Law Forum
  Law Books

Adverts from Google:
 
 
Google
 
Web www.swarb.co.uk

Negligence - 1997

General law of negligence. See also Professional Negligence, Damages, Torts (General)

These cases are extracted from a very large database. The entries on that database are now being published individually to the main swarb.co.uk website in a much improved form. As cases are published here, the entry here will be replaced by a link to the same case in that improved form on swarb.co.uk. In addition the swarb.co.uk site includes very substantial numbers of cases after 2000. Please take the time to look.  

This page lists 48 cases, and was prepared on 21 October 2013. These case are being transferred one by one to the main swarb.co.uk site which presents them better, with links to full text where we have it, and much improved cross referencing.
Bow Valley Husky (Bermuda) Ltd -v- Saint John Shipbuilding Ltd [1997] 3 SCR 1210
1997

McLachlin J (minority)
Commonwealth, Negligence
1 Citers
(Supreme Court of Canada) Saint John Shipbuilding Limited (SJSL) constructed an oil rig for Bow Valley Husky (Bermuda) Limited (BVHB) which was to conduct drilling operations off the east coast of Canada. A heat trace system was required in order to prepare the rig for winter operations. The purpose of a heat trace system was to prevent the rig's pipes or "mud lines" from freezing. The heat trace system which was installed was supplied by Raychem Canada Limited and Raychem Corporation (Raychem). This system was chosen after consultation with Raychem representatives because it had a self-regulating heater. Raychem's heat trace system used Thermaclad wrap to keep moisture from the insulation and heat trace wire. The specification for the Raychem heat trace system required the installation of a ground fault circuit breaker system, the purpose of which was to cut off the power in the event of an electrical fault, to prevent arcing of the heat trace wire. The ground fault circuit breaker system initially installed by SJSL was unsuitable, and a functioning system was not installed on the rig until after the incident which formed the basis of the case. During the drilling of an exploratory well a fire broke out on the oil rig, causing damage to cables.
In a subsequent litigation, the trial judge held inter alia that SJSL was liable in tort for breach of duty to warn of the inflammability of Thermaclad. He also held that the defendant Raychem was liable in tort for breach of its duty to warn. When the case reached the Supreme Court of Canada, it was held by a majority that SJSL's appeal with regard to the duty to warn should be allowed. The majority of the court held that BVHB was not entitled to claim against SJSL on the basis of the tort duty to warn, by reason of provisions of the contract between them. The majority did not however disagree with what was said by the minority of the court about the duty to warn.
The opinion of the minority was delivered by McLachlin J., who said at: "SJSL argues that in order for a duty to warn to arise, there must be an 'informational imbalance' between the manufacturer or supplier and the party who is owed the warning. SJSL submits that the plaintiff BVHB knew as much about the inflammability of the Thermaclad as it did.
The law may be simply stated. Manufacturers and suppliers are required to warn all those who may reasonably be affected by potentially dangerous products: Lambert v Lastoplex Chemicals Co [1972] S.C.R. 569, and Hollis v Dow Corning Corp. [1995] 4 S.C.R. 634. This duty extends even to those persons who are not party to the contract of sale: Rivtow Marine Ltd v Washington Iron Works [1974] S.C.R. 1189. The potential user must be reasonably foreseeable to the manufacturer or supplier - manufacturers and suppliers (including a builder-supplier like SJSL) do not have the duty to warn the entire world about every danger that can result from improper use of their product.
The plaintiff BVHB was clearly within the class of persons that SJSL and Raychem ought to have known might reasonably be affected by the use of Thermaclad. SJSL was in a contractual relationship with BVHB, and Raychem had directly approached BVHB's predecessor [...] to encourage the use of its products in the construction of the rig.
The defendant SJSL submits that there is an additional requirement for a duty to warn: a knowledge imbalance between the manufacturer or supplier and the consumer. It goes on to argue that since BVHB knew about the inflammability of Thermaclad no duty to warn arose. The Court of Appeal held that knowledge may be a defence, but only where the plaintiff can be viewed as accepting the risk (volenti non fit iniuria).
I agree with the Court of Appeal that knowledge that there may be a risk in some circumstances does not negate a duty to warn. Liability for failure to warn is based not merely on a knowledge imbalance. If that were so every person with knowledge would be under a duty to warn. It is based primarily on the manufacture or supply of products intended for the use of others and the reliance that consumers reasonably place on the manufacturer and supplier. Unless the consumer's knowledge negates reasonable reliance, the manufacturer or supplier remains liable. This occurs where the consumer has so much knowledge that a reasonable person would conclude that the consumer fully appreciated and willingly assumed the risk posed by use of the product, making the maxim volenti non fit iniuria applicable: Lambert, supra.
The evidence establishes that the plaintiff BVHB knew that Thermaclad would burn under some circumstances. The defendants SJSL and Raychem, however, had much more detailed knowledge of the specific inflammability characteristics of the Thermaclad. Raychem gained this knowledge through its own testing as manufacturer. SJSL gained it through its request to Raychem for information on Thermaclad's inflammability. BVHB did not have the degree of knowledge necessary to negate reliance on SJSL and Raychem. SJSL and Raychem did not demonstrate that BVHB accepted the risk of using Thermaclad. It follows that both SJSL and Raychem owed BVHB a duty to warn [...]."
James Kane Birrell -v- Moulton Construction Company James George Scott and Zurich International (Uk) Limited [1997] EWCA Civ 766
13 Jan 1997
CA
Road Traffic, Negligence
Link[s] omitted
Narmanie Breeze -v- Louis Daly [1997] EWCA Civ 860
28 Jan 1997
CA
Personal Injury, Negligence, Road Traffic
Link[s] omitted
Slater & Co (a Firm) -v- Sheil & others [1997] EWCA Civ 922
4 Feb 1997
CA
Lord Justice Nourse Mr. Justice Cazalet
Negligence
[ Bailii ]
Dixon -v- Morris [1997] EWCA Civ 915
4 Feb 1997
CA
Road Traffic, Negligence
[ Bailii ]
Jane Powell By John Ernest Powell, Her Father and Next Friend -v- Derek Gray [1997] EWCA Civ 947
6 Feb 1997
CA
Road Traffic, Negligence
Link[s] omitted
Mccord -v- Swansea City Afc Ltd and Another
11 Feb 1997
QBD
Negligence
Liability for soccer injury; recklessness not required to be shown after clear foul outside laws of game, no volens to such acts.
Peach Publishing Limited -v- Slater & Co (a Firm) and Slater & Co (a Firm) -v- Sheil; Gorden and Cheetham [1997] EWCA Civ 1012
13 Feb 1997
CA
Negligence
[ Bailii ]
Bralsford -v- Conoco Ltd [1997] EWCA Civ 1017
14 Feb 1997
CA
Personal Injury, Negligence Casemap
1 Cites
The employers appealed against a finding of negligence causing the plaintiff personal injury. The plaintiff lorry driver for the defendants, had his boot lace caught as he was on top of the tanker. He fell, but was left suspended.
Link[s] omitted
Dilwyn Edmunds -v- Rhymney Valley District Council [1997] EWCA Civ 1019
14 Feb 1997
CA
Personal Injury, Negligence
Link[s] omitted
Richard John Hopkins and Alice Elizabeth Hopkins -v- National Rivers Authority [1997] EWCA Civ 1040
18 Feb 1997
CA
Transport, Negligence
Link[s] omitted
W -v- Home Office; CA 19-Feb-1997
Nelson Holdings Ltd -v- British Gas Plc and Others
7 Mar 1997
QBD
Negligence
Fire services are not liable in negligence to property owners. When attending a fire, they exercised a power not a duty.
Capital & Counties Plc -v- Hampshire County Council [1997] QB 1004; [1997] EWCA Civ 3091; [1997] 2 LLR 161; [1997] 2 All ER 865; [1997] 3 WLR 331
14 Mar 1997
CA
Stuart-Smith, Potter, Judge LJ
Negligence Casemap
1 Citers
[ Bailii ]
Digital Equipment Company Limited -v- Hampshire County Council [1997] EWCA Civ 1247
14 Mar 1997
CA
Negligence

