DSD and Another v The Commissioner of Police for The Metropolis: QBD 28 Feb 2014

The claimants sought damages alleging negligent failure by the police to investigate and find a serial rapist.
Held: The claim succeeded. The claimants were entitled to damages from the defendant, the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis, as a result of failures by the police properly to investigate serious sexual assaults which had been perpetrated against them. The claims were founded on the propositions that (i) article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights carries with it an obligation on the state to carry out an effective investigation when it receives a credible allegation that serious harm has been caused to an individual, and (ii) there were serious defects in the police investigation of the assaults on the claimants.
Green J explained, with reference to the MC case, he binary nature of the positive obligation arising under articles 3 and 8: ‘ . . There were two relevant aspects. First, whether the state of Bulgarian law on rape was so flawed as to amount to a breach of the state’s positive obligation under articles 3 and 8 (the systemic failings). Secondly, to consider whether the alleged shortcomings in the investigation were, also, so flawed as also to amount to a breach of the state’s obligations under the same articles (the operational failings). Under the heading ‘general approach’ the court explained that the duty to create a corpus of law and the duty to ‘apply them in practice’ through investigation and punishment were separate . . ‘

Green J
[2014] EWHC 436 (QB)
Bailii
Human Rights Act 7 8, European Convention on Human Rights
England and Wales
Citing:
ExplainedMC v Bulgaria ECHR 4-Dec-2003
The applicant complained that she had been raped by two men when she was 14 years old. The men were interviewed but it was concluded that they had not used threats or violence and there was no evidence of resistance. The district prosecutor issued a . .

Cited by:
Liability JudgmentDSD and Another v The Commissioner of Police for The Metropolis QBD 23-Jul-2014
The court had found the defendant liable for a breach of the claimants’ human rights in that its negligent investigations had led to further rapes and sexual assaults by an offender. The court now considered what damages might be payable. . .
See AlsoThe Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis v DSD and NBV and Others CA 30-Jun-2015
The claimants alleged that they had been victims of rapes after the defendant police force had negligently failed to properly investigate a series of similar crimes. They said that the failures had infringed their article 3 rights. The Commissioner . .
At First Instance (Liability)Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis v DSD and Another SC 21-Feb-2018
Two claimants had each been sexually assaulted by a later notorious, multiple rapist. Each had made complaints to police about their assaults but said that no effective steps had been taken to investigate the serious complaints.
Held: The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Negligence, Human Rights

Updated: 01 December 2021; Ref: scu.521949

Volcafe Ltd and Others v Compania Sud Americana De Vapores Sa: SC 5 Dec 2018

The claimant appellants, arranged shipment of bagged Colombian green coffee beans, stowed in 20 unventilated 20-foot containers from Panama to Rotterdam, Hamburg or Bremerhaven for on carriage to Bremen. The bill of lading for each consignment covered the entire carriage.
Such beans were commonly carried in either ventilated or unventilated containers. Unventilated containers were specified by the shippers of these cargoes. In unventilated containers traveling from warmer to cooler climates, they were likely to emit moisture and to prevent moisture damage, it was common to line the containers with an absorbent material such as Kraft paper.
Each bill of lading was governed by English law and subject to English jurisdiction. They each also incorporated the Hague Rules of 1924 and LCG/FCL (‘less than full container load/full container load’) terms applied. This means that the carrier was contractually responsible for preparing the containers for carriage and loading the bags of coffee into them.
Condensation damage was found in 18 out of the 20 containers. The cargo claimed against the carriers for breach of their duties as bailees to deliver the cargoes in the condition recorded on the bill of lading and, alternatively, breach of article III, rule 2 of the Hague Rules for failure to ‘properly and carefully load, handle, stow, carry, keep, care for, and discharge the goods carried’. They alleged negligence by the carriers for failing to use adequate or sufficient Kraft paper. The carriers pleaded ‘inherent vice’ on the ground that the coffee beans were unable to withstand the ordinary levels of condensation forming on such a voyage. In reply, the cargo owners pleaded that any inherent characteristic only led to damage because of the carrier’s negligence.
The judge, David Donaldson QC, held that there was no legal burden on the carrier to prove that the damage to the cargo was caused without negligence or due to an inherent vice, only a factual presumption of negligent damage. He found that: (i) the evidence did not establish what weight or how many layers of paper were used and (ii) there was no evidence, or generally accepted commercial
practice, as to what thickness of paper should be used. The Court of Appeal disturbed the factual findings as to commercial practice and the lack of evidence on the number of layers of lining paper in the containers, dismissing the claim by the cargo owners.
The questions on appeal to the Supreme Court were: (i) whether the cargo owners (as claimants) bear the legal burden under article III.2 of the Hague Rules and (ii) how, if at all, is the legal burden altered by the article IV.2(m) ‘inherent vice’ exception?
Held: The appeal succeeded. The legal burden of disproving negligence rests on the carrier, both for the purpose of article III.2 and article IV.2 of the Hague Rules.
Held: The appeal succeeded: ‘ the carrier had the legal burden of proving that he took due care to protect the goods from damage, including due care to protect the cargo from damage arising from inherent characteristics such as its hygroscopic character. I would reinstate the deputy judge’s conclusions about the practice of the trade in the lining of unventilated containers for the carriage of bagged coffee and the absence of evidence that the containers were dressed with more than one layer of lining paper. In the absence of evidence about the weight of the paper employed, it must follow that the carrier has failed to prove that the containers were properly dressed.’

