Vaughan v Menlove: 1837

Citations:

[1837] EngR 328, (1837) 7 Car and P 525, (1837) 173 ER 232 (A)

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

See AlsoVaughan v Menlove 1837
The defendant had been advised of the probable consequences of allowing a stack of damp hay, which he had erected without proper ventilation, to remain in this condition. Subsequently the hay spontaneously ignited damaging the plaintiff’s house. At . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Nuisance, Negligence

Updated: 25 May 2022; Ref: scu.313445

Knight v Dorset County Council: Admn 20 Dec 1996

Citations:

[1996] EWHC Admin 392, Trans. Ref: CO 1110-96

Links:

Bailii

Cited by:

CitedDavid Lannigan v Glasgow City Council OHCS 12-Aug-2004
The pursuer said the teachers employed by the defendant had failed to identify that was dyslexic, leading him to suffer damage. The defenders said the claim was time barred, which the pursuer admitted, but then said that the claim ought to go ahead . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Education, Negligence

Updated: 25 May 2022; Ref: scu.136940

Delaware Mansions Limited, Flecksun Limited v The Lord Mayor and Citizens of The City of Westminster: CA 21 Jul 1999

A number of blocks of mansion flats in Maida Vale were damaged by the root action of a plane tree for which the council were responsible. The freehold in the blocks, known as Delaware Mansions, was sold by the Church Commissioners to the second appellants in 1990 for andpound;1. . The flats were subject to long leases and the first appellant company had been formed to act as the maintenance and service company for the tenants, who owned the company. The second appellant company was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of the first appellant company.
In 1989, there were reports of cracking in parts of the structure of the blocks and engineers were instructed on behalf of the first appellants. The engineers submitted a brief report and this was followed by further investigation. At a time after the second appellants had become freeholders, the appellants’ expert opinion was disclosed to the council. The engineers believed, as the judge put it, that ‘either the tree should be felled or the property should be underpinned’. The cost of remedial work if the tree had been felled was very small and, it is common ground, can be ignored for present purposes. The removal of the tree would have ended the nuisance. Thr court was asked whether the Council was liable in uisance.

Judges:

Beldam, Pill, Thorpe LJJ

Citations:

[1999] EWCA Civ 1903, 68 Con LR 172, (2000) 32 HLR 664, [2000] BLR 1, [1999] 46 EG 194, [1999] 3 EGLR 68

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromDelaware Mansions Limited and others v Lord Mayor and Citizens of the City of Westminster HL 25-Oct-2001
The landowner claimed damages for works necessary to remediate damage to his land after encroachment of tree roots onto his property.
Held: The issue had not been properly settled in English law. The problem was to be resolved by applying a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Negligence, Nuisance

Updated: 23 May 2022; Ref: scu.135827

Orange v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police: CA 1 May 2001

Police and prison authorities had a duty of care to those in their custody, which included a duty to perform an assessment of the risk of the prisoner committing suicide, but did not have a general duty to take steps to prevent suicide in the absence of any reason to think that the prisoner might be at such a risk. There is a general duty of care to prisoners, and an increasing risk of suicide amongst those in custody, but not in either case to such a point where it could be presumed that active steps needed to be taken to prevent suicide in every case.

Judges:

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers MR, Gibson, Latham LJJ

Citations:

Times 05-Jun-2001, Gazette 14-Jun-2001, [2001] EWCA Civ 611, [2001] 3 WLR 736, [2002] QB 347, [2001] All ER (D) 07

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedCorr v IBC Vehicles Ltd CA 31-Mar-2006
The deceased had suffered a head injury whilst working for the defendant. In addition to severe physical consequences he suffered post-traumatic stress, became more and more depressed, and then committed suicide six years later. The claimant . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Police

Updated: 23 May 2022; Ref: scu.135480

The Law Society of England and Wales v Schubert Murphy (A Firm): CA 25 Aug 2017

The solicitors had made use of the online facility provided by the appellant Law Society to verify the bona fides of a firm of solicitors acting for a third party to a transaction. Relying upon the information, they suffered losses, and claimed in negligence. The Law Society now appealed against a refusal of its request for the claim to be struck out as arguable. It said that the information had been provided in pursuance of its function as a regulator.
Held: The appeal failed. The case remained arguable.

Judges:

Sir Terence Etherton MR, Gloster VP CA, Beatson LJJ

Citations:

[2017] EWCA Civ 1295

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Solicitors Act 1974 6, Solicitors (Keeping of the Roll) Regulations 1999, SRA Practising Regulations 2009

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedYuen Kun-Yeu v Attorney-General of Hong Kong PC 1987
(Hong Kong) The claimant deposited money with a licensed deposit taker, regulated by the Commissioner. He lost his money when the deposit taker went into insolvent liquidation. He said the regulator was responsible when it should have known of the . .
Appeal FromSchubert Murphy (A Firm) v The Law Society QBD 17-Dec-2014
The claimant solicitors’ firm had acted in a purchase, but the vendors were represented by fraudsters presenting themselves as solicitors, registering with the defendant in names of retired solicitors, and who made off with the money intended for . .
CitedCaparo Industries Plc v Dickman and others HL 8-Feb-1990
Limitation of Loss from Negligent Mis-statement
The plaintiffs sought damages from accountants for negligence. They had acquired shares in a target company and, relying upon the published and audited accounts which overstated the company’s earnings, they purchased further shares.
Held: The . .
CitedHedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd HL 28-May-1963
Banker’s Liability for Negligent Reference
The appellants were advertising agents. They were liable themselves for advertising space taken for a client, and had sought a financial reference from the defendant bankers to the client. The reference was negligent, but the bankers denied any . .
CitedSmith v Littlewoods Organisation Limited (Chief Constable, Fife Constabulary, third party); Maloco v Littlewoods Organisation Ltd HL 1987
The defendant acquired a semi derelict cinema with a view to later development of the site. A fire started by others spread to the pursuer’s adjoining property.
Held: The defendants were not liable in negligence. The intervention of a third . .
CitedT v Surrey County Council and Others QBD 21-Jan-1994
The mother of T, an injured baby who was under a year old, sued the council for failing to cancel the registration of a child minder who had previously cared for S, a four-month old child who suffered serious injury probably through shaking, and for . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 23 May 2022; Ref: scu.593096

Christmas v Caledonian Club: 1952

A window cleaner. employed by independent contractors, came to clean the windows of a club. One window was defective, falling onto and trapping his hand, causing him to fall.
Held: He had no cause of action against the club. The landowner was concerned to see that the windows are safe for his guests to open and close, but he need not be concerned to see that they are safe for a window cleaner to hold on to. The risk of a defective window is a special risk, but it is ordinarily incident to the calling of a window cleaner, and so he must take care for himself, and not expect the householder to do so.

Citations:

[1952] 1 KBD 141

Cited by:

CitedRoles v Nathan CA 15-May-1963
Two chimney sweeps were overcome by fumes, and died in the basement of the Manchester Assembly Rooms. Whilst occupied working in flues (against advice), a boiler had been lit.
Held: (Majority – Pearson LJ dissenting) The land-owner’s appeal . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Personal Injury

Updated: 20 May 2022; Ref: scu.568157

Greene v Chelsea Borough Council: CA 1954

Lord Denning MR said: ‘Knowledge or notice of the danger is only a defence when the plaintiff is free to act upon that knowledge or notice so as to avoid the danger’.

Judges:

Lord Denning MR

Citations:

[1954] 2 QBD 127

Cited by:

CitedRoles v Nathan CA 15-May-1963
Two chimney sweeps were overcome by fumes, and died in the basement of the Manchester Assembly Rooms. Whilst occupied working in flues (against advice), a boiler had been lit.
Held: (Majority – Pearson LJ dissenting) The land-owner’s appeal . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Land, Negligence

Updated: 20 May 2022; Ref: scu.568158

Staples v West Dorset District Council: CA 5 Apr 1995

There was no duty of care on a landowner to warn of obvious danger on Lyme Regis Cobb. The quay clearly dangerous for anyone to see.

Citations:

Gazette 11-May-1995, Times 28-Apr-1995, [1995] PIQR 439, [1995] EWCA Civ 30

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedTomlinson v Congleton Borough Council and others HL 31-Jul-2003
The claimant dived into a lake, severely injuring himself. The council appealed liability, arguing that it owed him no duty of care under the Act since he was a trespasser. It had placed warning signs to deter swimmers.
Held: The council’s . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Personal Injury

Updated: 20 May 2022; Ref: scu.89496

NCM 2000 Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Revenue and Customs: Admn 22 May 2015

Swift DBE J: ‘application by the Applicant, NCM 2000 Ltd, for permission to bring a claim for judicial review of a decision by the Respondent, the Commissioners of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The decision in respect of which the application is made is a decision to refuse the Applicant’s claim for compensation for economic loss caused by what the Applicant claims was a misdirection, incorrect advice or a mistake by one or more of the Respondent’s officers as to the liability to value added tax (VAT) of supplies made by the Applicant and by its predecessors-in-title, a partnership trading as Northern Computer Markets, which has since been dissolved.’

Judges:

Swift DBE J

Citations:

[2015] EWHC 1342 (Admin)

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Taxes Management, Negligence

Updated: 20 May 2022; Ref: scu.547082

Makepeace v Evans Brothers (Reading) (A Firm) and Another: CA 23 May 2000

Scaffolding is an ordinary piece of equipment on a building site. As a general rule an occupier of a building did not owe a duty of care for the safety of employees of its independent contractor. However, there may be occasions when such a duty of care might arise. It would be an unwarranted extension of the nursemaid school of negligence to hold a main contractor liable to the employee of a sub-contractor for failing to verify his training in the use of scaffolding on a building site. The main contractor’s duties arose in favour of visitors to the site in respect of the condition of the site itself. Such judgements are not always easy or clear, since building sites and scaffolding are inherently dangerous places. Accordingly a main contractor was not liable in negligence nor under the Act where one contractor was injured as a result of using scaffolding erected by another sub-contractor. The person who erected the scaffolding was liable, but not in this case the site’s main contractor.

Judges:

Mantell LJ

Citations:

Times 13-Jun-2000, Gazette 08-Jun-2000, [2000] EWCA Civ 171, [2000] BLR 287

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedEH Humphries (Norton) Ltd. Thistle Hotels Plc v Fire Alarm Fabrication Services Ltd CA 10-Nov-2006
The sub-contractor’s workman fell through a skylight and died. His employers having settled, obtained contribution orders from the main contractors and building owners who each now appealed.
Held: Whether main contractors were also liable to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Health and Safety, Personal Injury

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.83341

Jebson v Ministry of Defence: CA 28 Jun 2000

The claimant was a guardsman travelling in the rear of a service lorry. He fell from the tailgate suffering severe injury. He was drunk after a social trip.
Held: Though a person could normally expect to be responsible himself for incidents occurring whilst drunk, the rule is not absolute. The defendant had assumed some responsibility to the claimant, and that responsibility did not disappear only because of the claimant’s drunkenness. This was an organised night out from an army training camp. Ignoring any particular duties, the defendant would know that the troops were being carried in a lorry with a tailgate, and that the drunken soldiers might be expected to stand up in the back. It was foreseeable that injury (whether slight or serious) would occur as a result of the drunken and rowdy behaviour of the passengers, including the danger that someone would fall from the vehicle as a result, such wider risk being apt to include within its description the accident which actually happened. Though the defendant was liable, the claimant was still largely the author of his own misfortune and was 75% responsible for his own injuries.

Judges:

Kennedy, Potter LJJ, Steel J

Citations:

Times 28-Jun-2000, Gazette 13-Jul-2000, [2000] EWCA Civ 198, [2000] 1 WLR 2055

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedHaynes v Harwood CA 1935
The plaintiff, a policemen saw a horse running loose in the street among children. He ran out, chased it and caught it but was injured.
Held: The horseowner was liable. It was foreseeable that if a horse was let loose in a crowd, somebody, . .
CitedOverseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Dock and Engineering Co Ltd (The Wagon Mound No 1) PC 18-Jan-1961
Foreseeability Standard to Establish Negligence
Complaint was made that oil had been discharged into Sydney Harbour causing damage. The court differentiated damage by fire from other types of physical damage to property for the purposes of liability in tort, saying ‘We have come back to the plain . .
CitedJolley v Sutton London Borough Council HL 24-May-2000
An abandoned boat had been left on its land and not removed by the council. Children tried to repair it, jacked it up, and a child was injured when it fell. It was argued for the boy, who now appealed dismissal of his claim by the Court of Appeal, . .
CitedHughes v Lord Advocate HL 21-Feb-1963
The defendants had left a manhole uncovered and protected only by a tent and paraffin lamp. A child climbed down the hole. When he came out he kicked over one of the lamps. It fell into the hole and caused an explosion. The child was burned. The . .
CitedBarrett v Ministry of Defence CA 3-Jan-1995
The deceased was an off-duty naval airman. The claim was based upon the alleged negligent failure of the defendant to enforce disciplinary regulations against drunkenness so as to protect the deceased against his own known proclivity for alcohol . .
CitedSacco v Chief Constable of South Wales Constabulary and others CA 15-May-1998
The claimant a seventeen-year-old youth who had been arrested during a drunken brawl, kicked his way out through the door of the police van in which he was being transported and jumped out while it was moving at about twenty-five mph striking his . .

Cited by:

CitedCook v Thorne and Another CA 23-Jan-2001
. .
CitedTomlinson v Congleton Borough Council and Cheshire County Council CA 18-Jun-2001
The appellant sought leave to appeal against an order dismissing his claim for damages. He had been injured swimming in water on the defendant’s land. The defendant asserted that they had no duty of care to those who came onto the land and imperiled . .
CitedCalvert v William Hill Credit Ltd ChD 12-Mar-2008
The claimant said that the defendant bookmakers had been negligent in allowing him to continue betting when they should have known that he was acting under an addiction. The defendant company had a policy for achieving responsible gambling, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.82503

Invercargill City Council v Hamlin: PC 12 Feb 1996

(New Zealand) Seventeen years earlier the plaintiff had asked a builder to construct a house for him, but it now appeared that the foundations had been inadequate. The building company no longer being in existence, he sought damages from the local authority which had supervised the construction.
Held: A Local Authority was liable for economic losses for a negligent inspection of a house during construction. Murphy had not been followed in New Zealand and the Privy Council accepted that this was justified. The Pirelli date of physical damage had also been discarded in favour of the date of discoverability. The decision in Pirelli was unfortunate: Once it is appreciated that the loss in respect of which the plaintiff in the present case is suing is loss to his pocket, and not for physical damage to the house or foundations, then most, if not all the difficulties surrounding the limitation question fall away. The plaintiff’s loss occurs when the market value of the house is depreciated by reason of the defective foundations, and not before. If he resells the house at full value before the defect is discovered he suffers no loss. Thus in the common case the occurrence of the loss and the discovery of the loss will coincide . . But the plaintiff cannot postpone the start of the limitation period by shutting his eyes to the obvious . . . In other words the cause of action accrues when the cracks become so bad and all the defects so obvious, that any reasonable home-owner would call in an expert. Since the defects would then be obvious to a potential buyer or his expert, that marks the moment when the market value of the building is depreciated and therefore the moment when economic loss occurs. Their Lordships do not think it is possible to define the moment more accurately. The measure of the loss will then be the cost of repairs if it is reasonable to repair, or the depreciation in the market value if it is not . . . This approach avoids almost all the practical and theoretical difficulties to which the academic commentators have drawn attention and which led to the rejection of Pirelli by the Supreme Court of Canada . . . The approach is consistent with the underlying principle that a cause of action accrues when, but not before, all the elements necessary to support the plaintiff’s claim are in existence. For in the case of a latent defect in a building the element of loss or damage which is necessary to support a claim for economic loss in tort does not exist so long as the market value of the house is unaffected. Whether or not it is right to describe an undiscoverable crack as damage, it clearly cannot affect the value of the building on the market. The existence of such a crack is thus irrelevant to the cause of action . . . Whether Pirelli should still be regarded as good law in England is not for their Lordships to say. What is clear is that it is not good law in New Zealand.