Consolidation of cases involving question of what duty was owed by a fire service to the owners of buildings.
Link[s] omitted
Lambert -v- West Devon Borough Council
19 Mar 1997
QBD
Negligence, Local Government
A Local Authority officer granting permissions apparently within own powers binds the authority, and the Local Authority was liable in negligence for an error of a building control officer giving planning advice.
Capital & Counties Plc and Another -v- Hampshire County Council; Etc [1997] QB 1004; [1997] 3 WLR 342
20 Mar 1997
CA
Stuart Smith LJ
Negligence, Utilities Casemap
1 Cites
1 Citers
The fire brigade may be liable in negligence for consequences of a fire if their actions made a fire worse despite the general rule against such liability. "In our judgment the fire brigade are not under a common law duty to answer the call for help, and are not under a duty to take care to do so. If, therefore, they fail to turn up, or fail to turn up in time, because they have carelessly misunderstood the message, got lost on the way or run into a tree, they are not liable."
Colin Facey Boats Limited -v- A Pank and Sons Limited and D J Whitmarsh; CA 21-Mar-1997
Mansfield and Another -v- Weetabix Limited and Another [1997] EWCA Civ 1352; [1998] 1 WLR 1263
26 Mar 1997
CA
Lord Justice Leggatt Lord Justice Aldous Sir Patrick Russell
Personal Injury, Negligence, Road Traffic Casemap
1 Cites
A lorry belonging to the defendants failed to take a bend crashing into the plaintiffs' shop causing extensive damage. Mr Terence Tarleton, the driver later died, as did Mrs Mansfield. Mr Tarleton did not know he had malignant insulinoma, resulting in a hypoglycaemic state in which the brain was starved of glucose and so was unable to function properly. That caused the accident. Held: There is no reason in principle why a driver should not escape liability where the disabling event is not sudden, but gradual, provided that the driver is unaware of it.
[ Bailii ]
Gorman -v- Carter [1997] EWCA Civ 1380
11 Apr 1997
CA
Negligence, Damages
Link[s] omitted
Joakim; Joakim -v- Commissioner of Police for Metropolis and North Middlesex Hospital Trust [1997] EWCA Civ 1386
14 Apr 1997
CA
Police, Negligence, Personal Injury