Lord Reed, Deputy President, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Hodge, Lord Kitchin
[2018] UKSC 61, [2018] 3 WLR 2087, [2019] 1 All ER (Comm) 397, [2019] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 21, [2018] WLR(D) 779, [2019] AC 358, [2019] 2 All ER 81, [2018] UKSC 61
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary, SC Summary Video, SC 2018 Oct 3 am Video, SC 2018 Oct 3 pm Videos, SC 4 Oct 2018 pm Video
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedCoggs v Bernard ER 235 1738
A pawnee of any pawn or pledge hath a property in it ; for the thing deposited is a security to him, that he shall be repaid the money lent on it. Arid if things will riot be the worse, as jewels, and co he may use them ; but then it must be at his . .
At ComCVolcafe Ltd and Others v Compania Sud Americana De Vapores Sa (T/A Csav) ComC 5-Mar-2015
Coffee beans damaged in transit – onus of proof of liability in negligence . .
CitedReeve v Palmer 25-Jun-1858
It is no answer for an attorney, when sued in detinue for a deed which has been intrusted to him by a client, to say simply that he has lost it.
Cockburn CJ said: ‘The jury have found that he lost it: and I am of opinion that that must be taken . .
CitedMorison, Pollexfen and Blair v Walton 10-May-1909
. .
CitedDollar v Greenfield HL 19-May-1905
The plaintiff, a job master, for several years let carriages and Horses to the defendant by the year and let to the defendant a pair of horses, which were quiet in harness and satisfactory to the defendant’s coachman and stop the horses were kept in . .
CitedJoseph Travers and Sons Ltd v Cooper CA 1915
Goods were loaded onto a barge from a ship for delivery at the barge owners wharf in the Thames under a contract, which exempted the barge owner from liability ‘for any damage to goods how’s the weather caused which can be covered by insurance.’ . .
CitedGosse Millard v Canadian Government Merchant Marine 1927
Wright J said of the Hague Rules: ‘These Rules, which now have statutory force, have radically changed the legal status of sea carriers under bills of lading. According to the previous law, shipowners were generally common carriers, or were liable . .
CitedThe ‘RUAPEHU’ CA 1927
The plaintiffs owners of a drydock thought to limit their liability under the Merchant Seamen’s (Liability of Ship Owners and others) Act 1900 section 2 in respect of damage caused by a fire which broke out on the defendant’s vessel going to the . .
CitedBritish Road Services Ltd v Arthur V Crutchley and Co Ltd (No 1) CA 1968
There was a theft from a warehouse of a valuable lorry load of high value, namely, whisky. It was held on appeal that the defendants’ system of protection was not adequate in relation to the special risks involved and the value of the chattel . .
CitedVolcafe Ltd and Others v Compania Sud Americana De Vapores Sa (T/A CSAV) CA 10-Nov-2016
Claim for damages to cargo of coffee beans – onus of proof of liability for negligence . .
CitedAktieselskabet de Danske Sukkerfabrikker v Bajamar Compania Naviera SA (The ‘TORENIA’) 1983
D’s vessel was chartered to carry a cargo of Cuban sugar in bulk. She loaded some 10000 tonnes at Guayabal. Two bills of lading were issued to the shippers. On April 4th 1979 the vessel set sail for Denmark. On April 13th she encountered heavy . .
CitedF C Bradley and Sons Ltd v Federal Steam Navigation Co Ltd 1927
. .
CitedHomburg Houtimport BV v Agrosin Private Ltd (the ‘Starsin’) HL 13-Mar-2003
Cargo owners sought damages for their cargo which had been damaged aboard the ship. The contract had been endorsed with additional terms. That variation may have changed the contract from a charterer’s to a shipowner’s bill.
Held: The specific . .
CitedGreat China Metal Industries Co Ltd v Malaysian International Shipping Corpn Bhd (The ‘BUNGA SEROJA’) 22-Oct-1998
High Court of Australia – Shipping – Sea carriage of goods – Bill of lading – Hague Rules – Damage to cargo – Cargo properly stowed – Vessel seaworthy and fit in all respects for voyage – Bad weather conditions foreseeable – Perils of the sea – MV . .
CitedSilver v Ocean Steamship Co Ltd CA 1930
The Hague Rules had made no difference to the incidence of the burden of proof in cases of bailment for carriage. . .
CitedPaterson Steamships Limited v Canadian Co-Operative Wheat Producers, Limited PC 26-Jul-1934
(Quebec) . .
CitedGH Renton and Co Ltd v Palmyra Trading Corporation of Panama HL 1957
An agreement transferring responsibility for loading, stowage and discharge of cargo from the shipowners to shippers, charterers and consignees is not invalidated by article III, r. 8.
Lord Somervell of Harrow said as to Art III r2: ‘It is, in . .
CitedPyrene Co Ltd v Scindia Navigation Co Ltd QBD 1954
The fob contract has become a flexible instrument and it does not necessarily follow that the buyer is an original party to the contract of carriage. The effect of article III, r. 2 of the Hague-Visby Rules was not to override freedom of contract to . .
CitedJ Spurling Ltd v Bradshaw CA 26-Mar-1956
Denning LJ said: ‘ . . A bailor, by pleading and presenting his case properly, can always put on the bailee the burden of proof. In the case of non-delivery, for instance, all he need plead is the contract and a failure to deliver on demand. That . .
CitedNotara v Henderson QBD 16-Feb-1872
A cargo of beans was delivered damaged by seawater. The beans had been wetted when the vessel was involved in a collision. She put into Liverpool for repairs, and it was proved that it would have been reasonable for the master temporarily to . .
CitedThomas Wilson Sons and Co v Owners of Cargo per the ‘Xantho’ HL 14-Jul-1887
A cause of damage otherwise satisfying the established definition may be a peril of the sea even though caused by a shipowner’s negligence. Lord Herschell said: ‘If that which immediately caused the loss was a peril of the sea, it matters not how it . .
CitedAlbacora SRL v Westcott and Laurence Line Ltd HL 1966
The case concerned damage to fish due to previously dormant bacteria being activated by rise in temperature on the voyage. The issue was whether a cargo of fish was capable of withstanding carriage in unrefrigerated spaces, that being the service . .
Not good lawThe Glendarroch CA 9-Feb-1894
The plaintiffs brought an action against the defendants for non-delivery of goods shipped under a bill of lading containing the usual exceptions, but not excepting negligence. The goods had been damaged by sea water through the stranding of the . .
CitedNugent v Smith CA 29-May-1876
A mare carried in the hold of the ship, died as a result of a combination of more than usually bad weather and the fright of the animal herself which caused her to struggle and injure herself.
The defendant, a common carrier by sea from London . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Transport, Evidence, Negligence