Judges:

Lord Browne-Wilkinson, Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Browne-Wilkinson, Lord Mustill, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, Sir Michael Hardie Boys

Citations:

Times 15-Feb-1996, 50 Con LR 105, [1996] AC 624, [1996] UKPC 56, 78 BLR 78, [1996] 1 NZLR 513, [1996] 1 All ER 756

Links:

Bailii

Citing:

CitedMurphy v Brentwood District Council HL 26-Jul-1990
Anns v Merton Overruled
The claimant appellant was a house owner. He had bought the house from its builders. Those builders had employed civil engineers to design the foundations. That design was negligent. They had submitted the plans to the defendant Council for approval . .
CitedPirelli General Cable Works v Oscar Faber and Partners HL 2-Jan-1983
The plaintiff asked the defendant consulting engineer to design an extension to their factory in 1969. Not later than in April 1970, cracks developed in the chimney. In 1977 the cause of the damage was discovered. It arose from design faults in the . .

Cited by:

CitedAbbott and Another v Will Gannon and Smith Ltd CA 2-Mar-2005
The claimant had employed the defendants to design refurbishment works for their hotel. The work was said to be negligent, and the claimant sought damages. The defendant argued as a preliminary point that the claim was time barred. The question was . .
CitedW v W; J v Raewyn Bell PC 19-Jan-1999
PC (New Zealand) The claimants sught to recover exemplary damages from defendants convicted of criminal offences against them.
Held: There were differences in the system between New Zealand and the English . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Construction, Local Government, Negligence

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.82411

Harris v Evans and Health and Safety Executive: CA 24 Apr 1998

A Health and Safety inspector, making negligently excessive requirements of operators of a bungee jump, was not liable since he operated under a statutory duty and had no duty of care to the operators. His duty was owed to members of the public.

Judges:

Sir Richard Scott VC, Lord Justice Auld, Lord Justice Schiemann

Citations:

Times 05-May-1998, [1998] EWCA Civ 709, [1998] 1 WLR 1285, [1998] 3 All ER 523

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedTrent Strategic Health Authority v Jain and Another HL 21-Jan-2009
The claimants’ nursing home business had been effectively destroyed by the actions of the Authority which had applied to revoke their licence without them being given notice and opportunity to reply. They succeeded on appeal, but the business was by . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Health and Safety

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.81253

Domicrest Ltd v Swiss Bank Corporation: QBD 7 Jul 1998

An English claimant sued a Swiss bank for a negligent mis-statement made in a telephone call between England and Switzerland. The Swiss banker represented that the transmission of a copy payment order by the bank to the claimant was a guarantee that payment would be made for the amount referred. The claimant relied on the representations to release goods in Switzerland and Italy on receipt of the copy payment order from the bank rather than waiting until it had been paid. The bank refused to pay on three copy payments orders in respect of goods which had been released from store in Switzerland and Italy.
Held: The place of the damage was in Switzerland and Italy, where the goods were released without payment, rather than England, where the Swiss purchaser would have paid the price. The reasons for that finding were (a) that it was by reference to the loss of the goods that the damages were pleaded; and (b) that the essence of the complaint was that the goods were released prior to payment. Where negligent misstatement is alleged, the law governing the action is that of the country where the statement was made. The tortious act occurs when the statement is made not when and where the statement is relied upon.

Citations:

Times 16-Jul-1998, [1999] QB 548, [1998] EWHC 2001 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Lugano Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters 1988

Cited by:

CitedMazur Media Limited and Another v Mazur Media Gmbh in Others ChD 8-Jul-2004
Proceedings were brought in England. The respondents sought a stay, saying the company was subject to insolvency proceedings in Germany.
Held: Our domestic insolvency law was not applicable to foreign proceedings, and so could not be used to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Jurisdiction, Negligence

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.80090

Darby v National Trust: CA 29 Jan 2001

The claimant’s husband drowned swimming in a pond on the National Trust estate at Hardwick Hall. Miss Rebecca Kirkwood, the Water and Leisure Safety Consultant to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, gave uncontradicted evidence, which the judge accepted, that the pond was unsuitable for swimming because it was deep in the middle and the edges were uneven. She said The National Trust should have made it clear that swimming in the pond was not allowed and taken steps to enforce the prohibition.
Held: It was for the court to set the standard, not the witness. The risk from drowning in a small pond is obvious, and no warning should be required. Where there is a special risk, of catching Weill’s disease from swimming in a stretch of water, and a notice would have prevented the deceased swimming, the owner’s negligence in not erecting a warning sign is irrelevant where this was not in fact a cause of the death.

Citations:

Times 23-Feb-2001, [2001] PIQR 372, [2001] EWCA Civ 189

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedTomlinson v Congleton Borough Council and others HL 31-Jul-2003
The claimant dived into a lake, severely injuring himself. The council appealed liability, arguing that it owed him no duty of care under the Act since he was a trespasser. It had placed warning signs to deter swimmers.
Held: The council’s . .
CitedHampstead Heath Winter Swimming Club and Another v Corporation of London and Another Admn 26-Apr-2005
Swimmers sought to be able to swim unsupervised in an open pond. The authority which owned the pond on Hampstead Heath wished to refuse permission fearing liability for any injury.
Held: It has always been a principle of the interpretation of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Negligence

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.79804

Clark Boyce v Mouat: PC 4 Oct 1993

(New Zealand) No duty of wisdom is owed to client in full command of his faculties by a lawyer. If the client requires only action from his lawyer, that is what is required. Informed consent can be sufficient to allow a solicitor to act for two parties even if there may be a conflict: ‘When a client in full command of his faculties and apparently aware of what he is doing seeks the assistance of a solicitor in the carrying out of a particular transaction, that solicitor is under no duty whether before or after accepting instructions to go beyond those instructions by proffering unsought advice on the wisdom of the transaction.’ and ‘There is no general rule of law to the effect that a solicitor should never act for both parties in a transaction where their interests may conflict. Rather is the position that he may act provided that he has obtained the informed consent of both to his acting. Informed consent means consent given in the knowledge that there is a conflict between the parties and that as a result the solicitor may be disabled from disclosing to each party the full knowledge which he possesses as to the transaction or may be disabled from giving advice to one party which conflicts with the interests of the other.’
Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle: ‘Their Lordships are accordingly satisfied that Mrs Mouat required of Mr Boyce no more than that he should carry out the necessary conveyancing on her behalf and explain to her the legal consequences of the transaction. Since Mrs Mouat was already aware of the consequences if her son defaulted Mr Boyce did all that was reasonably required of him before accepting her instructions when he advised her to obtain and offered to arrange independent advice. As Mrs Mouat was fully aware of what she was doing and had rejected independent advice, there was no duty on Mr Boyce to refuse to act for her. Having accepted instructions he carried these out properly and was neither negligent nor in breach of contract in acting and continuing to act after Mrs Mouat had rejected his suggestion that she obtain independent advice. Indeed not only did Mr Boyce in carrying out these instructions repeat on two further occasions his advice that Mrs Mouat should obtain independent advice but he told her in no uncertain terms that she would lose her house if Mr R.G. Mouat defaulted. One might well ask what more he could reasonably have done.
When a client in full command of his faculties and apparently aware of what he is doing seeks the assistance of a solicitor in the carrying out of a particular transaction, that solicitor is under no duty whether before or after accepting instructions to go beyond those instructions by proffering unsought advice on the wisdom of the transaction. To hold otherwise could impose intolerable burdens on solicitors.’

Judges:

Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle

Citations:

Independent 12-Oct-1993, Times 07-Oct-1993, Gazette 03-Nov-1993, [1994] 1 AC 428, [1993] UKPC 34

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedFarrington v Rowe McBride and Partners 1985
(New Zealand) When a solicitor acts for two clients and there is a conflict in his responsibilities, the solicitor must ensure that he fully discloses the material facts to both clients and obtains their informed consent to his so acting. There may . .

Cited by:

CitedPickersgill and Another v Riley PC 25-Feb-2004
PC (Jersey) The solicitor appealed a finding of negligence. He had failed to advise his client when he acted as a guarantor for a proposed assignee of a lease that the company may be a shell company. It had been . .
CitedHilton v Barker Booth and Eastwood HL 3-Feb-2005
The claimant had instructed the defendant solicitors to act for him, where he was to contract with another client of the same solicitor in a land development. The solicitor failed to disclose that the other client had convictions for dishonesty, and . .
CitedBurkle Holdings Ltd v Laing TCC 23-Mar-2005
The parties had each instructed the same solicitor, but now disputed the entitlement of the other to see documents held by the solicitor. . .
CitedThe Football League Ltd v Edge Ellison (A Firm) ChD 23-Jun-2006
The claimants operated football leagues, and asked the defendant solicitors to act in negotiating the sale of television rights to ONdigital. The broadcasts went ahead, but no guarantees were taken for the contract. The claimants alleged . .
CitedCredit Lyonnais Sa (A Body Corporate) v Russell Jones and Walker (A Firm) ChD 2-Jul-2002
The claimant sought damages for professional negligence against the defendant solicitors. A corporate lawyer had been assigned to deal with a property matter, and he had failed to appreciate the need to comply strictly with time conditions in a . .
CitedPhelps v Stewarts (A Firm) and Another ChD 2-Jul-2007
The claimant sought damages for the negligent drafting of a deed of trust, saying that he had not been advised of a charge to tax which would arise. The defendant said that her duties were limited, and did not include advice on this point, having . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Legal Professions, Commonwealth

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.79183

Bradford-Smart v West Sussex County Council: QBD 5 Dec 2000

A school had a duty to protect its pupils from bullying, but that duty stopped at the school gate. Even though the school might know of the bullying, it would not be practical, nor just, nor fair, nor reasonable, to extend its duty in such a way. The school should take effective defensive measure, as regards what happened within the school. It could choose to take pro-active measures beyond that, but it should not be obliged to do so.

Citations:

Gazette 15-Dec-2000, Times 05-Dec-2000

Negligence, Education

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.78544

Blake and Another v Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council: QBD 1 Nov 1996

A Local Authority has no duty of care for the correctness of a valuation undertaken for a right to buy transaction. It was not just or reasonable to impose a duty of care on a local authority in connection with its statement of its opinion as to price in a Section 125 Notice.

Judges:

Douglas Brown J

Citations:

Times 01-Nov-1996, [1996] EGCS 145, [1997] 30 HLR 963

Statutes:

Housing Act 1985 125

Cited by:

CitedPayne and Woodland v Mayor and Burgesses of London Borough of Barnet CA 22-May-1997
The sale of a council house imposed an additional duty on a local authority to disclose known structural defects to buyers. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Local Government

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.78443

Barrett v Ministry of Defence: QBD 3 Jun 1993

The MOD was liable in negligence for an airman’s death due to its breach of duty if regulations were not kept to.

Citations:

Independent 03-Jun-1993

Statutes:

Fatal Accidents Act 1976, Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934

Cited by:

Appeal fromBarrett v Ministry of Defence CA 3-Jan-1995
The deceased was an off-duty naval airman. The claim was based upon the alleged negligent failure of the defendant to enforce disciplinary regulations against drunkenness so as to protect the deceased against his own known proclivity for alcohol . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.78256

Broom v Morgan: CA 1953

The plaintiff and her husband were employed by the defendant to manage and work in a beer and wine house. The Plaintiff was injured through the negligence of her husband in the course of his employment. In an action by her against the defendant in respect of the injury . .
Held: Where a servant while acting in the scope of his employment negligently harms another the fact that his relationship to the injured person is such that suit cannot be brought against him does not relieve the master from liability. An employer was liable to a person injured by the negligence of his servants, notwithstanding the legal immunity of the servants from action at the suit of the injured party, and, therefore the defendant was liable to the plaintiff, despite the inability of the plaintiff to sue her husband in respect of the injury.
Denning LJ said that the master’s liability for the negligence of his servant is not a vicarious liability but a liability of the master himself going to his failure to see that his work is properly and carefully done. The master’s liability is his own liability and remains on him notwithstanding the immunity of the servants, but even if the master’s liability is a vicarious liability, the husband’s immunity is a mere rule of procedure, and not a rule of substantive law. It is an immunity from suit and not and immunity from duty or liability and so, on that view of the law also, the master would be liable for the negligence of the servant.

Judges:

Denning LJ

Citations:

[1953] 1 QB 597

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedCox v Ministry of Justice SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Negligence

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.606510

Almeroth v WE Chivers and Son Ltd: CA 1948

The plaintiff peddler had his barrow by one kerb. He crossed the road to serve a customer, but on return when crossing the kerb from a roadway tripped over a small pile of slates and was injured. The slates did not overlap the kerb. They had been left there for collection as part of the clearance of war damaged buildings.
Held: The slates were a nuisance, even though they made no substantial obstruction.
The plaintiff was not guilty of contributory negligence. The slates ‘might easily not be noticed by a reasonably careful person crossing the road as the plaintiff did’, talking to someone. Somervell LJ said that a person walking along a pavement does not have to keep ‘his eyes on the ground to see whether or not there is any obstacle in his path’.
The ordinary principles of causation in tort are applicable to an action in nuisance. The obstacle was capable of being a nuisance despite its small size.

Judges:

Somervell LJ

Citations:

[1948] 1 All ER 53, 92 Sol Jo 71

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedHarper v GN Haden and Sons CA 1932
The occupier of a ground floor and basement shop sought damages from the tenants of the upper floors. In order to construct an additional storey, they had erected scaffolding and a hoarding which obstructed the highway outside the plaintiff’s . .

Cited by:

CitedWoodland v Essex County Council SC 23-Oct-2013
The claimant had been seriously injured in an accident during a swimming lesson. She sought to claim against the local authority, and now appealed against a finding that it was not responsible, having contracted out the provision of swimming . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Personal Injury, Nuisance

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.517227

Brown v Nelson and others: 1971

A pupil at an approved school went on an Outward Bound course including riding on a cable and pulley slung between two trees. From the cable hung a knotted rope. When the pupil got onto the rope the cable snapped, and he fell with it. He suffered serious injuries from which some years later he died. The Outward Bound confidence course was run by parties independent of the school.
Held: The claim was dismissed against the school. Nield J said: ‘What duty did the school authorities owe to the deceased? They were not the occupiers of the site or of the apparatus. They had, in my view, a general duty to take reasonable steps for the safety of those under their charge and use such care as would be exercised by a reasonably careful parent. Counsel tell me that there is no authority covering the situation where a school makes use of someone else’s equipment at premises other than the school premises. In my judgment, where a school must take their pupils to other premises, they discharge their duty of care if they know the premises and if the premises are apparently safe, and if they know that the premises are staffed by competent and careful persons. They further discharge their duty if they permit their pupils there to use equipment which is apparently safe and is under the control of competent and careful persons who supervise the use of such equipment. They do not in such circumstances have an obligation themselves to make an inspection.’