[ Bailii ]
Laceys Footwear (Wholesale) Ltd -v- Bowler International Freight Ltd and Another [1997] 2 LL Rep 369; [1997] EWCA Civ 1454
18 Apr 1997
CA
Beldam LJ, Brooke LJ
Negligence, Contract, Agency Casemap
1 Cites

The defendant's driver had taken a consignment of shoes to Spain, where they were stolen. The plaintiff alleged his gross negligence amounted to 'wilful misconduct' so as to disapply an exemption clause. Held: Whether a bailee's acts constituted wilful misconduct is dependent upon the standard ordinarily expected from someone in that position. Here the judge was entitled to find wilful misconduct on the driver's part. The broker had been liable to insure the goods and the liability was not limited by the convention.
Beldam LJ said: "Further a person could be said to act with reckless carelessness towards goods in his care if, aware of the risk that they may be lost or damaged, he nevertheless deliberately goes ahead and takes the risk, when it is unreasonable in all the circumstances for him to do so."
Brooke LJ discussed the burden of proof in such a case, saying that the trial judge: "should also have directed himself that since a charge of wilful misconduct was a serious charge to make, the evidence ought to have satisfied the degree of probability appropriate to the seriousness of the charge before it was appropriate to find it proved."
[ Bailii ]
Rae (Agnes) -v- Glasgow City Council and Another
22 Apr 1997
OHCS
Environment, Employment, Health and Safety, Negligence
An employer may be liable for damages for passive smoking if the claim is pleaded correctly.
Offices Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963 7
Patricia Ann Knight -v- Dorset County Council [1997] EWCA Civ 1496
23 Apr 1997
CA
Negligence, Education Casemap
1 Cites

Link[s] omitted
Sylvia Bourne -v- British Telecommunications Plc [1997] EWCA Civ 1634
7 May 1997
CA
Personal Injury, Negligence
Link[s] omitted
Ann Fleet -v- Wrexham Maelor Hospital NHS Trust [1997] EWCA Civ 1719
16 May 1997
CA
Negligence, Personal Injury
Link[s] omitted
Gibbins -v- Galliford & Sons Limited; Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Iderend Holdings (Formerly Rediguard Limited) [1997] EWCA Civ 1835
11 Jun 1997
CA
Personal Injury, Negligence
[ Bailii ]
Powell and Another -v- Boldaz and others [1997] EWCA Civ 2002; [1997] 39 BMLR 35; [1998] Lloyds Rep Med 116
1 Jul 1997
CA
Stuart-Smith LJ, Morritt LJ and Shiemann LJ
Health Professions, Negligence, Torts - Other Casemap