Updated: 01 December 2021; Ref: scu.630953

Volcafe Ltd and Others v Compania Sud Americana De Vapores Sa (T/A Csav): ComC 5 Mar 2015

Coffee beans damaged in transit – onus of proof of liability in negligence

David Donaldson QC,
Sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge
[2015] EWHC 516 (Comm), [2016] 1 All ER (Comm) 657, [2015] 1 CLC 294, [2015] CN 461, [2015] 1 Lloyds Rep 639
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromVolcafe Ltd and Others v Compania Sud Americana De Vapores Sa (T/A CSAV) CA 10-Nov-2016
Claim for damages to cargo of coffee beans – onus of proof of liability for negligence . .
At ComCVolcafe Ltd and Others v Compania Sud Americana De Vapores Sa SC 5-Dec-2018
The claimant appellants, arranged shipment of bagged Colombian green coffee beans, stowed in 20 unventilated 20-foot containers from Panama to Rotterdam, Hamburg or Bremerhaven for on carriage to Bremen. The bill of lading for each consignment . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Transport, Negligence

Updated: 30 November 2021; Ref: scu.543896

British Road Services Ltd v Arthur V Crutchley and Co Ltd (No 1): CA 1968

There was a theft from a warehouse of a valuable lorry load of high value, namely, whisky. It was held on appeal that the defendants’ system of protection was not adequate in relation to the special risks involved and the value of the chattel bailed, and that even though they had contracted with competent third parties for the security of the warehouse during the hours of darkness the defendants had nevertheless failed to discharge the burden of proof that the loss was not due to any negligence on their part.
Otherwise: British Road Services Ltd v A Crutchley and Co Ltd and Factory Guards Ltd (Third Party)