Judges:

Nield J

Citations:

[1971] LGR 20

Cited by:

CitedWoodland v The Swimming Teachers’ Association and Others QBD 17-Oct-2011
The court was asked as to the vicarious or other liability of a school where a pupil suffered injury at a swimming lesson with a non-employee during school time, and in particular whether it had a non-delegable duty to ensure the welfare of children . .
CitedWoodland v Essex County Council CA 9-Mar-2012
The claimant had been injured in a swimming pool during a lesson. The lesson was conducted by outside independent contractors. The claimant appealed against a finding that his argument that they had a non-delegable duty of care was bound to fail. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.445619

Berry v Stone Manganese and Marine Ltd: 1972

The plaintiff sought damages in common law negligence respect of noise at work which ‘amounted to about 115 to 120 decibels, whereas the. . tolerable noise is about 90’ and no ear muffs had been provided.
Held: The claim succeeded.

Citations:

[1972] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 182

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBaker v Quantum Clothing Group Ltd and Others SC 13-Apr-2011
The court was asked as to the liability of employers in the knitting industry for hearing losses suffered by employees before the 1989 Regulations came into effect. The claimant had worked in a factory between 1971 and 2001, sustaining noise induced . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.440380

Caltex Oil (Australia) Pty Ltd v Dredge “Willemstad”: 9 Dec 1976

Austlii (High Court of Australia) Negligence – Duty of care – Foreseeability of harm – Economic loss not consequential upon damage to person or property – Damage to property of one person – Economic loss suffered by person as a result – Pipeline carrying oil to plaintiff’s depot – Damaged by defendant’s negligence – Supply interrupted – Pipeline and depot owned by different persons – Expense incurred by plaintiff in arranging alternative means of delivery – Whether recoverable – Remoteness of loss or damage.
Shipping and Navigation – Action in rem – Action against ship – Negligence – Master not sued as defendant – Appearance entered by master – No proprietary interest in ship – Whether master liable to judgment.
A pipeline was damaged and the owner of the terminal (who was not the owner of the pipeline) incurred expense in transporting refined oil to the terminal while the pipeline was out of use.
Held: The plaintiff was entitled to recover that expense from the dredger which had damaged the pipeline. Jacobs J said that the duty of care owed to the owner of the pipeline was also owed to ‘a person whose property was in such physical propinquity to the place where the acts of omissions of the dredge . . had their physical effect that a physical effect on the property of that person was foreseeable as the result of such acts or omissions’.

Judges:

Gibbs, Stephen, Mason, Jacobs and Murphy JJ.

Citations:

[1976] HCA 65, (1976) 136 CLR 529

Links:

Austlii

Jurisdiction:

Australia

Cited by:

ApprovedCandlewood Navigation Corporation Limited v Mitsui OSK Lines Limited and Matsuoka Steamship Co Limited PC 1-Jul-1985
(New South Wales) Two ships had collided, after, without negligence, an anchor on one ship failed. The Supreme Court had found the crew negligent after failing to react appropriately to the loss of the anchor. The company now appealed against the . .
CitedD Pride and Partners (A Firm) and Others v Institute for Animal Health and Others QBD 31-Mar-2009
The claimants sought damages after the loss of business when the defendants’ premises were the source of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. The organism had escaped from their premises via a broken drain.
Held: Much of the damage claimed . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Damages, Negligence, Transport

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.331084

Chin Keow v Government of Malaysia: PC 1967

Citations:

[1967] 1 WLR 813

Citing:

Dicta ApprovedBolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee QBD 1957
Professional to use Skilled Persons Ordinary Care
Negligence was alleged against a doctor.
Held: McNair J directed the jury: ‘Where some special skill is exercised, the test for negligence is not the test of the man on the Clapham omnibus, because he has not got this special skill. The test . .

Cited by:

MentionedWhitehouse v Jordan HL 17-Dec-1980
The plaintiff sued for brain damage suffered at birth by use of forceps at the alleged professional negligence of his doctor. The Court of Appeal had reversed the judge’s finding in his favour.
Held: In this case most of the evidence at issue . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Commonwealth

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.269667

Ancell and Another v McDermott and Others: CA 17 Mar 1993

Police are under no duty to warn road users of a hazard on road. The police have no general liability in negligence for reasons of public policy.

Citations:

Gazette 17-Mar-1993, [1993] 4 All ER 355

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMullaney v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police CA 15-May-2001
The claimant police officer was severely injured making an arrest. He claimed damages from the respondent for contributory negligence of other officers in failing to come to his assistance.
Held: If a police officer owes a duty of care to . .
CitedBrooks v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and others HL 21-Apr-2005
The claimant was with Stephen Lawrence when they were both attacked and Mr Lawrence killed. He claimed damages for the negligent way the police had dealt with his case, and particularly said that they had failed to assess him as a victim of crime, . .
CitedWelton, Welton v North Cornwall District Council CA 17-Jul-1996
The defendant authority appealed a finding that it was liable in negligence from the conduct of one of its environmental health officers. The plaintiff had set out to refurbish and open a restaurant. He said the officer gave him a list of things he . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Police

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.77784

Hill v William Hill (Park Lane) Limited: HL 1949

The policy behind the 1845 Act was to discourage gambling.
Viscount Simon said: ‘it is to be observed that though a Parliamentary enactment (like Parliamentary eloquence) is capable of saying the same thing twice over without adding anything to what has already been said, the repetition in the case of an Act of Parliament is not to be assumed. When the legislature enacts a particular phrase in a statute the presumption is that it is saying something which has not been said immediately before. The rule that a meaning should, if possible, be given to every word in the statute implies that, unless there is good reason to the contrary, the words add something which would not be there if the words were left out’

Judges:

Viscount Simon

Citations:

[1949] 2 All ER 452, [1949] AC 530

Statutes:

Gaming Act 1845 18

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedCalvert v William Hill Credit Ltd ChD 12-Mar-2008
The claimant said that the defendant bookmakers had been negligent in allowing him to continue betting when they should have known that he was acting under an addiction. The defendant company had a policy for achieving responsible gambling, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Licensing

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.266992

McArdle v Andmac Roofing Co and Others: 1967

Non-employers can owe a duty of care analogous to those owed by an employer particularly where the non-employer is engaged in operations which may affect the sub-contractor or his employee

Citations:

[1967] 1 All ER 583, [1967] 1 WLR 356, 111 Sol Jo 37

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedEH Humphries (Norton) Ltd. Thistle Hotels Plc v Fire Alarm Fabrication Services Ltd CA 10-Nov-2006
The sub-contractor’s workman fell through a skylight and died. His employers having settled, obtained contribution orders from the main contractors and building owners who each now appealed.
Held: Whether main contractors were also liable to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Health and Safety, Negligence

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.246407

Arneil v Paterson: 1931

Viscount Dunedin spoke of a hypothetical case in which two dogs had worried a sheep to death: ‘Would we then have to hold that each dog had half killed the sheep?’
Viscount Hailsham said: The owner of one of the two dogs which had worried the sheep was liable for the whole damage because ‘each of the dogs did in law occasion the whole of the damage which was suffered by the sheep as a result of the action of the two dogs acting together’

Judges:

Viscount Dunedin, Viscount Hailsham

Citations:

[1931] AC 560

Cited by:

CitedZurich Insurance Plc UK Branch v International Energy Group Ltd SC 20-May-2015
A claim had been made for mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos, but the claim arose in Guernsey. Acknowledging the acute difficultis particular to the evidence in such cases, the House of Lords, in Fairchild. had introduced the Special Rule . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Negligence

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.241496

J Doltis Limited v Issac Braithwaite and Sons (Engineers) Limited: 1957

Citations:

[1957] 1 Ll L Rep 522

Cited by:

CitedLMS International Ltd and others v Styrene Packaging and Insulation Ltd and others TCC 30-Sep-2005
The claimants sought damages after their premises were destroyed when a fire started in the defendants neighbouring premises which contained substantial volumes of styrofoam. They alleged this was an unnatural use of the land.
Held: To . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.230981

Pelman v McDonald’s Corporation: 1993

(United States District Court, S.D. New York,) Customers sued McDonald’s for the excess sale of fatty fast food products to children.
Held: The action was dismissed. the defendants owed no duty to warn consumers of the products’ well-known attributes, setting out the causes of action alleged by the plaintiffs, two of which were expressed in these terms: ‘Count III sounds in negligence, alleging that McDonalds acted at least negligently in selling food products that are high in cholesterol, fat, salt and sugar when studies show that such foods cause obesity and detrimental health effects. Count IV alleges that McDonalds failed to warn the consumers of McDonalds’ products of the ingredients, quantity, qualities and levels of cholesterol, fat, salt and sugar content and other ingredients in those products, and that a diet high in fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol could lead to obesity and health problems.’ As to count III, at ‘It is well-known that fast food in general, and McDonalds’ products in particular, contain high levels of cholesterol, fat, salt and sugar, and that such attributes are bad for one. . . If a person knows or should know that eating copious orders of super- sized McDonalds’ products is unhealthy and may result in weight gain (and its concomitant problems) because of the high levels of cholesterol, fat, salt and sugar, it is not the place of the law to protect them from their own excesses. Nobody is forced to eat at McDonalds. As long as a consumer exercises free choice with appropriate knowledge, liability for negligence will not attach to a manufacturer. […] Plaintiffs have failed to allege in the Complaint that their decisions to eat at McDonalds several times a week were anything but a choice freely made and which now may not be pinned on McDonalds.’

Judges:

District Judge Sweet

Citations:

237 F.Supp.2d 512 (S.D.N.Y.2003).

Jurisdiction:

United States

Cited by:

CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

International, Negligence, Consumer

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.226711

Hamilton v Fife Health Board: 1993

A child was born but with injuries incurred while in utero alleged to have been caused by the negligence of the doctors attending the mother. The parents sued the health board for loss of the child’s society. The Board argued the action to be irrelevant as the child had not been a person for the purposes of the 1976 Act at the time when the injuries were sustained. The Lord Ordinary held that personal injuries could only be sustained by a person and that the child had not been a person at the relevant time. The pursuers reclaimed.
Held: Reversing the judgment of the Lord Ordinary, the case depended on the construction of section 1(1) of the Damages (Scotland) Act 1976, that there could be no liability until both damnum and iniuria concurred, but once the child was born and became a person the necessary concurrence was established and the child acquired the right to sue the person whose breach of duty resulted in its loss; and it followed that the defenders were liable to pay damages to the pursuers in accordance with section 1(1) of the 1976 Act.
Lord McCluskey said: ‘As the act or omission must be one giving rise to liability to pay damages, there can be no liability until both damnum and iniuria concur. There can be no liability to pay damages until there is a person in respect of whose loss the claim to damages arises.’
Lord Caplan said: ‘However the duty is not breached nor does a right of action arise at the point when the careless act is committed (assuming there were such an act). The duty which rests on a person charged with taking care is not the academic responsibility of not being negligent but rather the duty not to cause harm by negligence. The delict is only committed when the initial negligent act actually causes harm. That is to say the concurrence of iniuria and damnum is required. ‘

Citations:

1993 SC 369

Statutes:

Damages (Scotland) Act 1976 1(1)

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Citing:

CitedWatson v Fram Reinforced Concrete Co (Scotland) Ltd HL 1960
A workman had been injured through the breaking of a defective part in the machine with which he was working. He brought an action of damages against his employers, and later convened as second defenders the manufacturers of the machine, who had . .
CitedB v Islington Health Authority; De Martell v Merton and Sutton Health Authority CA 6-May-1992
A doctor’s duty of care to an unborn child is an established duty in common law despite some cases apparently to the contrary. Phillips J: ‘The duty in the law of negligence is not a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid risk of causing injury. . .

Cited by:

CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.226699

Paugh v RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company: 1993

(United States District Court, N.D.Ohio, E.D) A tobacco company was sued in negligence.
Held: ‘The dangers posed by tobacco smoking have long been within the ordinary knowledge common to the community. In fact, tobacco is specifically mentioned in the Restatement (Second) of Torts as an example of a product which is not defective merely because the effects of smoking may be harmful. Rest. (2d) of Torts -402A(i).’ and ‘[E]specially in light of the Sixth Circuit’s holding in Roysdon, this Court finds that the better-reasoned decisions are those finding the dangers of smoking to have been common knowledge. Much as in the case of alcohol, users of tobacco products have made a consumer choice in the face of health risks that are common to ordinary knowledge . . That some ignore or underestimate these risks has little bearing on the extent to which knowledge of the dangers [is] salient within the community. Therefore, because the risks posed by smoking are an inherent characteristic of cigarettes, and because knowledge of these risks has been common to the community since well before 1966, Paugh’s allegations are insufficient to support her claim for damages caused by a product in an ‘unsafe and defective’ condition. . .’

Citations:

834 F.Supp. 228 (N.D.Ohio 1993)

Jurisdiction:

United States

Cited by:

CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

International, Negligence

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.226710

Cruz-Vargas v R J Reynolds Tobacco Company: 2003

(United States Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit) Relatives of a deceased smoker brought a negligence and strict liability suit against a tobacco company, alleging that it was responsible for his death. The action was brought in the District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. There was evidence that ‘the average consumer in Puerto Rico during the 1950’s, during the 1960’s’ was aware both of health risks, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, associated with smoking and that ‘smoking was or could be difficult to quit’. In discussing the evidence regarding common knowledge, the Court of Appeals said: ‘This case calls for us to evaluate application of the common knowledge doctrine in the context of tobacco litigation. The doctrine stems from the principle that a manufacturer cannot be held liable under either strict liability or negligence for failure to warn of a danger commonly known to the public. See, e.g., Guevara v Dorsey Labs., Div. of Sandoz, Inc., 845 F 2d 364, 367 (1st Cir. 1988) (‘The duty to warn in general is limited to hazards not commonly known to the relevant public’); Aponte Rivera v Sears Roebuck, 44 P.R. Offic. Trans. 7, 144 D.P.R. 830 (1998) (‘[A] manufacturer need not warn of a hazard if the average consumer ordinarily has knowledge of the dangers of the product.’). […]
A products liability plaintiff alleging failure to warn must prove
‘(1) the manufacturer knew, or should have known of the risk inherent in the product; (2) there were no warnings or instructions, or those provided were inadequate; (3) the absence of warnings made the product inherently dangerous; (4) the absence of adequate warnings or instructions was the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injury.’
Aponte Rivera, 44 P.R. Offic. Trans. at 6. Under the common knowledge doctrine, however, a defendant neither breaches a duty nor causes the product to be inherently dangerous when the allegedly omitted warning concerns a danger of which the public is well aware. […]
The crux of appellants’ entreaty on appeal is that neither the strict liability nor the negligence claim requires any affirmative showing, and thus the burden rested entirely on Reynolds. Whether or not this is a correct view of the law, after searching the record we have found no evidence which supports appellants’ allegations that there was a lack of common knowledge and thus we are compelled to find that Reynolds met its burden in any event.’
(5) In Roysdon v R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company 849 F.2d 230 (6th Cir. 1988), a smoker and his wife brought an action against a tobacco manufacturer to recover for disease allegedly caused by smoking. The United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, inter alia affirmed the dismissal by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee of the plaintiffs’ failure to warn claim. At p.236, para.10, the Court of Appeals said:
‘[T]he district court took judicial notice that ‘tobacco has been used for over 400 years and that its characteristics have also been fully explored. Knowledge that cigarette smoking is harmful to health is widespread and can be considered part of the common knowledge of the community.’
Roysdon, 623 F.Supp. at 1192. Remembering that this action was limited to the ten years preceding the filing of this complaint [on 5 July 1984], we think this approach was appropriate. The extensive information regarding the risks of smoking available to the public during that time precluded the existence of a jury question as to whether cigarettes are unreasonably dangerous. We find that whether there was knowledge regarding Mr Roysdon’s specific medical problem is irrelevant in light of the serious nature of the other diseases known at that time to be caused by cigarette smoking.’