1 Citers
The question was whether doctors owed a duty of care to the parents of their deceased son in relation to events which occurred after death when the parents were allegedly given misleading or false information by doctors. Held: An unlawful act actionable at the suit of the claimant was a necessary ingredient of unlawful means conspiracy.
No duty of care was owed because the element of proximity was lacking. "It was to him [the child] that the defendants owed a duty of care. The discharge of that duty in the case of a young child will often involve giving advice and instruction to the parents so that they can administer the appropriate medication, observe relevant symptoms and seek further medical assistance if need be. In giving such advice, the doctor obviously owes a duty to be careful. But the duty is owed to the child, not to the parents." and "After the death, the defendants may owe the plaintiffs a duty of care; but this depends upon whether they are called upon, or undertake, to treat them as patients."
Link[s] omitted
Waters -v- Commissioner of Police for Metropolis [1997] EWCA Civ 2012
3 Jul 1997
CA
Police, Discrimination, Negligence
1 Cites
1 Citers
Link[s] omitted
W -v- Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis; CA 21-Jul-1997
OLL Ltd -v- Secretary of State for Transport [1997] 3 All ER 397
22 Jul 1997
QBD
Negligence
1 Cites
1 Citers
Eight children with a teacher and two instructors set off on a canoeing trip but did not return. They got into difficulties at sea. Two became separated from the rest. The canoes capsized and sank. Some tried to swim ashore. Two more members became separated. They were all eventually rescued between 5.30 and 6.40 pm, but four of the children died and the other members of the party suffered severe hypothermia and shock. Proceedings were brought against the organisers of the trip, who sought redress against the Secretary of State as the minister responsible for HM Coastguard. The defendant sought a strike out of the claim. Held: A coastguard owed no duty of care to those in distress even in giving a negligent mis-direction to non-employees. The claimant relied on an internal manual and orders intended and designed to ensure that the coastguard discharged its responsibilities properly, efficiently and effectively. It was said that the coastguard had encouraged an expectation in the minds of the public that they would respond promptly and appropriately to marine emergencies. It had thereby assumed responsibilities to the public for the execution of search and rescue missions in coastal waters. It was submitted that a duty of care arose from the expectation that the coast guard would act carefully, the expectation being created by ministerial pronouncement, published procedures and a common knowledge that the coast guard would act when it knows of an emergency at sea. These submissions were rejected. They strained what Lord Hoffmann had said in Stovin v Wise beyond breaking point.
Post Office -v- Julian Howarth Endean [1997] EWCA Civ 2245
30 Jul 1997
CA
Road Traffic, Negligence
Link[s] omitted
Tarrant -v- Ramage and Others
31 Jul 1997
QBD
Negligence
An owner of a ship on active service in a war zone owed duty to give reasonable care and instruction to civilian staff it sent into that war zone, but were not negligent for sending them at all.
Elf Enterprise Caledonia Ltd -v- London Bridge Engineering Ltd and Others
2 Sep 1997
SCS
Negligence
Link[s] omitted
Elf Caledonia Ltd -v- London Bridge Engineering Ltd and Northern Industrial and Marine Services Co Ltd and British Telecommunications Plc and Wood Group Engineering Contractors Ltd and Eastman Christensen Ltd and Kelvin International Services Ltd and Sten [1997] ScotCS 1
2 Sep 1997
SCS
Lord Caplan
Scotland, Negligence Casemap
1 Cites

Link[s] omitted
Griffin -v- Mersey Regional Ambulance [1997] EWCA Civ 2441; [1998] PIQR 44
8 Oct 1997
CA
Simon Brown LJ, Rober Walker LJ
Personal Injury, Road Traffic, Negligence Casemap