Sachs LJ
[1968] 1 All ER 811
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedVolcafe Ltd and Others v Compania Sud Americana De Vapores Sa SC 5-Dec-2018
The claimant appellants, arranged shipment of bagged Colombian green coffee beans, stowed in 20 unventilated 20-foot containers from Panama to Rotterdam, Hamburg or Bremerhaven for on carriage to Bremen. The bill of lading for each consignment . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Transport, Negligence, Agency

Updated: 30 November 2021; Ref: scu.670134

Coggs v Bernard: 1703

The defendant had care of the plaintiff’s cask of brandy. He broke the cask and spilt the brandy.
Held: A bailment can exist notwithstanding that it is gratuitous, i.e. without consideration passing from the bailor to the bailee. The declaration that defendant was not a common porter and had been given nothing for his pains, was good, though there was no consideration. Gould J said: ‘The reason for the action is, the particular trust reposed in the defendant, to which he has concurred by his assumption, and in the executing which he has miscarried by his neglect.’ The historical approach of the common law to the question of negligence found its inspiration in Roman law concepts, as in the case in the law of bailment. As to the setting up of a nominal contractual obligation to obviate difficulties in negligence: ‘Secondly it is objected, that there is no consideration to ground this promise upon, and therefore the undertakings is but nudum pactum. But to this I answer, that the owner’s trusting him with the goods is a sufficient consideration to oblige him to careful management. Indeed if the agreement had been executory, to carry these brandies from one place to the other such a day, the defendant had not been bound to carry them. But this is a different case, for assumpsit does not only signify a future agreement, but in such a case as this, it signifies an actual entry upon the thing, and taking the trust upon himself. And if a man will do that, and miscarries in the performance of his trust, an action will lie against him for that, though nobody would have compelled him to do the thing.’
Holt CJ said that there were six classes of bailment.

Lord Holt CJ, Powell J
(1703) 1 Sm LC (13th Ed) 175, [1703] 1 Salk 26, [1703] 1 Com 133, [1703] Holt KB 13, [1703] 2 Ld Raym 909, [1703] 3 Salk 11, [1703] 92 ER 107, [1703] 36 Digest (Rep 1) 32
Commonlii
England and Wales
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 . .
CitedSkelton v London and North Western Ry Co CCP 1867
The defendant’s railway lines crossed a public footpath. The lines were bounded by gates which swung to, as required by law, but were not as usual also fastened. The deceased stopped as one train passed, but then stepped out in front of another and . .
CitedHM Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc HL 21-Jun-2006
The claimant had served an asset freezing order on the bank in respect of one of its customers. The bank paid out on a cheque inadvertently as to the order. The Commissioners claimed against the bank in negligence. The bank denied any duty of care. . .
CitedYearworth and others v North Bristol NHS Trust CA 4-Feb-2009
The defendant hospital had custody of sperm samples given by the claimants in the course of fertility treatment. The samples were effectively destroyed when the fridge malfunctioned. Each claimant was undergoing chemotherapy which would prevent them . .
CitedTRM Copy Centres (UK) Ltd and Others v Lanwall Services Ltd HL 17-Jun-2009
Each party contracted hire copiers to shops and offices. The claimant said that the defendant had interfered with their contracts by substituting their equipment. The defendants said that the claimants’ contracts were controlled by the 1974 Act, but . .
See AlsoCoggs v Bernard ER 234 1738
The defendant assumpsit to take up a hogs-head of brandy in a cellar, and safely to lay it down in another cellar ; and he so negligently laid and put it down in the other cellar, that for want of care the cask was staved, and so much brandy lost. . .
See AlsoCoggs v Bernard 839 1795
hogshead of brandy . .
See AlsoCoggs v Bernard ER 837 1795
Casks of Brandy . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Agency