Citations:

[2003] 348 F3d 271 (1st Cir.2003)

Cited by:

CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, International

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.226222

Dick v Burgh of Falkirk: HL 1976

Their lordships were prepared to contemplate the idea of a defender owing a common law duty of care to the victim’s relatives.

Citations:

1976 SC (HL) 1

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Cited by:

Not followedRobertson v Turnbull HL 1982
. .
CitedJD v East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust and others HL 21-Apr-2005
Parents of children had falsely and negligently been accused of abusing their children. The children sought damages for negligence against the doctors or social workers who had made the statements supporting the actions taken. The House was asked if . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.224420

Mekew v Holland and Hannen and Cubitts (Scotland): 1970

Citations:

[1970] CLY 612

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Cited by:

AppliedEmeh v Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster Area Health Authority CA 1-Jul-1984
A sterilisation operation had been performed negligently and failed and the claimant was born.
Held: The birth of a child with congenital abnormalities was a foreseeable consequence of the surgeon’s careless failure to clip a fallopian tube . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.221680

Rutter v Palmer: 1922

A party is not exempted by his contract from his own negligence ‘unless adequate words are used.’
Scrutton LJ said: ‘For the present purposes a rougher test will serve. In construing an exemption clause certain general rules may be applied: First the defendant is not exempted from liability for the negligence of his servants unless adequate words are used; secondly, the liability of the defendant apart from the exempting words must be ascertained; then the particular clause in question must be considered; and if the only liability of the party pleading the exemption is a liability for negligence, the clause will more readily operate to exempt him.”

Judges:

Scrutton LJ

Citations:

[1922] All ER Rep 367, [1922] 2 KB 87, [1922] 91 LJKB 657, [1922] 127 LT 419

Cited by:

CitedHedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd HL 28-May-1963
Banker’s Liability for Negligent Reference
The appellants were advertising agents. They were liable themselves for advertising space taken for a client, and had sought a financial reference from the defendant bankers to the client. The reference was negligent, but the bankers denied any . .
AppliedAlderslade v Hendon Laundry Ltd CA 1945
Exclusion allowed where only one possible cause of
Articles were sent by the plaintiff to the defendants’ laundry to be washed, and they were lost. In an action by the plaintiff against the defendants for damages, the defendants relied on the following condition to limit their liability: ‘The . .
CitedHollier v Rambler Motors (AMC) Ltd CA 19-Nov-1971
The plaintiff left his car with the defendant garage for repair. Whilst there it was substantially damaged by fire. The defendant sought to rely upon their terms which would negative liability, saying that the terms had been incorporated by . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Contract

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.216366

Scholes v Brook: 1891

Counsel for the appellant had submitted that the damages ought to be the difference between the value of the estate as stated by the valuers and the real value at that time. This submission was rejected.
Held: The argument was rightly rejected.

Citations:

(1891) 64 LT 674

Cited by:

CitedHedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd HL 28-May-1963
Banker’s Liability for Negligent Reference
The appellants were advertising agents. They were liable themselves for advertising space taken for a client, and had sought a financial reference from the defendant bankers to the client. The reference was negligent, but the bankers denied any . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Damages

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.216367

Grote v Chester and Holyhead Ry: CEC 1848

The defendants had constructed a bridge over the Dee on their railway and had licensed the use of the bridge to the Shrewsbury and Chester Railway to carry passengers over it, and had so negligently constructed the bridge that the plaintiff, a passenger of the last named railway, had been injured by the falling of the bridge. At the trial before Vaughan Williams J. the judge had directed the jury that the plaintiff was entitled to recover if the bridge was not constructed with reasonable care and skill. On a motion for a new trial the Attorney-General (Sir John Jervis) contended that there was misdirection, for the defendants were only liable for negligence, and the jury might have understood that there was an absolute liability.
Held: After consulting the trial judge as to his direction, the court refused the rule.

Citations:

(1848) 2 Ex 251

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedDonoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability
The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.197987

McKillen v Barclay Curle and Co Ltd: 1967

The Lord Ordinary had awarded the pursuer damages for tuberculosis, on the basis that in the accident he had fractured a rib and this had reactivated his pre-existing tuberculosis.
Held: The pursuer had failed to prove the causal connexion between the fractured rib and the tuberculosis, since there was no corroboration of the evidence of the pursuer’s expert witness. They accordingly allowed the reclaiming motion. In Scots law a wrongdoer takes his victim as he finds him. Foreseeability had no relevance to the determination of the measure of damage, once liability had been established.

Judges:

Lord President Clyde

Citations:

1967 SLT 41

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Citing:

ConfirmedSmith v Leech Brain and Co Ltd CA 1962
The reasoning in The Wagon Mound did not affect the rule that a tortfeasor takes his victim as he finds him.
Lord Parker CJ said: ‘The test is not whether these employers could reasonably have foreseen that a burn would cause cancer and that . .
CitedOverseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Dock and Engineering Co Ltd (The Wagon Mound No 1) PC 18-Jan-1961
Foreseeability Standard to Establish Negligence
Complaint was made that oil had been discharged into Sydney Harbour causing damage. The court differentiated damage by fire from other types of physical damage to property for the purposes of liability in tort, saying ‘We have come back to the plain . .
CitedBourhill v Young’s Executor HL 5-Aug-1942
When considering claims for damages for shock, the court only recognised the action lying where the injury by shock was sustained ‘through the medium of the eye or the ear without direct contact.’ Wright L said: ‘No doubt, it has long ago been . .

Cited by:

CitedSimmons v British Steel plc HL 29-Apr-2004
The claimant was injured at work as a consequence of the defender’s negligence. His injuries became more severe, and he came to suffer a disabling depression.
Held: the Inner House had been wrong to characterise the Outer House decision as . .
Obiter rmarks doubtedM’Kew v Holland and Hannen and Cubitts (Scotland) Ltd 1969
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Damages

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.196527

Rootes v Shelton: 1965

(High Court of Australia) Barwick CJ said: ‘By engaging in a sport or pastime the participants may be held to have accepted risks which are inherent in that sport or pastime: the tribunal of fact can make its own assessment of what the accepted risks are: but this does not eliminate all duty of care of the one participant to the other. Whether or not such a duty arises, and, if it does, its extent, must necessarily depend in each case upon its own circumstances. In this connection, the rules of the sport or game may constitute one of those circumstances: but, in my opinion, they are neither definitive of the existence nor of the extent of the duty; nor does their breach or non-observance necessarily constitute a breach of any duty found to exist.’
Kitto J said: ‘in a case such as the present, it must always be a question of fact, what exoneration from a duty of care otherwise incumbent upon the defendant was implied by the act of the plaintiff in joining in the activity. Unless the activity partakes of the nature of a war or of something else in which all is notoriously fair, the conclusion to be reached must necessarily depend, according to the concepts of common law, upon the reasonableness, in relation to the special circumstances, of the conduct which caused the plaintiff’s injury. That does not necessarily mean the compliance of that conduct with the rules, conventions or customs (if there are any) by which the correctness of conduct for the purpose of the carrying on of the activity as an organised affair is judged; for the tribunal of fact may think that in the situation in which the plaintiff’s injury was caused a participant might do what the defendant did and still not be acting unreasonably, even though he infringed the ‘rules of the game’. Non-compliance with such rules, conventions or customs (where they exist) is necessarily one consideration to be attended to upon the question of reasonableness; but it is only one, and it may be of much or little or even no weight in the circumstances.’

Judges:

Barwick CJ, Kitto J

Citations:

(1968) ALR 33, (1967) 116 CLR 383

Cited by:

ApprovedCondon v Basi CA 30-Apr-1985
The parties were playing football. The defendant executed a late dangerous and foul tackle on the plaintiff breaking his leg. The defendant was sent off, and the plaintiff sued.
Held: Those taking part in competitive sport still owed a duty of . .
CitedBlake v Galloway CA 25-Jun-2004
The claimant was injured whilst playing about with other members of his band throwing sticks at each other. The defendant appealed against a denial of his defence on non fit injuria.
Held: The horseplay in which the five youths were engaged . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Commonwealth

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.194827

Winterbottom v Wright: 1842

Owing to negligence in the construction of a carriage it broke down. A third party sought damages for injuries which he alleged were due to negligence in the work.
Held: The doctrine of privity of contract precluded actions in tort by third parties arising from negligence by a party to a contract in carrying it out. He had no cause of action either in tort or arising out of contract. ‘The only safe rule is to confine the right to recover to those who enter into the contract; if we go one step beyond that, there is no reason why we should not go fifty.’

Judges:

Alderson B

Citations:

(1842) 10 M and W 109, 152 ER 402

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedDonoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability
The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .
CitedBlacker v Lake and Elliot Ld HL 1912
A brazing lamp which, by exploding owing to a latent defect, injured a person other than the purchaser of it, and the vendor was held not liable to the party injured. The House considered earlier cases on liability for defectively manufactured . .
AppliedEarl v Lubbock CA 1905
The plaintiff was injured when a wheel came off a van which he was driving for his employer, and which it was the duty of the defendant, under contract with the employer, to keep in repair. The county court judge and the Divisional Court both hold . .
CitedHeaven v Pender, Trading As West India Graving Dock Company CA 30-Jul-1883
Duty Arising to Use Ordinary Care and Skill
The plaintiff was a painter. His employer engaged to repaint a ship, and the defendant erected staging to support the work. The staging collapsed because one of the ropes was singed and weakened, injuring the plaintiff.
Held: The defendant had . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.192606

George v Skivington: 1869

There was an injury to the wife, from a hair wash purchased under a contract of sale with the husband.
Held: The wife had a good cause of action. There was a duty in the vendor to use ordinary care in compounding the article sold, and that this extended to the person for whose use he knew it was purchased, and this duty having been violated, and he, having failed to use reasonable care, was liable in an action at the suit of the third person.

Citations:

(1869) L R 5 Ex 1, 39 LJ Ex 8, 21 LT 495

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

ApprovedDonoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability
The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .
Not followedBlacker v Lake and Elliot Ld HL 1912
A brazing lamp which, by exploding owing to a latent defect, injured a person other than the purchaser of it, and the vendor was held not liable to the party injured. The House considered earlier cases on liability for defectively manufactured . .
AppliedFrancis v Cockrell CEC 1870
The plaintiff was injured by the fall of a stand on a racecourse, for a seat in which he had paid. The defendant was part proprietor of the stand and acted as receiver of the money. The stand had been negligently erected by a contractor, though the . .
CitedCavalier v Pope HL 22-Jun-1906
The wife of the tenant of a house let unfurnished sought to recover from the landlord damages for personal injuries arising from the non-repair of the house, on the ground that the landlord had contracted with her husband to repair the house.
CitedHedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd HL 28-May-1963
Banker’s Liability for Negligent Reference
The appellants were advertising agents. They were liable themselves for advertising space taken for a client, and had sought a financial reference from the defendant bankers to the client. The reference was negligent, but the bankers denied any . .
CitedHeaven v Pender, Trading As West India Graving Dock Company CA 30-Jul-1883
Duty Arising to Use Ordinary Care and Skill
The plaintiff was a painter. His employer engaged to repaint a ship, and the defendant erected staging to support the work. The staging collapsed because one of the ropes was singed and weakened, injuring the plaintiff.
Held: The defendant had . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Consumer

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.192601

Thompson v Smiths Shiprepairers (North Shields) Ltd: QBD 1984

The test to be applied in determining the time at which an employer’s failure to provide protection constituted actionable negligence was what would have been done at any particular time by a reasonable and prudent employer who was properly but not extraordinarily solicitous for his workers’ safety in the light of what he knew or ought to have known at the time. Lord Devlin’s statement of the law as to concurrent tortfeasors ‘does not . . demand the conclusion that where the court knows that the initial stage of the damage was caused by A (and not B) and that the latter stage was caused by B (and not A), it is obliged by law to proceed (contrary to the true facts) on the assumption that the faults of each had caused the whole damage.’ and ‘I see no reason why the present impossibility of making a precise apportionment of impairment and disability in terms of time, should in justice lead to the result that the defendants are adjudged liable to pay in full, when it is known that only part of the damage was their fault. What justice does demand, to my mind, is that the court should make the best estimate it can, in the light of the evidence, making the fullest allowances in favour of the plaintiffs for the uncertainties known to be involved in any apportionment.’
Mustill J adopted and developed the statement of Swanwick J: ‘I shall direct myself in accordance with this succinct and helpful statement of the law, and will make only one additional comment. In the passage just cited, Swanwick J drew a distinction between a recognised practice followed without mishap, and one which in the light of common sense or increased knowledge is clearly bad. The distinction is indeed valid and sufficient for many cases. The two categories are not, however, exhaustive: as the present actions demonstrate. The practice of leaving employees unprotected against excessive noise had never been followed ‘without mishap.’ Yet even the plaintiffs have not suggested that it was ‘clearly bad,’ in the sense of creating a potential liability in negligence, at any time before the mid-1930s. Between the two extremes is a type of risk which is regarded at any given time (although not necessarily later) as an inescapable feature of the industry. The employer is not liable for the consequences of such risks, although subsequent changes in social awareness, or improvements in knowledge and technology, may transfer the risk into the category of those against which the employer can and should take care. It is unnecessary, and perhaps impossible, to give a comprehensive formula for identifying the line between the acceptable and the unacceptable. Nevertheless, the line does exist, and was clearly recognised in Morris v West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Co Ltd [1956] AC 552. The speeches in that case show, not that one employer is exonerated simply by proving that other employers are just as negligent, but that the standard of what is negligent is influenced, although not decisively, by the practice in the industry as a whole. In my judgment, this principle applies not only where the breach of duty is said to consist of a failure to take precautions known to be available as a means of combating a known danger, but also where the omission involves an absence of initiative in seeking out knowledge of facts which are not in themselves obvious. The employer must keep up to date, but the court must be slow to blame him for not ploughing a lone furrow.’

Judges:

Mustill J

Citations:

[1984] 1 QB 405, [1984] 1 All ER 881

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedStokes v Guest Keen and Nettlefold (Nuts and Bolts) Ltd QBD 1968
An employee had been exposed at work over a long period to mineral oil which, on a daily basis, had saturated his clothing and come into contact with his skin. As a result of this he developed cancer of the scrotum from which he eventually died. The . .