1 Citers
A driver who had crossed through a green traffic light but had collided with an ambulance was 60 per cent contributorily negligent. He had failed to hear the ambulance, had failed to see it, and had ignored unusal driving of other motorists. Held: "In my judgment, the general approach of the judge below was entirely correct. He rightly identified the duty upon the defendants' driver crossing this junction against the red light, as a high or heavy one, but equally rightly he recognised a duty of care upon the plaintiff beyond that of merely taking reasonable steps to avoid colliding with any vehicle crossing on red which he happened to see or otherwise be aware of. Rejecting, as I do, the application here of what is suggested to be the absolute rule in favour of traffic crossing a junction on green established in Joseph Eva Ltd v Reeves, it follows that, in my judgment, the appellant's argument that there was no scope here for any finding of contributory negligence fails." The court emphasised that the nature of the duty owed by drivers crossing on green, in circumstances where emergency vehicles are crossing on red, is illuminated by regulation 33(2) of the 1994 Regulations. Simon Brown LJ also referred to rule 76 of the Highway Code providing: "Look and listen for ambulances…or other emergency vehicles with flashing blue lights or sirens. Make room for them to pass (if necessary by moving to the side of the road and stopping) but do not endanger other road users."
Traffic Signs And General Directions Order 1994 (1994 No 1519)
[ Bailii ]
Arnold Heyes -v- Pilkington Glass Limited [1997] EWCA Civ 2617
31 Oct 1997
CA
Personal Injury, Negligence
Crane driver - "Vibration Induced White Finger".
Link[s] omitted
Andrew Bingham -v- Simon Lee Fuller [1997] EWCA Civ 2641
5 Nov 1997
CA
Personal Injury, Negligence
[ Bailii ]
Mullin -v- Richards and Birmingham City Council; CA 06-Nov-1997
Ratcliff -v- G R McConnell and others; CA 07-Nov-1997
Reeves (Joint Administratrix of the Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) -v- Commissioner of Police for Metropolis (1998) 41 BMLR 54; [1998] 2 All ER 381; [1999] QB 169; [1998] 2 WLR 401; [1997] EWCA Civ 2686
10 Nov 1997
CA
Police, Negligence Casemap
1 Cites
1 Citers
The fact that the deceased committed suicide whilst in custody does not necessarily absolve the police of blame if the deceased was a known suicide risk.
Link[s] omitted
Wills -v- Entwistle and Spruce [1997] EWCA Civ 2701
12 Nov 1997
CA
Roch, Thorpe, Buxton LJJ
Personal Injury, Road Traffic, Negligence
The claimant was a passenger in a car driven by the first defendant. He was injured when the driver turned right at traffic lights, in front of a van approaching. The traffic lights were at green for both vehicles. The question was as to the possible liability of the driver of the van. The judge had found that the first defendant was unlikely to have indicated to turn right, but that the van had accelerated. Had the driver been paying proper attention he could have avoided the accident, and the van driver had been found to be 20% responsible. Held: There had been no evidence before the judge to found his assessment that thevan had not already entered the junction by the time the first defendant turned across his path. There was therefore no basis for finding contributory negligence on the van driver's part, and the van driver's appeal succeeded.
[ Bailii ]
Widdowson (By her Father and Next Friend Widdowson) -v- Newgate Meat Corporation Scullion and Enaas [1997] EWCA Civ 2763
19 Nov 1997
CA
Personal Injury, Negligence, Road Traffic
Res ipsa loquitur might be used to establish fault where the driver drove into a pedestrian on a carriageway and had no explanation for the accident.
[ Bailii ]
William Lyon -v- Serco-Ial Limited [1997] EWCA Civ 2849
27 Nov 1997
CA
Personal Injury, Negligence
Link[s] omitted
Karl Andrew Whyte -v- Redland Aggregates Limited [1997] EWCA Civ 2842
27 Nov 1997
CA
Henry LJ
Negligence, Personal Injury Casemap
1 Cites

The appellant dived into a disused gravel pit and struck his head on an obstruction on the floor of the pit. The Court dismissed his appeal that he was not entitled to damages. Held: "In my judgment, the occupier of land containing or bordered by the river, the seashore, the pond or the gravel pit, does not have to warn of uneven surfaces below the water. Such surfaces are by their nature quite likely to be uneven. Diving where you cannot see the bottom clearly enough to know that it is safe to dive is dangerous unless you have made sure, by reconnaissance or otherwise, that the diving is safe ie. that there is adequate depth at the place where you choose to dive. In those circumstances, the dangers of there being an uneven surface in an area where you cannot plainly see the bottom are too plain to require a specific warning and, accordingly, there is no such duty to warn (see Lord Shaw in Glasgow Corporation v Taylor [1922] 1 AC 44, 60. There was no trap here on the judge's finding. There was just an uneven surface, as one would expect to find in a disused gravel pit."
[ Bailii ]
Howells -v- Trefigin Oil and Trefigin Quarries Limited [1997] EWCA Civ 2874;
2 Dec 1997
CA
Personal Injury, Negligence
Link[s] omitted
Barry James Melleney (a Minor By her Father and Next Friend David William Melleney) -v- Anthony Arthur Wainwright [1997] EWCA Civ 2884
3 Dec 1997
CA
Personal Injury, Negligence
[ Bailii ]
Clunis (By his Next Friend Prince) -v- Camden and Islington Health Authority [1997] EWCA Civ 2918; [1998] 3 All ER 180; [1998] QB 978
5 Dec 1997
CA
Beldam LJ
Torts - Other, Negligence

1 Citers
A convicted criminal may not sue the Health Authority for failing to take care of him and allowing the commission of an offence. It would be against public policy to allow such a claim. The breach by a local health authority of the duty imposed by section 117 does not of itself give rise to a cause of action for damages for breach of statutory duty on the part of the patient concerned.
Mental Health Act 1983 117
[ Bailii ]

All information on this site is in general and summary form only. The content of any page on this site may be out of date and or incomplete, and you should not not rely directly upon it. Take direct professional legal advice which reflects your own particular situation.
Home |  lawindexpro |  Forum | 
| Two Doves Counselling | Faulty Flipper
Copyright and Database Rights: David Swarbrick 2012