Leading Case

Updated: 29 November 2021; Ref: scu.216353

Heaven 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 invited the plaintiff on to the land, and knew he would be using the staging. the categories of negligence are never closed
(Obiter) ‘The proposition which these recognized cases suggest, and which is, therefore, to be deduced from them, is that whenever one person is by circumstances placed in such a position with regard to another that every one of ordinary sense who did think would at once recognize that if he did not use ordinary care and skill in his own conduct with regard to those circumstances he would cause danger of injury to the person or property of the other, a duty arises to use ordinary care and skill to avoid such danger . . Let us apply this proposition to the case of one person supplying goods or machinery, or instruments or utensils, or the like, for the purpose of their being used by another person, but with whom there is no contract as to the supply. The proposition will stand thus: whenever one person supplies goods, or machinery or the like, for the purpose of their being used by another person under such circumstances that everyone of ordinary sense would, if he thought, recognize at once that unless he used ordinary care and skill with regard to the condition of the thing supplied or the mode of supplying it, there will be danger of injury to the person or property of him for whose use the thing is supplied, and who is to use it, a duty arises to use ordinary care and skill as to the condition or manner of supplying such thing. And for a neglect of such ordinary care or skill whereby injury happens a legal liability arises to be enforced by an action for negligence. This includes the case of goods, etc., supplied to be used immediately by a particular person or persons or one of a class of persons, where it would be obvious to the person supplying, if he thought, that the goods would in all probability be used at once by such persons before a reasonable opportunity for discovering any defect which might exist, and where the thing supplied would be of such a nature that a neglect of ordinary care or skill as to its condition or the manner of supplying it would probably cause danger to the person or property of the person for whose use it was supplied, and who was about to use it. It would exclude a case in which the goods are supplied under circumstances in which it would be a chance by whom they would be used or whether they would be used or not, or whether they would be used before there would probably be means of observing any defect, or where the goods would be of such a nature that a want of care or skill as to their condition or the manner of supplying them would not probably produce danger of injury to person or property. The cases of vendor and purchaser and lender and hirer under contract need not be considered, as the liability arises under the contract, and not merely as a duty imposed by law, though it may not be useless to observe that it seems difficult to import the implied obligation into the contract except in cases in which if there were no contract between the parties the law would according to the rule above stated imply the duty.’
Cotton LJ said: ‘In declining to concur in laying down the principle enunciated by the Master of the Rolls, I in no way intimate any doubt as to the principle that anyone who leaves a dangerous instrument, as a gun, in such a way as to cause danger, or who without due warning supplies to others for use an instrument or thing which to his knowledge, from its construction or otherwise, is in such a condition as to cause danger, not necessarily incident to the use of such an instrument, or thing, is liable for injury caused to others by reason of his negligent act.’

Brett MR, Cotton LJ, Bowen LJ
(1883) 11 QBD 503, 52 LJQB 702, 49 LT 357, 47 JP 709, [1883] UKLawRpKQB 117
Commonlii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedIndermaur v Dames QBD 1866
The court set out an occupier of land’s duty towards his invitees: ‘And, with respect to such a visitor at least, we consider it settled law, that he, using reasonable care on his part for his own safety, is entitled to expect that the occupier . .
CitedWinterbottom 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 . .
CitedSmith v London and St Katharine Docks Co 1868
The plaintiff sought damages after being injuring crossing a gangway onto a ship.
Held: The defendant had invited the plaintiff to the property and must have known the gangway would be used for this purpose. . .
CitedGeorge 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 . .
DistinguishedCollis v Selden 1868
The defendant installed a chandelier in a public house. It fell and injured the plaintiff.
Held: There was nothing to say that the defendant had any knowledge that the plaintiff, as opposed to members of the public in general, would enter the . .
DistinguishedLongmeid v Holliday 1851
A defective lamp was sold to a man whose wife was injured by its explosion. The seller of the lamp, against whom the action was brought, was not the manufacturer.
Held: No general duty of care was owed by a manufacturer of a lamp to a user.
Cited by:
CitedBritish Railways Board v Herrington HL 16-Feb-1972
Land-owner’s Possible Duty to Trespassers
The plaintiff, a child had gone through a fence onto the railway line, and been badly injured. The Board knew of the broken fence, but argued that they owed no duty to a trespasser.
Held: Whilst a land-owner owes no general duty of care to a . .
Dicta ConsideredDonoghue (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 . .
DistinguishedLe Lievre v Gould CA 6-Feb-1893
Mortgagees of the interest of a builder under a building agreement, advanced money to him from time to time, relying upon certificates given by a surveyor as to stages reached. The surveyor was not appointed by the mortgagees, and there was no . .
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 . .
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

Leading Case

Updated: 29 November 2021; Ref: scu.181277

Udale v Bloomsbury Area Health Authority: QBD 1983

The plaintiff underwent a sterilisation operation. The operation was painful and she later became pregnant. She sought damages for the pain and suffering and the additional costs of caring for the new child.
Held: Public policy held fast against awarding damages for the birth of a healthy child, and that element of damages was not recoverable.