Cited by:

AppliedHoltby v Brigham and Cowan (Hull) Ltd CA 6-Apr-2000
A claimant who sought damages for injuries suffered by the ingestion of asbestos whilst working for one employer, but had also worked for other periods for other employers where similar activities had been involved, had the onus in the claim to . .
CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
CitedWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority HL 24-Jul-1986
A premature baby suffered injury after mistaken treatment by a hospital doctor. He had inserted a monitor into the umbilical vein. The claimant suggested the treatment should have been by a more senior doctor. The hospital appealed a finding that it . .
CitedSienkiewicz v Greif (UK) Ltd; Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willmore SC 9-Mar-2011
The Court considered appeals where defendants challenged the factual basis of findings that they had contributed to the causes of the claimant’s Mesothelioma, and in particular to what extent a court can satisfactorily base conclusions of fact on . .
CitedBaker v Quantum Clothing Group Ltd and Others SC 13-Apr-2011
The court was asked as to the liability of employers in the knitting industry for hearing losses suffered by employees before the 1989 Regulations came into effect. The claimant had worked in a factory between 1971 and 2001, sustaining noise induced . .
CitedZurich Insurance Plc UK Branch v International Energy Group Ltd SC 20-May-2015
A claim had been made for mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos, but the claim arose in Guernsey. Acknowledging the acute difficultis particular to the evidence in such cases, the House of Lords, in Fairchild. had introduced the Special Rule . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Negligence

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.190109

Chaudry v Prabhakar: CA 1988

The plaintiff sued a friend of hers for wrongly advising her that a car she was thinking of buying was in good condition.
Held: An agent, even a volunteer, owed a duty of care appropriate for those circumstances. The measurement was objective, not subjective. The defendant knew he was to be relied upon, and the circumstances (a crumpled bonnet) suggested that further enquiry was required. The relationship may be material. If they are friends, the court may find that the arrangement was purely social, and according to the circumstances, did not give rise to a duty of care.
Stuart Smith LJ said: ‘When considering the question of whether a duty of care arises, the relationship between the parties is material. If they are friends, the true view may be that the advice or representation is made on a purely social occasion and the circumstances show that there has not been a voluntary assumption of responsibility.’
Stocker LJ said: ‘in my view, in the absence of other factors giving rise to such a duty, the giving of advice sought in the context of family, domestic or social relationships will not in itself give rise to any duty in respect of such advice.’
May LJ said: ‘I for my part respectfully doubt whether counsel’s concession in the instant case was rightly made in law. I do not find the conclusion that one must impose on a family friend looking out for a first car for a girl of 26 a Donoghue v Stevenson duty of care in and about his quest, enforceable with all the formalities of the law of tort, entirely attractive.’

Judges:

Stuart Smith, Stocker, May LJJ

Citations:

[1989] 1 WLR 29, [1988] 3 All ER 718

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

Dictum appliedHoughland v R R Low (Luxury Coaches) Ltd CA 1962
A passenger’s bag had been placed in one coach that had broken down was intended to be transferred to a second coach. When the second coach arrived at the passenger’s destination the bag was not in the hold.
Held: The duty of care of a bailee . .
AppliedHedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd HL 28-May-1963
Banker’s Liability for Negligent Reference
The appellants were advertising agents. They were liable themselves for advertising space taken for a client, and had sought a financial reference from the defendant bankers to the client. The reference was negligent, but the bankers denied any . .
CitedDonoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability
The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Agency, Negligence

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.188809

Baxter v Stockton-on-Tees Corporation: 1959

The court was asked to set out the responsibilities of the local authority as highway authority for any failure to construct, maintain and provide signage on its roads: ‘As to the hypothetical case against the county council, there is, as we have said, authority for the proposition that a highway authority constructing a road for the public use under statutory powers owes a duty to the public to take reasonable care to construct the road properly, so that it will be reasonably safe for the purposes for which it is intended to be used’ and ‘It would not have sufficed for the purposes of a charge of negligence against the county council merely to show that the system of traffic signs or the lighting arrangements might have been improved upon.’

Judges:

Jenkins LJ

Citations:

[1959] 1 QB 441

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedGreat North Eastern Railway Limited v Hart and Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions and Network Rail Infrastructure Limited QBD 30-Oct-2003
A driver had crashed through a barrier before a bridge, and descended into the path of a train. Ten people died. He now sought a contribution order against the Secretary of State for the condition of the barrier which was said to be faulty.
CitedNational Grid Gas Plc, Regina (on the Application of) v The Environment Agency Admn 17-May-2006
The claimant sought a judicial review of the decision to hold them responsible for necessary works of remediation. They were statutory successors to British Gas Corporation.
Held: The legislation clearly attempted to hold the contaminator . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.187293

Evans v London Hospital Medical College and Others: 1981

The defendants employed by the first defendant carried out a post mortem on the plaintiff’s infant son. They found concentrations of morphine and told the police. The plaintiff was charged with the murder of her son. After further investigation no evidence was offered and she was acquitted. She claimed damages for negligence against the defendants in allowing the organs removed from her son’s body to become contaminated with morphine and in failing to appreciate that the high concentration of morphine revealed by analysis was unlikely to have existed while he was still alive.
Held: Immunity from suit was available to potential witnesses in criminal proceedings at a time when such proceedings were merely in contemplation but had not yet commenced, and covers all conduct that can fairly be said to be part of the investigatory process.
Drake J said: ‘If this object is to be achieved I think it essential that the immunity given to a witness should also extend to cover statements he makes prior to the issue of a writ or commencement of a prosecution, provided that the statement is made for the purpose of a possible action or prosecution and at a time when a possible action or prosecution is being considered. In a large number of criminal cases the police have collected statements from witnesses before anyone is charged with an offence; indeed sometimes before it is known whether or not any criminal offence has been committed . . If immunity did not extend to such statements it would mean that the immunity attached to the giving of evidence in court or the formal statements made in preparation for the court hearing could easily be outflanked and rendered of little use. For the same reason I think that the immunity must extend also to the acts of the witness in collecting or considering material on which he may later be called to give evidence. If it does not so extend then a convicted person could, for example, sue the police officers for the allegedly negligent manner in which they had investigated the crime, by complaining that they had wrongly assessed the evidential value of certain matters or had failed to interview possible witnesses whose evidence was thought by the accused to be favourable to him.’

Judges:

Drake J

Citations:

[1981] 1 WLR 184, [1981] 1 All ER 715

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedDarker v Chief Constable of The West Midlands Police HL 1-Aug-2000
The plaintiffs had been indicted on counts alleging conspiracy to import drugs and conspiracy to forge traveller’s cheques. During the criminal trial it emerged that there had been such inadequate disclosure by the police that the proceedings were . .
Dicta approvedTaylor and Others v Director of The Serious Fraud Office and Others HL 29-Oct-1998
The defendant had requested the Isle of Man authorities to investigate the part if any taken by the plaintiff in a major fraud. No charges were brought against the plaintiff, but the documents showing suspicion came to be disclosed in the later . .
CitedMeadow v General Medical Council Admn 17-Feb-2006
The appellant challenged being struck off the medical register. He had given expert evidence in a criminal case which was found misleading and to have contributed to a wrongful conviction for murder.
Held: The evidence though mistaken was . .
CitedWestcott v Westcott QBD 30-Oct-2007
The claimant said that his daughter in law had defamed him. She answered that the publication was protected by absolute privilege. She had complained to the police that he had hit her and her infant son.
Held: ‘the process of taking a witness . .
CitedWestcott v Westcott CA 15-Jul-2008
The defendant was the claimant’s daughter in law. In the course of a bitter divorce she made allegations to the police which were investigated but did not lead to a prosecution. The claimant appealed dismissal of his claim for defamation on the . .
CitedSilcott v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis CA 24-May-1996
The claimant had been convicted of the murder of PC Blakelock. The only substantial evidence was in the form of the notes of interview he said were fabricated by senior officers. His eventual appeal on this basis was not resisted. He now appealed . .
CitedJones v Kaney SC 30-Mar-2011
An expert witness admitted signing a joint report but without agreeing to it. The claimant who had lost his case now pursued her in negligence. The claimant appealed against a finding that the expert witness was immune from action.
Held: The . .
CitedSmart v The Forensic Science Service Ltd CA 2-Jul-2013
On a search of his house, the police found a bullet cartridge on the claimant’s property. It was sent for testing but due to a mistake it was reported as a live cartridge. The prosecution was only dropped after some months when the mistake was . .
CitedCrawford v Jenkins CA 24-Jul-2014
The parties had divorced but acrimony continued. H now complained of his arrests after allegations from his former wife that he had breached two orders. He had been released and no charges followed. The court had ruled that W’s complaints were . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Torts – Other

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.184732

Rothwell v Caverswall Stone Co Ltd: CA 1944

duParcq LJ set out two propositions: ‘In my opinion, the following propositions may be formulated upon the authorities as they stand: first, an existing incapacity ‘results from’ the original injury if it follows, and is caused by, that injury, and may properly be held so to result even if some supervening cause aggravated the effects of the original injury and prolonged the period of incapacity.’ and: ‘If, however, the existing incapacity ought fairly to be attributed to a new cause which has intervened and ought no longer to be attributed to the original injury, it may properly be held to result from the new cause and not from the original injury, even though, but for the original injury, there would have been no incapacity.’

Judges:

duParcq LJ

Citations:

[1944] 2 All ER 350

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

ApprovedHogan v Bentinck West Hartley Collieries (Owners) Ltd HL 1949
The workman plaintiff suffered from a congenital defect, having an extra thumb in his right hand. He met with an industrial accident and fractured the false thumb. It was treated by splinting but he continued to be in pain. He was then sent to the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Damages

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.614915

Hogan v Bentinck West Hartley Collieries (Owners) Ltd: HL 1949

The workman plaintiff suffered from a congenital defect, having an extra thumb in his right hand. He met with an industrial accident and fractured the false thumb. It was treated by splinting but he continued to be in pain. He was then sent to the hospital where it was discovered that the fracture had not united. He was advised that an operation was required to remove not just the false thumb, but also the top joint of the normal thumb. The result of this operation was unsatisfactory as it left him with a tender stump which rendered him fit for light work only. The workman applied for compensation on the ground of this incapacity, which applied ‘Where . . incapacity for work results from the accident’ .
Held: This later incapacity was not the result of the injury which was caused by the industrial accident.
The question of the effect of a novus actus can only be answered on a consideration of all the circumstances and, in particular, the quality of that later act or event. Questions of causation are pure questions of fact which, if they are to be answered by a judge, must yet be answered by him as an ordinary man.
Medical negligence or inefficiency can be held to amount to a new cause of incapacity in some circumstances.
Lord MacDermott and Lord Reid, dissenting, were of the opinion that in interpreting the words ‘results from the injury’ in the Act, regard ought to had for the social policy of the legislation.
Lord Reid stated that the Court of Appeal was correct in holding that it was bound by authority but he was of the view that the House of Lords, not being bound, ought to change the law as it stood. He said that not only must the new cause come in but the old must go out; there must no longer be any cause or connection between the injury by accident and the present incapacity.
He considered that ‘grave lack of skill or care on the part of the doctor’ would amount to a novus actus interveniens.

Judges:

Lord Simonds, Lord Normand, Lord Morton of Henryton, Lord MacDermott and Lord Reid

Citations:

[1949] 1 All ER 588

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

ApprovedRothwell v Caverswall Stone Co Ltd CA 1944
duParcq LJ set out two propositions: ‘In my opinion, the following propositions may be formulated upon the authorities as they stand: first, an existing incapacity ‘results from’ the original injury if it follows, and is caused by, that injury, and . .

Cited by:

CitedWieland v Cyril Lord Carpets Ltd 1969
The plaintiff suffered injury from the admitted negligence of the defendant. After attending the hospital she felt shaken and the movement of her head was constricted by a collar which had been fitted to her neck. In consequence she was unable to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Damages

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.614914

Porter v Strathclyde Regional Council: 1991

The Inner House should not interfere with the Lord Ordinary’s apportionment of negligence except in exceptional circumstances which must demonstrate that ‘he has manifestly and to a substantial degree gone wrong’.

Citations:

1991 SLT 446

Cited by:

CitedJackson v Murray and Another SC 18-Feb-2015
Child not entirely free of responsibility
The claimant child, left a school bus and stepped out from behind it into the path of the respondent’s car. She appealed against a finding of 70% contributory negligence.
Held: Her appeal succeeded (Majority, Lord Hodge and Lord Wilson . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Scotland, Negligence

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.559412

Coldman v Hill: CA 1918

A bailee of cattle who had without negligence let them escape and be lost.
Held: he was blameless in detinue but negligent in that he had failed to inform the owner of the loss as soon as possible, a duty which the court found to arise out of the contract of agistment. Scrutton LJ said that a bailee must show that the goods were lost without default on his part. D. If the property is stolen, and he does not promptly after discovery of the theft notify the bailor or the police of that fact, the burden lies on him of proving that prompt notification to the bailor or to the police would not have led to the recovery of the goods undamaged. The owner of land on which stock are agisted is the bailee and has possession of the cattle, and must take reasonable and proper care of the stock. A contract of agistment is a contract under which an agister agrees, for payment, to provide grazing for, and to supervise and look after, the owner’s stock on land that the agister owns or occupies.

Judges:

Scrutton LJ

Citations:

120 LT 412, [1919] 1 KB 443, [1918] All ER Rep 438

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedHoughland v R R Low (Luxury Coaches) Ltd CA 1962
A passenger’s bag had been placed in one coach that had broken down was intended to be transferred to a second coach. When the second coach arrived at the passenger’s destination the bag was not in the hold.
Held: The duty of care of a bailee . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Agency, Animals, Negligence, Torts – Other

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.549238

Holliday v National Telephone Company: CA 1899

A passer-by on the highway was injured through the negligence of an independent contractor.
Held: The employer was liable.
A L Smith LJ said: ‘The defence is that the defendants are not liable in respect of the injury sustained by the plaintiff, because it was occasioned by the negligence of an independent contractor for whom they are not responsible. In my opinion, since the decision of the House of Lords in Hughes v. Percival (1883) 8 App. Cas. 443, and that of the Privy Council in Black v. Christchurch Finance Co. [1894] A C 48, it is very difficult for a person who is engaged in the execution of dangerous works near a highway to avoid liability by saying that he has employed an independent contractor, because it is the duty of a person who is causing such works to be executed to see that they are properly carried out so as not to occasion any damage to persons passing by on the highway.’

Judges:

A L Smith LJ

Citations:

[1899] 2 QB 392

Cited by:

CitedWoodland v Essex County Council SC 23-Oct-2013
The claimant had been seriously injured in an accident during a swimming lesson. She sought to claim against the local authority, and now appealed against a finding that it was not responsible, having contracted out the provision of swimming . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.516944

Powell v Phillips: CA 1972

After a dance, the plaintiff, a girl of nineteen, was walking along the pavement of a poorly lit street at about 10.45 p.m. with an escort. The pavement was covered with snow and slush. From time to time, they had to step off it and walked in the roadway in or near the gutter. Her escort was walking in front close to the kerb with the plaintiff some way behind slightly to his right. The plaintiff was struck from behind by the defendant’s car. The plaintiff’s escort testified that he neither heard nor saw the car which struck the plaintiff but that he saw it drive past him at a fast speed of about 30 to 40 miles an hour with full beams on.
Held: The driver was entirely responsible.
Stephenson LJ assumed the girl, clad in a dark blue coat and naval blue trousers without ‘wearing or carrying anything white, light-coloured or reflective, walking in the roadway nest to the kerb and not on the pavement and not on the right hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic but with her back to it’, to be in breach of the Highway Code: ‘The perfect pedestrian would, I suppose, have crossed to the other side every time he found the left hand pavement uncomfortable to walk on and, if he found the other pavement no better, would have walked in the roadway on the other side facing the traffic and carrying a lamp. But the question is not what was ideal but what was required by common sense; was the common sense codified in these three rules for pedestrians applicable to the conduct of this particular road user on foot, the plaintiff, at this time and place? More precisely, has the defendant proved that the plaintiff failed to take reasonable care for her own safety by leaving the pavement when they got too slushy in order to walk a few feet out in the road for distance of about 20 yards in the straight street in a built up area with street lights on? My answer to that is an unhesitating ‘No’. Even if it were ‘Yes, there was some negligence on her part’, I should not feel able to find that it made any real contribution to the accident. If she had been on the pavement, she would not have been injured, and if the defendant had proved that he was driving at a reasonable speed with suitable lights on and at least tried to give a proper lookout, I might not have regarded his negligence as substantially the sole cause of the accident.’
A breach of the Highway Code by a road user, itself creates no presumption calling for an explanation or a presumption of negligence but is one of the circumstances on which one party is entitled to rely in establishing negligence.

