reasonably foreseeable that their negligence would result in harm to consumers.
Breach of duty is a failure to do a reasonable man’s standard of care. The level of standard of care is taken into account by the level of skill (Roe v Minister of Health, 1954), the likelihood of injury (Bolton v Stone, 1951), the seriousness of injury (Paris v Stepney Borough Council, 1951) and the costs of avoiding risks (Latimer v AEC Ltd, 1953).
In Latimer v AEC Ltd (1953) case, the factory floor was slippery due to a flood. The defendant has spent money hiring contractors to dry and spread sawdust within the premises in prevention of any possible injuries due to the aftermath of the flood. The court held that the defenda...
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...ealth condition even though a normal person may suffer a smaller or even escape the injury. An example of the egg-shell skull principle can be represented by the Smith v Leech Brain & Co, (1962) case. Thus, when we compare the cases, it shows us that Colin has to pay all the damages which includes Michael’s inborn auto-immune disease that caused his wounds to heal slowly thus resulting in the inflection and bad scarring on his arm.
However, the claims for damages are limited as Michael’s injury was also caused by contributory negligence. Contributory negligence is when the plaintiff is part of the reason for their own injury. Which in this case, “Michael deliberately ignored a sign that stated ‘CAUTION – SLIPPERY FLOOR’ and ran out of the café.” Thus, Michael who deliberately ran out of the café contributed to his own injury as there was a warning sign to be careful.
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