Jupp J
[1983] 1 WLR 1098, [1983] 3 All ER 522
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedMacFarlane and Another v Tayside Health Board HL 21-Oct-1999
Child born after vasectomy – Damages Limited
Despite a vasectomy, Mr MacFarlane fathered a child, and he and his wife sought damages for the cost of care and otherwise of the child. He appealed a rejection of his claim.
Held: The doctor undertakes a duty of care in regard to the . .
DoubtedEmeh 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, Damages

Updated: 29 November 2021; Ref: scu.181335

Glasgow Corporation v Taylor: HL 18 Nov 1921

A father brought an action for damages for the death of his son who had eaten poisonous berries growing in one of the defenders’ public parks. The plants were easily accessible from a children’s play area and it was said that the defender had a duty to warn children against the danger or to prevent them from reaching the shrubs.
Held: A plea to the relevancy of the pursuer’s case was repelled.
Lord Shaw of Dunfermline said: ‘Grounds thrown open by a municipality to the public may contain objects of natural beauty, say precipitous cliffs or the banks of streams, the dangers of the resort to which are plain.’ One cannot ‘expect an occupier to provide protection against an obvious danger on his land arising from a natural feature such as a lake or a cliff and to impose a duty on him to do so.’ and ‘In grounds open to the public as of right, the duty resting upon the proprietors . . of making them reasonably safe does not include an obligation of protection against dangers which are themselves obvious. Dangers, however, which are not seen and obvious should be made the subject either of effectively restricted access or of such express and actual warning of prohibition as reaches the mind of the persons prohibited.’ The House treated artificial landscape features on the same footing as natural ones.

Lord Shaw of Dunfermline
[1922] 1 AC 44, 1922 SC (HL) 1, [1921] All ER Rep 1, [1921] UKHL 2, 1921 2 SLT 254, 29 ALR 846, [1921] UKHL 3
Bailii, Bailii
Scotland
Citing:
ApprovedStevenson v Glasgow Corporation 1908
Lord M’Laren said: ‘in a town, as well as in the country, there are physical features which may be productive of injury to careless persons or to young children against which it is impossible to guard by protective measures. The situation of a town . .

Cited by:
CitedBritish Railways Board v Herrington HL 16-Feb-1972
Land-owner’s Possible Duty to Trespassers
The plaintiff, a child had gone through a fence onto the railway line, and been badly injured. The Board knew of the broken fence, but argued that they owed no duty to a trespasser.
Held: Whilst a land-owner owes no general duty of care to a . .
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 . .
AppliedCotton v Derbyshire District Council CA 20-Jun-1994
No notice warning of danger was necessary on a public right of way for an obviously dangerous cliff. The Court upheld the decision of the trial judge dismissing the plaintiff’s claim for damages for serious injuries sustained from falling off a . .
AppliedKarl Andrew Whyte v Redland Aggregates Limited CA 27-Nov-1997
The appellant dived into a disused gravel pit and struck his head on an obstruction on the floor of the pit. The Court dismissed his appeal that he was not entitled to damages.
Held: ‘In my judgment, the occupier of land containing or bordered . .
CitedCotton v Derbyshire Dales District Council CA 10-Jun-1994
The claimant had been injured falling on land owned by the defendant. The had gone down what he must have known was not a path and fallen over a cliff. He appealed dismissal of his claim.
Held: Any notice would only have warned of the obvious . .
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

Leading Case

Updated: 29 November 2021; Ref: scu.181271

United Zinc and Chemical Co v Britt: 1922

There was no evidence of children being in the habit of going near the poisoned pool at issue. Speaking of trespassers, Holmes J said ‘the owner of the land would have owed no duty to remove even hidden danger; it would have been entitled to assume that they would obey the law and not trespass’

Holmes J
(1922) 258 US 268
United States
Cited by:
CitedBritish Railways Board v Herrington HL 16-Feb-1972
Land-owner’s Possible Duty to Trespassers
The plaintiff, a child had gone through a fence onto the railway line, and been badly injured. The Board knew of the broken fence, but argued that they owed no duty to a trespasser.
Held: Whilst a land-owner owes no general duty of care to a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, International

Updated: 29 November 2021; Ref: scu.181336

Grand Trunk Railway Co of Canada v Barnett: PC 28 Mar 1911

In an action against the appellant railroad company for damages for personal injuries resulting from collision caused by the negligence of the appellants’ servants it appeared that the collision took place on the property of the appellants to which the train carrying the plaintiff, which belonged to another company, had access by their leave and licence. It further appeared that the plaintiff was a trespasser on the appellants’ property and also on the said train, which to his knowledge was not at the time in use as a passenger train and in which he had taken up a precarious position on the platform and step of a carriage in disobedience of a by-law of both companies.
Held: that the appellants were not liable, for no breach of duty had been shewn. The judgment of the Board refers to ‘wilful or reckless disregard of ordinary humanity rather than mere absence of reasonable care’

[1911] AC 361 PC, [1911] UKLawRpAC 12
Commonlii
Canada
Cited by:
CitedBritish Railways Board v Herrington HL 16-Feb-1972
Land-owner’s Possible Duty to Trespassers
The plaintiff, a child had gone through a fence onto the railway line, and been badly injured. The Board knew of the broken fence, but argued that they owed no duty to a trespasser.
Held: Whilst a land-owner owes no general duty of care to a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 29 November 2021; Ref: scu.181273