Judges:

Stephenson LJ

Citations:

[1972] 3 All ER 864

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedProbert v Moore QBD 9-Aug-2012
The claimant, a 13 year old girl, was severely injured walking along the carriageway on a 60mph unlit road at 5:00pm on a December day. A hedgerow obliged her to walk in the road. The defendant driver said that she was contibutorily negligent in . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.471194

Ultzen v Nicols: 1894

The plaintiff went to eat in the defendant’s restaurant. He gave over his coat to the waiter, who hung it on a hook. It was stolen.
Held: The defendant was liable as a bailee for reward. He was guilty of negligence in the care of the coat.

Citations:

[1894] 1 QB 92, (1894) 63 LJ QB 829, (1894) 70 LT 140, (1894) 10 TLR 25, (1894) 28 Sol Jo 26, (1894) 10 R 13 DC

Cited by:

CitedGnango, Regina v SC 14-Dec-2011
The prosecutor appealed against a successful appeal by the defendant against his conviction for murder. He and an opponent had engaged in a street battle using guns. His opponent had shot an innocent passer by. The court was now asked as to whether . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Agency, Negligence

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.467241

Biddle v Hart: 1907

A stevedore’s workman, whilst unloading a ship, was injured owing to a defect in the tackle, and he was suing his master. The learned Judge withdrew the case from the jury, on the ground that the stevedore was not responsible for a defect in the ship’s tackle because the tackle did not belong to him.
Held: Lord Scroll said: ‘In my opinion, if the employer uses plant which is net his own for the purpose of doing something which he has engaged to do, it cannot possibly be said that he has no duty whatever in relation to that plant. Otherwise he would be able to take anything that came from anybody and to use anything in the work he was engaged upon without making any inquiry at all, and then say, in the event of an injury arising from a defect in the plant, that he had nothing to do with it, and so escape liability. That, to my mind, is unreasonable, and is not consistent with the second section. What I take to be the meaning of that is that if the employer uses plant which does not belong to him, he may have a duty in regard to the persons employed to take reasonable care to see that it is proper for the purpose for which it is need. It may be that in a case of this character, although he had that duty, yet, if he had dealt with these shipowners before and had never had any cause for complaint, the jury might think that he had reasonably discharged that duty. On the other hand, when you have evidence that the plant was old and had been in use for a long time, the jury might say they ware not satisfied that reasonable care had been taken to see that it was in a proper condition. Once establish the duty the question la, What would the jury consider a discharge of that duty?’.

Judges:

Lord Scroll

Citations:

[1907] 1 KB 649

Cited by:

CitedWilson v Tyneside Window Cleaning Co CA 24-Apr-1958
Pearce LJ said that if an employer sends an employee to work, ‘for instance in a respectable private house’, he could not be held negligent for not visiting the house himself ‘to see if the carpet in the hall created a trap’. . .
CitedDavie v New Merton Board Mills CA 1958
Parker LJ pointed out that the reasoning in Biddle was inconsistent with other decisions to the effect that there is no duty of care in respect of premises over which the master has no control, but it is consistent with alternative ratios that the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.445621

Dew v United British Steamship Co: CA 1928

Citations:

(1928) 139 LT 628

Cited by:

CitedLynn v Bamber 1930
A cause of action in contract arises when the contract is breached. Talbot J said: ‘There is no question that the three learned judges who decided that case stated in emphatic and unambiguous language that contributory negligence is a good defence . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.431890

Eilzabeth Dakin, Administration Of William Dakin, Deccased, v Brown And Munt: 19 Jun 1849

In case against engineers for so negligently constructing and erecting a machine, that it exploded, and killed the husband of the plaintiff, the defendants pleaded, that, at the time of the accident, the machine was unfit for use, by reason of the dampness of the brick-work in which it was set; that they so informed the deceased, and cautioned him not to use it; and that, by reason of the premises, the machine exploded, as in the declaration mentioned,-concluding with a verification :-Held, that the plea did not present a confession and avoidance of the whole cause of action,but was an informal traverse of a part only, and therefore bad.

Citations:

[1849] EngR 749, (1849) 8 CB 92, (1849) 137 ER 443

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Negligence

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.299054

Dalyell v Tyer And Others: 15 Jun 1858

H the lessee of a ferry, hired from defendant, for one day, the steam tug and crew, to assist in carrying his passengers across. He received the fares : and defendants were paid by him for the hire of the tug; they sent and paid the crew. Plaintiff who had contracted with and paid H for being carried across the ferry at all times during one year, went on board the tug, from H’s pier, as a passenger, for the purpose of crossing. By the negligence of the crew some tackle broke; and plaintiff while on board, was injured. Held that he was entitled to recover against defendants for such negligence.

Citations:

[1858] EngR 857, (1858) El Bl and El 899, (1858) 120 ER 744

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Negligence

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.289328

Clark v MacLennan: 1983

The court considered the judment in McGhee: ‘It seems to me that it follows from McGhee that where there is a situation in which a general duty of care arises and there is a failure to take a precaution, and that very damage occurs against which the precaution is designed to be a protection, then the burden lies on the defendant to show that he was not in breach of duty as well as to show that the damage did not result from his breach of duty.’

Citations:

[1983] 1 All ER 416

Cited by:

CitedWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority HL 24-Jul-1986
A premature baby suffered injury after mistaken treatment by a hospital doctor. He had inserted a monitor into the umbilical vein. The claimant suggested the treatment should have been by a more senior doctor. The hospital appealed a finding that it . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.272563

Paterson and Another v Humberside County Council: QBD 19 Apr 1995

A local authority was liable for nuisance for damage (cracks to house) caused by tree roots once it could be shown that it knew of the soil condition, by virtue of the council’s own warnings to residents of the danger in the area meant that the damage was foreseeable. The council was not liable for breach of statutory under the 1980 Act since it had not planted the trees.
The test of foreseeability was whether the risk was one which a reasonable person in the Defendant’s position would have regarded as a real risk as distinct from a risk which he would have been justified in disregarding and taking no steps to eliminate

Judges:

Mr Toulson QC

Citations:

Times 19-Apr-1995, [1995] CLY 3661, [1996] Const LJ 64

Statutes:

Highways Act 1980 96

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedBanque Bruxelles Lambert Sa v Eagle Star Insurance Co Ltd and Others CA 24-Feb-1995
The plaintiffs were mortgagees. The defendants were valuers. The defendants negligently over-valued properties and the plaintiffs then accepted mortgages of the properties. Later the property market collapsed and the various borrowers defaulted and . .

Cited by:

CitedLoftus-Brigham and Another v London Borough of Ealing CA 28-Oct-2003
The claimants sought to recover for damages caused to their house foundations by trees growing nearby which were the responsibility of the defendants. The defendants replied that the damages was caused in part by roots from virgina creeper and . .
CitedBerent v Family Mosaic Housing and Others TCC 25-May-2011
The claimant sought damages for subsidence to her property allegedly caused by the roots of trees on the defendants’ properties. Two large plane trees stood in the pavement outside the house and about 12 metres from it. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Nuisance, Negligence, Local Government

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.84608

Duff v Highland and Islands Fire Board: SCS 3 Nov 1995

(Scots) Firemen were not immune from suit for negligence as are police; no discretion. Lord Macfadyen observed obiter that he would have rejected a submission that the defenders did not owe to the owners of property affected by a fire which they fought any common law duty to take reasonable care in the course of their firefighting operations.

Judges:

Lord Macfadyen

Citations:

Times 03-Nov-1995, 1995 SLT 1362

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Cited by:

AppliedBurnett v Grampian Fire and Rescue Service SCS 9-Jan-2007
SCS At this debate on a preliminary plea the court was asked to decide if Grampian Fire and Rescue Service owed a duty of reasonable care to Mr Burnett when fighting a fire which caused to his property. Mr . .
CitedMichael and Others v The Chief Constable of South Wales Police and Another SC 28-Jan-2015
The claimants asserted negligence in the defendant in failing to provide an adequate response to an emergency call, leading, they said to the death of their daughter at the hands of her violent partner. They claimed also under the 1998 Act. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.80157

Connor v Secretary of State for Scotland: OHCS 22 Mar 2000

A prison governor sent out a warder with two violent prisoners where it was policy not to bring such prisoners together. The warder suffered injury as a result. There could be no breach of statutory duty where the governor exercised a discretion given to him as to how a statutory function was to be fulfilled. Nevertheless he might be liable in negligence.

Citations:

Times 22-Mar-2000

Employment, Health and Safety, Negligence

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.79455

B v Islington Health Authority; De Martell v Merton and Sutton Health Authority: CA 6 May 1992

A doctor’s duty of care to an unborn child is an established duty in common law despite some cases apparently to the contrary. Phillips J: ‘The duty in the law of negligence is not a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid risk of causing injury. It is the duty not to cause injury by want of reasonable care.’

Judges:

Phillips J

Citations:

Gazette 06-May-1992, [1993] QB 204

Cited by:

CitedHamilton v Fife Health Board 1993
A child was born but with injuries incurred while in utero alleged to have been caused by the negligence of the doctors attending the mother. The parents sued the health board for loss of the child’s society. The Board argued the action to be . .
CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.78060

Mobil Oil Hong Kong Ltd v Hong Kong United Docklands Ltd. (the “Hua Lien”): 1991

Citations:

[1991] 1 Lloyds Rep 309

Cited by:

CitedMarc Rich and Co Ag and Others v Bishop Rock Marine Co Ltd and Others HL 6-Jul-1995
A surveyor acting on behalf of the classification society had recommended that after repairs specified by him had been carried out a vessel, the Nicholas H, should be allowed to proceed. It was lost at sea.
Held: The marine classification . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 14 May 2022; Ref: scu.251598

March v E and MH Stramore: 1991

Considerations of policy and value judgments necessarily enter into the assessment of causation.

Judges:

Mason CJ

Citations:

(1991) 171 CLR 506

Cited by:

CitedCorr v IBC Vehicles Ltd CA 31-Mar-2006
The deceased had suffered a head injury whilst working for the defendant. In addition to severe physical consequences he suffered post-traumatic stress, became more and more depressed, and then committed suicide six years later. The claimant . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Negligence

Updated: 14 May 2022; Ref: scu.240045

Hendy v Milton Keynes Health Authority: 1992

A potential plaintiff may have sufficient knowledge of the damage suffered to set the limitation period running, if she appreciates ‘in general terms’ that her problem was capable of being attributed to the operation, even where particular facts of what specifically went wrong or how or where precise error was made is not known to her.

Judges:

Blofeld J

Citations:

[1992] 3 Med LR 114

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedHaward and others v Fawcetts HL 1-Mar-2006
The claimant sought damages from his accountants, claiming negligence. The accountants pleaded limitation. They had advised him in connection with an investment in a company which investment went wrong.
Held: It was argued that the limitation . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Limitation, Negligence

Updated: 14 May 2022; Ref: scu.238775

M’Lean v Bell: 1932

The House considered liability in negligence after a motor accident.
Lord Wright said: ‘In one sense, but for the negligence of the pursuer (if she was negligent) in attempting to cross the road, she would not have been struck, and as a matter simply of causation, the facts formed a necessary element in the final result, since without them no accident could have occurred. The decision, however, of the case must turn not simply on causation, but on responsibility; the plaintiff’s negligence may be what is often called causa sine qua non, yet as regards responsibility it becomes merely evidential or matter of narrative, if the defendant acting reasonably could and ought to have avoided the collision.’

Judges:

Lord Wright

Citations:

(1932) TLR 467

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Cited by:

CitedHampstead Heath Winter Swimming Club and Another v Corporation of London and Another Admn 26-Apr-2005
Swimmers sought to be able to swim unsupervised in an open pond. The authority which owned the pond on Hampstead Heath wished to refuse permission fearing liability for any injury.
Held: It has always been a principle of the interpretation of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.231181

Holmes v Ashford: CA 1950

A hairdresser treated the plaintiff’s hair with a dye, and as a result the plaintiff contracted dermatitis. The dye came to the hairdresser in labelled bottles together with instructions. Both the labels and the brochure warned that the dye might be dangerous to certain skins, and recommended a test before it was used. The hairdresser had read the labels and the brochure and was aware of the danger, but he made no test and did not warn the plaintiff. The plaintiff claimed damages against the hairdresser and the manufacturers, and was awarded judgment against both. The manufacturers appealed.
Held: A manufacturer who puts a dangerous article on the market must take reasonable steps to prevent any person coming into contact with it from being injured, but it was not necessary in every case that precautions should be taken to ensure that the ultimate recipient of the article was warned of the danger; the manufacturers had given the hairdresser a warning which was sufficient to intimate to him the potential danger of the dye, and it was not necessary that they should have warned the plaintiff; and, therefore, they had discharged the duty which was on them.
Tucker LJ said: ‘A number of authorities have been cited to us by counsel for the plaintiff in support of the proposition that a manufacturer who puts a dangerous article on the market must take reasonable precautions to ensure that the ultimate recipient is warned of the danger. I think that that is not the correct way of stating the proposition. Every person who puts on the market a dangerous article (and the learned judge has found this to be a dangerous article) must take reasonable steps in all the circumstances. This is not an article the nature of which can be ascertained by intermediate examination, and, therefore, it is an article which requires some warning. The question in this case is: Was the warning attached to this bottle a sufficient and adequate warning to be given in cases where the material is supplied to hairdressers for use on their customers? We must presume that the material is supplied to reasonable people, and the first defendant has said that he read the warning, appreciated what it meant, and ignored it. I find it, therefore, impossible to hold that the warning which was, in fact, given in the present case was insufficient.’

Judges:

Tucker LJ

Citations:

[1950] 2 All ER 76

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
CitedLewis v University of Bristol and Ultra Violet Products Ltd CA 14-Jun-1999
The plaintiff was a research assistant employed by the defendant. She was an experienced molecular biologist, and was using an ultra violet transilluminator to photograph DNA gel in a laboratory when she was exposed to an excessive dose of ultra . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Consumer, Negligence

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.226704

Graham Barclay Oysters Pty Ltd v Ryan: 9 Aug 2000

Austlii (Federal Court of Australia) TORT – Negligence – non-feasance by public authorities – non-exercise by local government council and State government to minimise faecal contamination of lake where oysters grown commercially – oysters carrying hepatitis A virus – consumer of oysters contracting hepatitis A – whether duty of care owed to be discharged by exercise of statutory powers – causation – whether local government council and State government required to carry out sanitary survey of shore of lake.
TORT – Negligence – whether duty of care owed by commercial farmer of oysters to consumers of them breached where oysters carrying hepatitis A virus due to faecal contamination of lake in which oysters grown – oyster farmer’s depuration plant not shown to be working unsatisfactorily – whether discharge of oyster farmer’s duty required it to carry out sanitary survey of shore of lake or to urge public authorities to do so – causation of oysters contaminated with hepatitis A virus as a result of faecal contamination of lake where oysters grown – whether circumstances show it was unreasonable for consumer to rely on skills or judgment of grower – whether oysters were as fit for purpose as reasonable to expect.
Gaudron J: ‘Although different concepts inform the law of negligence, ordinarily there is a duty to warn only if there is a foreseeable risk that a person will be led to believe that something is safe when it is not.’
McHugh J: ‘The duty of care owed by a manufacturer or producer to a consumer is a duty to take reasonable care to avoid injury to the consumer. To formulate the duty in more specific terms invites error because it is likely to mix a question of law (whether a duty existed) with a question of fact (whether a breach occurred). If the duty is formulated in specific terms, the issue on breach is whether the duty has been performed in accordance with the terms of the duty as formulated. But, as Wyong Shire Council v Shirt [footnote reference to (1980) 146 C.L.R. 40 at 47-48, per Mason J., Stephen and Aickin J.J. agreeing] shows, the question of breach is far more complex than an affirmative or negative answer to the question whether the defendant carried out the duty as formulated. It involves evaluating and weighing a number of competing considerations.’