Latham v R Johnson and Nephew Ltd: CA 12 Dec 1912

The defendants were owners of a plot of unfenced waste land from which old houses had been cleared. It did not adjoin any public highway, but was accessible by a path leading from the back of the house in which the plaintiff, a child between two and three years old, lived with her parents. The public were allowed by the defendants to traverse the land, and children of all ages were in the habit of playing upon heaps of sand, stone, and other materials which from time to time were deposited there by the defendants. The plaintiff went upon the land unaccompanied by any older person and was shortly afterwards found upon a heap of paving stones, one of which had fallen upon her hand and injured it. There was no evidence to shew how the accident happened. In an action for negligence the jury found that children played upon the land with the knowledge and permission of the defendants ; that there was no invitation to the plaintiff to use the land unaccompanied; that the defendants ought to have known that there was a likelihood of children being injured by the stones ; and that the defendants did not take reasonable care to prevent children being injured thereby. Upon these findings Scrutton J. held that the case came within Cooke v Midland Great Western Railway of Ireland [1909] AC 229, and gave judgment for the plaintiff with damages.
Held: on appeal, that, there being neither allurement nor trap, nor invitation, nor dangerous object placed upon the land, the defendants were not liable.
The court considered what arrangements might constitute a trap on land which might attract children. Hamilton LJ said: ‘What objects which attract infants to their hurt are traps even to them? Not all objects with which children hurt themselves simpliciter. A child can get into mischief and hurt itself with anything if it is young enough. In some cases the answer may rest with the jury, but it must be a matter of law to say whether a given object can be a trap in the double sense of being fascinating and fatal. No strict answer has been, or perhaps ever will be, given to the question, but I am convinced that a heap of paving stones in broad daylight in a private close cannot so combine the properties of temptation and retribution as to be properly called a trap.’

Hamilton LJ, Farwell LJ
[1913] 1 KB 398, [1911-13] All ER 117, [1912] UKLawRpKQB 169
Commonlii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedBritish Railways Board v Herrington HL 16-Feb-1972
Land-owner’s Possible Duty to Trespassers
The plaintiff, a child had gone through a fence onto the railway line, and been badly injured. The Board knew of the broken fence, but argued that they owed no duty to a trespasser.
Held: Whilst a land-owner owes no general duty of care to a . .
CitedWhite v Blackmore CA 15-Jun-1972
The plaintiff attended a jalopy car race and was injured. It was a condition of his entry that he agreed that motor racing was dangerous and that he would not hold the organisers or others responsible if injured. He was injured when a safety rope, . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 29 November 2021; Ref: scu.181275

Jones v Lawton: QBD 20 Dec 2013

The claimant motor-cyclist was badly injured. He was going along the outside of a chain of vehicles from out of which the defendant driver emerged and the two crashed. Each said the other was entirely at fault.
Held: By riding at or about 30mph Mr Jones was going far too fast. He should have been riding at a speed which would have enabled him to slow down or stop should a vehicle emerge unexpectedly from his left. Mr Lawton was at fault because he failed to take into account the possibility that a motorcycle might be approaching and began to execute his right turn without taking the precautions necessary to reduce the risk of a collision. His failures caused the collision. Liability apportioned accordingly.

Burnett J
[2013] EWHC 4108 (QB)
Bailii

Negligence

Updated: 28 November 2021; Ref: scu.519772

Jolley 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, that the possibility of injury to children playing on such an object was foreseeable. The judge had also found a particular danger of an older boy seeking to prop it up and repair it. The council had argued that this latter event was unforseeable.
Held: The Court of Appeal had not been justified in disturbing the Judge’s finding of fact. Given the ingenuity of children for mischief, mischief which went beyond that foreseen, but which was of the same type, was capable of leaving the authority liable under the Act.
There was no social value or cost saving to the Council in creating a risk by leaving a derelict boat lying about. It was something which they ought to have removed whether it created a risk of injury or not. They were liable for an injury which, though foreseeable, was not particularly likely. Foreseeability does not denote a fixed point on the scale of probability.

Lord Browne-Wilkinson Lord Mackay of Clashfern Lord Steyn Lord Hoffmann Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough
Times 24-May-2000, Gazette 08-Jun-2000, [2000] 1 WLR 1082, [2000] UKHL 31, [2000] 3 All ER 409
House of Lords, Bailii
Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 2(2)
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromRegina v London Borough of Sutton, ex parte Jolley CA 19-Jun-1998
The plaintiff, a boy, was injured when playing on a derelict boat left on council land. The council appealed an award of damages against it.
Held: A local authority may be liable for injury caused by a derelict boat not removed from their land . .
First instanceJolley v Sutton London Borough Council QBD 1998
The claimant, a boy was injured when playing around a boat abandoned on land owned by the defendant. He had propped it up to attempt a repair, and was crushed when it fell on him. He said that in not removing the boat they had been negligent.
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 . .
CitedBolton 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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedOverseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Miller Steamship Co Pty (The Wagon Mound) (No 2) PC 25-May-1966
(New South Wales) When considering the need to take steps to avoid injury, the court looked to the nature of defendant’s activity. There was no social value or cost saving in this defendant’s activity. ‘In the present case there was no justification . .