Judges:

Gaudron J

Citations:

(2002) 211 CLR 540, [2000] FCA 1099

Links:

Austlii

Cited by:

CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Negligence

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.226698

Dingley v The Chief Constable, Strathclyde Police: 1998

The court was asked whether the development of multiple sclerosis had been caused by physical injury sustained in a motor accident. Medical science was not able to demonstrate the connection between the two, and reliance was placed on epidemiological evidence.
Held: The court referred to the case of Davie as affording: ‘[a]uthoritative guidance on the approach which a court should take to expert evidence’ and ‘Perhaps the essential point is that parties who come to court are entitled to the decision of a judicial tribunal. Such a decision may take account of many rather intangible things such as the demeanour of witnesses and the way that they gave their evidence, but, whatever its components may be, such a decision must be reasoned. As Lord Cooper says, an oracular pronouncement will not do.’ The Lord Ordinary required to test the experts’ evidence and, having done so, to use those parts which he accepted and apply them to the facts of the case. If he did not do so it must be inferred that he misdirected himself, and ‘As with judicial or other opinions, what carries weight is the reasoning, not the conclusion.’
Lord Prosser said: ‘I would wish to make two other general observations, before turning to the issues between the parties. First, there was a certain amount of evidence to the effect that certain views on causation were very widely held, or were no longer widely held. If a particular process of reasoning is widely accepted, then that I think may be persuasive for a court. But the fact that a particular view is widely held, without any persuasive explanation as to why it should be so held, and constitute a conclusion, does not appear to me to be a matter to which a court should give significant weight. Rather similarly, the fact that a particular view was or is held by someone of great distinction, whether he is a witness or not, does not seem to me to give any particular weight to his view, if the reasons for his coming to that view are unexplained, or unconvincing. As with judicial or other opinions, what carries weight is the reasoning, not the conclusion.’ and
”In ordinary (non-lawyers’) language, to say that one regards something as ‘probable’ is by no means to say that one regards it as ‘established’ or ‘proved’. Yet in the civil courts, where we say that a pursuer must prove his case on a balance of probabilities, what is held to be probable is treated as ‘proved’. I do not suggest that any lawyer will be confused by this rather special meaning of the word ‘proved’. But speaking very generally, I think that the civil requirement of a pursuer – that he satisfy the court that upon the evidence his case is probably sound – would in ordinary language be regarded as very different from, and less stringent than, a requirement that his case be established or proved. More importantly in the context of such a case as the present, the fact that the two concepts are distinct in ordinary language, but the same in this legal context, seems to me to give rise to a risk of ambiguity or misunderstanding in the expressed opinions of expert witnesses. And this risk will be increased if the expert in question would normally, in the exercise of his profession, adopt an approach to such issues starkly different from that incumbent upon a court. Whether one uses the word ‘scientific’ or not, no hypothesis or proposition would be seen as ‘proved’ or ‘established’ by anyone with any form of medical expertise merely upon the basis that he had come to regard it as probably sound. (Indeed, I think even the word ‘probable’ would be reserved for situations where the likelihood is thought to be much more than marginal). And even if, in relation to any possible proposition or hypothesis, such an expert even troubled to notice that he had come to the point of regarding it as not merely possible but on balance ‘probable’, then I think he would regard that point as one from which he must set off on further inquiry, and by no means as being (as it is in the courts) a point of arrival. Mere marginal probability will not much interest him. But it must satisfy a court.”
Lord Prosser discussed the method of proof: ‘I am not much impressed by one argument advanced for the defender to the effect that the pursuer’s argument is essentially ‘post hoc, ergo propter hoc’, and therefore unsound. Plainly, one will more readily conclude that B is caused by A, or probably caused by A, if one can identify, or at least envisage, some kind of mechanism whereby B might be caused by A. Equally, if one simply cannot identify or envisage such a mechanism, the mere fact that on one occasion B happened after A (and perhaps very quickly after A) would not, in the absence of other indications, lead one easily to conclude that B was caused by A. But no one, certainly in this case, suggests that such a single coincidence is to be interpreted as involving a causal relationship. And once one moves from single coincidence to a number of occasions when B follows (perhaps quickly) upon A, dismissiveness of ‘post hoc, ergo propter hoc’ reasoning seems to me to become less and less appropriate. Indeed, unless and until one can identify or envisage a connecting mechanism, countless conclusions as to causal relationship are reached precisely upon a form of ‘post hoc, ergo propter hoc’ reasoning: if B is observed never to occur except shortly after A, the conclusion may be relatively easy – but if B is observed to occur frequently after A, then even if each sometimes occurs without the other, the frequency with which B occurs after A may nonetheless well justify a more or less firm conclusion that A, in certain circumstances, causes B. I do not regard such conclusions as based on false (or indeed simple) logic. The approach is in my opinion inherent not only in conclusions drawn from one’s general experience or ‘anecdotal evidence’. It is inherent also in much experimental research, and also, as it seems to me, in epidemiology. And while it may always seem somewhat insufficient, until one can find an identifiable possible mechanism, as a basis for claiming that the causal link is proved or established, in either ordinary or scientific terms, that feeling of insufficiency strikes me as much less appropriate if one stops short of such claims and contents oneself with saying that the causal relationship is marginally probable (or is proved or established only as required in civil litigation).’

Judges:

Lord President (Lord Rodger of Earlsferry), Lord Prosser

Citations:

1998 SC 548

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Citing:

CitedDavie v Magistrates of Edinburgh 1953
Issues arose in relation to the expert evidence which had been led.
Held: The court rejected a submission that, where no counter evidence on the science in question had been adduced for the pursuer, the Court was bound to accept the . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromDingley v Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police HL 11-May-2000
The officer had been injured in an accident in a police van. He developed multiple sclerosis only a short time afterwards. The respondent denied that the accident caused the MS.
Held: There is no proof of what causes MS, but it was common . .
CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
CitedSienkiewicz v Greif (UK) Ltd; Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willmore SC 9-Mar-2011
The Court considered appeals where defendants challenged the factual basis of findings that they had contributed to the causes of the claimant’s Mesothelioma, and in particular to what extent a court can satisfactorily base conclusions of fact on . .
CitedKennedy v Cordia (Services) Llp SC 10-Feb-2016
The appellant care worker fell in snow when visiting the respondent’s client at home. At issue was the admission and status of expert or skilled evidence.
Held: Mrs Kennedy’s appeal succeeded. ‘There are in our view four considerations which . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.226223

Watson v Fram Reinforced Concrete Co (Scotland) Ltd: HL 1960

A workman had been injured through the breaking of a defective part in the machine with which he was working. He brought an action of damages against his employers, and later convened as second defenders the manufacturers of the machine, who had supplied it to his employers, on averments that the accident had been caused by the fault of the manufacturers in that they failed to supply his employers with a machine which was safe for use by their servants. The machine had been supplied on 7 July 1955 and the accident had happened on 9 August 1956, but the manufacturers were not convened in the action until 25 March 1959.
Held: The three-year limitation period provided by section 6(1)(a) of the Law Reform (Limitation of Actions andc.) Act 1954 ran from the date when the workman suffered the injury and that, accordingly, the action against the manufacturers was not time-barred. ‘a cause of action accrues as soon as a wrongful act has caused personal injury beyond what can be regarded as negligible.’
Lord Reid said: ‘The ground of any action based on negligence is a concurrence of duty and damage and I cannot see how there can be that concurrence unless the duty still exists and is breached when the damage occurs.’ and ‘It appears to me that default in the sense of breach of duty must persist after the act or neglect until the damage is suffered. The ground of any action based on negligence is the concurrence of breach of duty and damage, and I cannot see how there can be that concurrence unless the duty still exists and is breached when the damage occurs. Suppose that the damage occurred a year or two years after the manufacture and sale of the article: then undoubtedly the injured person can sue. But how could he sue if the manufacturer could say that his default had ceased a year before the injured person ever came near the dangerous article? Whatever be the true view with regard to the act or neglect, I think that the appellant is entitled to say that the respondents’ ‘default giving rise to the action’ existed at the time when he suffered his injuries.’
Lord Keith of Avonholm said: ‘Now this is a Donoghue v Stevenson type of case, and such a case undoubtedly introduces specialities into the law of negligence. But, on any view, I see difficulty in saying that there was negligence at the date of supply. At that date on the pursuer’s pleadings there was no reason why the manufacturers should have known of the dangerous state of the strut. It can hardly be expected that they had a legal duty to take it to pieces and inspect it before sending it out. Undoubtedly there was an act of carelessness on the part of some workman when the pin was welded to the strut and the manufacturers would be vicariously responsible for that carelessness. But can it be said that at either date there was an act of negligence in the legal sense? The manufacturers owed a duty to anyone who should handle the machine to take reasonable steps to see that it was safe. They owed a duty not to injure, but until someone was injured there was no breach of duty. Only then could it be said that an act of negligence had been committed. That, I think, necessarily follows from the judgment of this House in Donoghue v Stevenson.’ and ‘Applying the ratio of these decisions there was, in my opinion, no act, neglect or default within the meaning of the statute affecting the pursuer until he was injured. A fortiori there was no act, neglect or default giving rise to his action before that date. It was then for the first time that there arose a breach of duty which made its impact on the pursuer. Time, in my opinion, commenced to run against the pursuer under the statute from that date.’
Lord Denning said: ‘I think the true principle is contained simply in this: ‘You must not injure your neighbour by your fault.’ It is the doing of damage to him which, in my opinion, is the breach of duty giving rise to the action. It is no doubt correct to say, as Lord MacMillan did say (at p.71), that the manufacturer ‘is under a duty to take care in the manufacture of these articles.’ That is a duty which he owes to all those who may have occasion to use the article: and it is a duty which is broken at the time when he is negligent in making the article. But it is not a breach of duty to any particular individual. And it is not that breach of duty which gives rise to the action. There is another duty also to be considered: and that is the duty which Lord Atkin put in this wise (at p.44): ‘You must not injure your neighbour’: which I would expand so as to say that there is a duty on every man not to injure his neighbour by his want of reasonable care. This is a duty which he owes, not to the world at large, but to his neighbour. It is broken only when his neighbour is injured and not before. Then, and then only, is there a breach of duty giving rise to an action.’ and . . ‘The words ‘act, neglect or default’ are perhaps a little tautologous: for ‘act’ in legal terminology often includes an omission as well as an act of commission: and ‘default’ certainly includes ‘neglect’. But tautologous as they may be, the words are apt to cover all breaches of legal duty, no matter whether it be by leaving undone those things which we ought to have done, or by doing those things which we ought not to have done.’

Judges:

Lord Reid, Lord Keith of Avonholm, Lord Denning

Citations:

1960 SC 92, 1960 SC (HL) 92

Statutes:

Law Reform (Limitation of Actions) Act 1954 6(1)(a)

Citing:

CitedGrant v Australian Knitting Mills PC 21-Oct-1935
(Australia) The Board considered how a duty of care may be established: ‘All that is necessary as a step to establish a tort of actionable negligence is define the precise relationship from which the duty to take care is deduced. It is, however, . .
CitedDonoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability
The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .

Cited by:

CitedHamilton v Fife Health Board 1993
A child was born but with injuries incurred while in utero alleged to have been caused by the negligence of the doctors attending the mother. The parents sued the health board for loss of the child’s society. The Board argued the action to be . .
CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
CitedJohnston v NEI International Combustion Ltd; Rothwell v Chemical and Insulating Co Ltd; similar HL 17-Oct-2007
The claimant sought damages for the development of neural plaques, having been exposed to asbestos while working for the defendant. The presence of such plaques were symptomless, and would not themselves cause other asbestos related disease, but . .
CitedDavid T Morrison and Co Ltd (T/A Gael Home Interiors) v ICL Plastics Ltd and Others SC 30-Jul-2014
The claimant sought damages after an explosion at the defender’s nearby premises damaged its shop. The defender said that the claim was out of time, and now appealed against a decision that time had not begun to run under the 1973 Act.
Held: . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Scotland, Negligence, Limitation

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.226700

Joseph Eva Ltd v Reeves: CA 1938

An accident occurred when a police vehicle went through traffic lights at green, but on the wrong side of the road.
Held: A driver crossing through traffic lights at green owes no duty to traffic entering the crossing in disobedience to the lights beyond a duty that if he in fact sees such traffic he must take all reasonable steps to avoid a collision.
Scott LJ said: ‘Nothing but implicit obedience to the absolute prohibition of the red — and indeed of the amber, subject only to the momentary discretion which it grants — can ensure safety to those who are crossing on the invitation of the green. Nothing but absolute confidence, in the mind of the driver invited by the green to proceed, that he can safely go right ahead, accelerating up the full speed proper to a clear road in the particular locality, without having to think of the risk of traffic from the right crossing his path, will promote the free circulation of traffic, which, next to safety is the main purpose of all traffic-regulations. Nothing again will help more to encourage obedience to the prohibition of the lights than the knowledge that, if there is a collision on the crossroads, the trespasser will have no chance of escaping liability on a plea alleging contributory negligence against the car which has the right of way. Finally, nothing will help more to encourage compliance with the summons of the green to go straight on than the knowledge of the driver that the law will not blame him if unfortunately he does have a collision with an unexpected trespasser from the left or right.’

Judges:

Scott LJ

Citations:

[1938] 2 All ER 115

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedGriffin v Mersey Regional Ambulance CA 8-Oct-1997
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.
CitedCraggy v Chief Constable of Cleveland Police CA 6-Oct-2009
The claimant was driving his fire engine on an emergency call. The defendant’s constable was similarly engaged. It was in the early hours, and they each went through the traffic junction. They crashed and the judge held both drivers negligent to the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic, Negligence

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.224492

Mercer v South Eastern and Chatham Railway Companies’ Managing Committee: KBD 1922

A claimant was knocked down by a train when he went through an unlocked gate onto the railway line. The defendants were held liable, because it was their practice, known to the plaintiff, to keep the gate locked when trains were passing, but the gate was left unlocked on this occasion.

Citations:

[1922] 2 KB 549

Cited by:

CitedJane Marianne Sandhar, John Stuart Murray v Department of Transport, Environment and the Regions CA 5-Nov-2004
The claimant’s husband died when his car skidded on hoar frost. She claimed the respondent was liable under the Act and at common law for failing to keep it safe.
Held: The respondent had not assumed a general responsibility to all road users . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Personal Injury

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.219257

Meux v Great Eastern Railway Co: 1895

The plaintiff sought damages from the railway company for carelessly damaging his goods even though he did not himself have a contract with the company.
Held: A duty was owed by the railway company towards the goods owner, applying cases which had held that a railway company owed a duty of care towards passengers injured by the carelessness of that company’s employee even though the passenger had bought his ticket from another company. No distinction was drawn between an employee injuring the plaintiff and damaging or losing his property.

Citations:

[1895] 2 QB 387

Cited by:

CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.214711

Green v Fibreglass Ltd: 1958

The law might impose a duty of care which was non-delegable.

Citations:

[1958] 2 QB 245

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedA v Ministry of Defence and another QBD 16-Apr-2003
The claimant’s father a member of the armed forces had been posted to Germany, and his wife, A’s mother had gone with him. A had been born in Germany, but suffered injury at birth through the negligence of the doctor’s appointed by the defendant . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.197040

Hodge and Sons v Anglo-American Oil Co: 1922

The plaintiffs, London barge repairers claimed after an explosion on the Anglo-American Oil Company’s oil tank barge Warwick, when she was being repaired by the plaintiffs, to whom she had been sent for that purpose by the defendants. As a result of the explosion several lives were lost and considerable damage done. In the second action, which was in the nature of a test action, the plaintiff, a boilermaker employed by Messrs Hodge and Sons, claimed damages for personal injuries caused by the explosion.
Held: Scrutton LJ said: ‘Personally, I do not understand the difference between a thing dangerous in itself, as poison, and a thing not dangerous as a class, but by negligent construction dangerous as a particular thing. The latter, if anything, seems the more dangerous of the two; it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing instead of an obvious wolf.’ and ‘The law, therefore, seems to be: (1) That if the barge which has carried petrol is an article dangerous in itself, it is the duty of the owners to take proper and reasonable precautions to prevent its doing damage to people likely to come into contact with it. These precautions may be fulfilled by entrusting it to a competent person with reasonable warning of its dangerous character, if that danger is not obvious. If such precautions are not taken, the owner will be liable to third persons with whom he has no contact for damage done by the barge, which they could not have avoided with reasonable care. . . (2) If the barge which has carried petrol is not dangerous in itself, but becomes dangerous because it has been insufficiently cleaned, and the owner is ignorant of the danger, the owner is not liable for damage caused by it to persons with whom he has no contract. (Earl v Lubbock [1905] 1 K.B. 253) . . (3) In the case of a thing dangerous in itself, where either the danger is obvious or the owner has given proper warning to the person entrusted with it, not being his servant, the owner is not liable for negligence of such person causing injury to a third party; such negligence is nova causa interveniens.’

Bankes LJ: ‘It is in these circumstances that the question of liability arises. The Anglo-American Oil Co were, in my opinion, under a double duty, (a) the duty of using reasonable means for securing the efficient cleaning out of the tank, and (b) the duty of giving any necessary warning of the dangerous character of the tank even after a proper and sufficient cleaning. The first duty, in my opinion, extended to all those who necessarily came into contact with the tank in the course of carrying out the repairs, including therefore the plaintiff Willmott. With regard to the second duty, a warning would not, in my opinion, be required where the person who would otherwise be entitled to warning was already aware of the danger, or […] might reasonably be assumed to be aware of it. Messrs Miller obviously required no warning; they were perfectly well aware of the danger. Messrs Hodges were in relation to the Anglo-American Oil Co in a different position to Messrs Miller: but I assume that the Anglo-American Oil Co were aware that the barge was being sent to Messrs Hodges for repair. If so, Messrs Hodges would be entitled to a warning unless they, like Messrs Miller, are to be taken to have been aware of the danger. Having regard to what must be the state of knowledge among ship and barge repairers on the Thames as to the danger of dealing with cleaned petrol tanks, I think that the Anglo-American Oil Co were entitled to assume that Messrs Hodges needed no warning as to that danger. . . I do not think that the present is a case in which the Anglo-American Oil Co were under any duty to Messrs Hodges’ workmen to give them any individual warning. Whether a warning to an employer of the dangerous character of an article sent to him for repair is a sufficient warning to the workmen directed by the employer to carry out those repairs must be a question of fact depending upon the particular circumstances of each case. There are in this case, in my opinion, no such special circumstances as placed the Anglo-American Oil Co under any duty to give any warning to the plaintiff Willmott or to the other employees of Messrs Hodges.’

Judges:

Scrutton LJ, Bankes LJ

Citations:

(1922) 12 Ll L Rep 183

Citing:

CitedCaledonian Ry Co v Mulholland or Warwick HL 1898
The appellant company were held not liable for injuries caused by a defective brake on a coal wagon conveyed by the railway company to a point in the transit where their contract ended, and where the wagons were taken over for haulage for the last . .
CitedDominion Natural Gas Co Ltd v Collins 1909
The defendants had installed a gas apparatus to provide natural gas on the premises of a railway company. They had installed a regulator to control the pressure and their men negligently made an escape-valve discharge into the building instead of . .

Cited by:

CitedDonoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability
The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .
CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.197988

Cowan v National Coal Board: 1958

An employee of the defenders suffered an injury to his eye in the course of his employment. He became nervous and depressed and committed suicide about four months after the accident. His widow and children sought damages from the National Coal Board for his death.
Held: The House assoilized the defenders on the ground that the employee’s suicide was not reasonably foreseeable.
Lord Cameron: ‘I think that the true test of whether the death of the deceased was caused by the negligence of the defenders is whether the death naturally and directly arose out of the supposed wrong done to him and was therefore such a consequence as might reasonably be supposed to have been in the view of the wrongdoer. This introduces the idea of foreseeability, but it is the foreseeability of the ‘reasonable man’ – an impersonal test and one not dependent on the actual wrongdoer’s own capacity for foresight.’ and ‘Now in the present case if it were held to be established that the deceased had received a comparatively moderate injury through the negligence of the defenders and had thereafter had become depressed and worried because of fear for his future working capacity or physical health and then had committed suicide under the influence of such depression and worry no doubt it might be inferred that the suicide was consequent upon that injury and the result of it, in the sense that but for the injury the suicide would in all probability not have occurred, but it does not follow that such a result could properly be described in the ordinary course of language as the ‘natural and direct’ result of the initial injury so as to make the delinquent liable in damages to the dependents of the deceased for the suicide. In the present case not only is there no proof of injury to the skull or brain but there is no physical connection between the initial injury (assuming it to have been caused by the defender’s negligence and the assumed suicide.’

Judges:

Lord Cameron

Citations:

1958 SLT 19

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Citing:

AppliedIn re Polemis and Furness, Withy and Co CA 1921
There was an exception in a time Charterparty for ‘fire . . always mutually accepted.’
Held: These words were not sufficient to exclude damage caused by a fire due to the negligent act of stevedores (the charterers’ agents) in the course of . .
AppliedAllan v Barclay IHCS 1864
Lord Kinloch said: ‘The grand rule on the subject of damages is, that none can be claimed except such as naturally and directly arise out of the wrong done; and such, therefore, as may reasonably be supposed to have been in the view of the . .

Cited by:

CitedSimmons v British Steel plc HL 29-Apr-2004
The claimant was injured at work as a consequence of the defender’s negligence. His injuries became more severe, and he came to suffer a disabling depression.
Held: the Inner House had been wrong to characterise the Outer House decision as . .
CitedCorr v IBC Vehicles Ltd CA 31-Mar-2006
The deceased had suffered a head injury whilst working for the defendant. In addition to severe physical consequences he suffered post-traumatic stress, became more and more depressed, and then committed suicide six years later. The claimant . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Damages

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.196529

Cooper v Caledonian Railway Co: 1902

Recovery of damages for psychiatric injury.

Citations:

(1902) 4 F 880

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Citing:

CitedDulieu v White and Sons KBD 1901
A pregnant barmaid suffered nervous shock causing her to give premature birth as a result of the tortfeasor’s horse van bursting into her bar at the Bonner Arms in Bethnal Green from the roadway. The defendant pleaded that the damages claimed were . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Negligence

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.196528

Reavis v Clan Line Steamers Ltd: 1925

The pursuer was travelling as a passenger on a vessel which sank after colliding with another vessel while on passage from Glasgow to Dublin. It was common ground that she was entitled to damages for the personal injuries which she sustained and any loss attributable to her disability. But she sought also to recover loss due to the fact that some members of an orchestra which she had formed were drowned and others injured, resulting in the disbandment of the orchestra and the loss to her of what had been a profitable enterprise.
Held: Applying the grand rule, while the members of the orchestra had a right of action for their own personal injuries and losses, no action lay at the pursuer’s instance for the loss which she had sustained due to the loss of their services.

Citations:

1925 SC 725

Cited by:

CitedSimmons v British Steel plc HL 29-Apr-2004
The claimant was injured at work as a consequence of the defender’s negligence. His injuries became more severe, and he came to suffer a disabling depression.
Held: the Inner House had been wrong to characterise the Outer House decision as . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Scotland, Negligence, Damages

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.196523

Burfitt v A and E Kille: 1939

A shopkeeper in Minehead sold a ‘blank cartridge pistol’ to a twelve year old boy. Later, when the boy fired the pistol in the air, the plaintiff was injured by a tiny piece of copper going into his eye.
Held: The duty of care was owed not only to the boy who bought the gun. The shopkeeper also owed a duty of care towards ‘all such persons as may reasonably be contemplated as likely to be endangered’.

Judges:

Atkinson J

Citations:

[1939] 2 KB 743

Citing:

AppliedDonoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability
The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .

Cited by:

CitedThe Attorney General v Hartwell PC 23-Feb-2004
PC (The British Virgin Islands) A police officer had taken the police revolver, and used it to shoot the claimant. It was alleged that the respondent police force were vicariously liable for his acts and also . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.193883

Dominion Natural Gas Co Ltd v Collins: 1909

The defendants had installed a gas apparatus to provide natural gas on the premises of a railway company. They had installed a regulator to control the pressure and their men negligently made an escape-valve discharge into the building instead of into the open air. The railway workmen, the plaintiffs, were injured by an explosion in the premises.
Held: They were liable. Those who sent forth inherently dangerous articles were subject to a common law duty to take precautions. Though there was no relation of contract between the plaintiffs and the defendants: ‘There may be, however, in the case of anyone performing an operation, or setting up and installing a machine, a relationship of duty. What that duty is will vary according to the subject-matter of the things involved. It has, however, again and again been held that in the case of articles dangerous in themselves, such as loaded firearms, poisons, explosives, and other things ejusdem generis, there is a peculiar duty to take precaution imposed upon those who send forth or install such articles when it is necessarily the case that other parties will come within their proximity.’

Judges:

Lord Dunedin

Citations:

[1909] AC 640

Citing:

CitedCaledonian Ry Co v Mulholland or Warwick HL 1898
The appellant company were held not liable for injuries caused by a defective brake on a coal wagon conveyed by the railway company to a point in the transit where their contract ended, and where the wagons were taken over for haulage for the last . .

Cited by:

CitedThe Attorney General v Hartwell PC 23-Feb-2004
PC (The British Virgin Islands) A police officer had taken the police revolver, and used it to shoot the claimant. It was alleged that the respondent police force were vicariously liable for his acts and also . .
CitedDonoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability
The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .
CitedHodge and Sons v Anglo-American Oil Co 1922
The plaintiffs, London barge repairers claimed after an explosion on the Anglo-American Oil Company’s oil tank barge Warwick, when she was being repaired by the plaintiffs, to whom she had been sent for that purpose by the defendants. As a result of . .
CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.193882

Evans v Glasgow District Council: 1978

Citations:

[1978] CLY 1789

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Cited by:

CitedSmith v Littlewoods Organisation Limited (Chief Constable, Fife Constabulary, third party); Maloco v Littlewoods Organisation Ltd HL 1987
The defendant acquired a semi derelict cinema with a view to later development of the site. A fire started by others spread to the pursuer’s adjoining property.
Held: The defendants were not liable in negligence. The intervention of a third . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.193430

Earl v Lubbock: CA 1905

The plaintiff was injured when a wheel came off a van which he was driving for his employer, and which it was the duty of the defendant, under contract with the employer, to keep in repair. The county court judge and the Divisional Court both hold that, even if negligence was proved, the action would not lie.
Held: The defendant was under no duty to the plaintiff and that there was no cause of action.
Matthew LJ said: ‘The argument of counsel for the plaintiff was that the defendant’s servants had been negligent in the performance of the contract with the owners of the van, and that it followed as a, matter of law that anyone in their employment, or, indeed, anyone else who sustained an injury traceable to that negligence, had a cause of action against the defendant. It is impossible to accept such a wide proposition, and, indeed, it is difficult to see how, if it were the law, trade could be carried on. No prudent man would contract to make or repair what the employer intended to permit others to use in the way of his trade.’

Judges:

Sir Richard Henn Collins MR, Stirling LJ, Mathew LJ

Citations:

[1905] 1 KB 253

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

AppliedWinterbottom v Wright 1842
Owing to negligence in the construction of a carriage it broke down. A third party sought damages for injuries which he alleged were due to negligence in the work.
Held: The doctrine of privity of contract precluded actions in tort by third . .

Cited by:

CitedDonoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability
The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Employment

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.192609

Duchess of Argyll v Beuselinck: ChD 1972

The court found that the plaintiff’s solicitor had not been under a duty to give tax advice in the context of the particular transaction. The performance must be judged in the light of the events known at the time. The court advised against the use of hindsight.
Megarry J said: ‘In this world there are few things that could not have been better done if done with hindsight. The advantages of hindsight include the benefit of having a sufficient indication of which of the many factors present are important and which are unimportant. But hindsight is no touchstone [of negligence]. The standard of care to be expected of professional men must be based on events as they occur, in prospect and not in retrospect . . on any footing, the duty of care is not a warranty of perfection . . a marginal case does not make negligence.’ and ‘hindsight is not the touchstone of negligence.’

Judges:

Megarry J

Citations:

[1972] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 172

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBrinn and Another v Russell Jones and Walker (A Firm) QBD 12-Dec-2002
Police officers had instructed their solicitor to sue in defamation. By their negligence the chance of a claim was lost. They instructed a second firm of solicitors to claim against the first, but this firm also were negligent. The damages fell to . .
CitedHicks v Russell Jones and Walker (A Firm) ChD 27-Apr-2007
The claimants sought to pursue an action in negligence against their solicitors saying that they had conducted another case negligently, and thereby they had lost their chance in the action, on the basis that the hotel at the centre of the action . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Legal Professions

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.190234

Bolton v Stone: CA 2 Jan 1949

(Reversed, but dicta of Oliver J approved)

Citations:

[1949] 2 All ER 851

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

Appeal fromBolton v Stone KBD 1949
The plaintiff was hit by a cricket ball hit from a cricket ground, and sought damages.
Oliver J described the balancing exercise required in nuisance cases: ‘Whether such an act does constitute a nuisance must be determined not merely by an . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromBolton v Stone HL 10-May-1951
The plaintiff was injured by a prodigious and unprecedented hit of a cricket ball over a distance of 100 yards. He claimed damages in negligence.
Held: When looking at the duty of care the court should ask whether the risk was not so remote . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 12 May 2022; Ref: scu.190137

Bolton v Stone: KBD 1949

The plaintiff was hit by a cricket ball hit from a cricket ground, and sought damages.
Oliver J described the balancing exercise required in nuisance cases: ‘Whether such an act does constitute a nuisance must be determined not merely by an abstract consideration of the act itself, but by reference to all the circumstances of the particular case, including, for example, the time of the commission of the act complained of; the place of its commission; the manner of committing it, that is, whether it is done wantonly or in the reasonable exercise of rights; and the effect of its commission, that is, whether those effects are transitory or permanent, occasional or continuous; so that the question of nuisance or no nuisance is one of fact.’

Judges:

Oliver J

Citations:

[1949] 1 All ER 237

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromBolton v Stone CA 2-Jan-1949
(Reversed, but dicta of Oliver J approved) . .
At First InstanceBolton v Stone HL 10-May-1951
The plaintiff was injured by a prodigious and unprecedented hit of a cricket ball over a distance of 100 yards. He claimed damages in negligence.
Held: When looking at the duty of care the court should ask whether the risk was not so remote . .
CitedThornhill and Others v Nationwide Metal Recycling Ltd and Another CA 29-Jul-2011
The appellants challenged a decision that the defendants had ceased to be committing an actionable nuisance after erecting a sound barrier between their metal scrap yard and the claimants’ properties.
Held: The judge had correcly applied the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 12 May 2022; Ref: scu.190136