Cited by:
CitedGroom v Selby CA 18-Oct-2001
The defendant negligently failed to discover the claimant’s pregnancy. A severely disabled child was born. The question was as to the responsibility for payment of excess costs of raising a severely disabled child, a claim for economic loss. The . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedGabriel v Kirklees Metropolitan Council CA 24-Mar-2004
The claimant (aged 6) sought damages after being hurt when other children playing on a building site threw stones from the site, hitting him as he passed by.
Held: The case raised questions of law and it was incumbent on the judge to provide . .
CitedIslington London Borough Council v University College London Hospital NHS Trust CA 16-Jun-2005
The local authority sought repayment from a negligent hospital of the cost of services it had had to provide to an injured patient. They said that the hospital had failed to advise the patient to resume taking warfarin when her operation was . .
CitedLondon General Holdings Ltd and others v USP Plc and Another CA 22-Jul-2005
Copyright was claimed in a draft legal agreement. Infringement was established, but the court was asked to look at the assessment of damages.
Held: ‘what is the basis upon which damages for breach of copyright are awarded? The question cannot . .
CitedJebson 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 . .
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 . .
CitedHone v Six Continents Retail Ltd CA 29-Jun-2005
The employer appealed a finding that it was liable in damages for negligence to the claimant, and employee who suffered psychiatric injury cause by stress at work. He said he had been left to work very excessive hours, between 89 and 92 hours a . .
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 . .
CitedGeary v JD Wetherspoon Plc QBD 14-Jun-2011
The claimant, attempting to slide down the banisters at the defendants’ premises, fell 4 metres suffering severe injury. She claimed in negligence and occupiers’ liability. The local council had waived a requirement that the balustrade meet the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Negligence, Torts – Other

Leading Case

Updated: 27 November 2021; Ref: scu.82576

Ratcliff v McConnell and Jones: CA 30 Nov 1998

The claimant, a nineteen year old student climbed into a college property in the early hours of the morning, and then took a running dive into the shallow end of a swimming pool, suffering severe injuries. He was accompanied by friends and had been drinking, though he was not drunk.
Held: A trespasser having climbed into grounds at night and dived into a swimming pool without knowing the depth accepted responsibility for his own acts. The dangers of diving into shallow water were known to adults and there was no need for a warning. The existence of a duty had to be determined by reference to the likelihood of the trespasser’s presence in the vicinity of the danger at the actual time and place of danger to him.
The Act did not include the duty to safeguard the claimant from the consequences of his own folly.
Stuart-Smith LJ said: ‘It is unfortunate that a number of high-spirited young men will take serious risks with their own safety and do things that they know are forbidden, Often they are disinhibited by drink and the encouragement of friends. It is the danger and the fact that it is forbidden that provides the thrill. But if the risk materialises they cannot blame others for their rashness.’

Lord Justice Stuart-Smith, Lord Justice Thorpe, Lord Justice Mummery
Times 03-Dec-1998, [1999] 1 WLR 670, [1997] EWCA Civ 2679
Bailii
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedDonoghue v Folkestone Properties Limited CA 27-Feb-2003
The claimant had decided to go for a midnight swim, but was injured diving and hitting a submerged bed. The landowner appealed a finding that it was 25% liable. The claimant asserted that the defendant knew that swimmers were common.
Held: The . .
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 . .
CitedOvu v London Underground Ltd (Duty of Care) QBD 13-Oct-2021
Safety of Stairs within Undergrounds Care of duty
The Claimant sued the London Underground company because their relative Mr Ovu died after falling down stairs on a fire escape. It was late at night and he wandered on his own on a cold night, outdoors, onto the stairs. The staircase was in good . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Land, Negligence

Updated: 27 November 2021; Ref: scu.136077

Tindall and Another v Thames Valley Police and Another: QBD 7 Apr 2020

Circumstances in which a duty of care arises falling upon the police in the context of their actions at the scene of a road accident caused by locally icy and dangerous road conditions as a result of a water leak and flooding. He re the Claimant says that the Police attending the scene assumed or fell under a duty of care towards Mr Tindall. The Police say they did not.
Held: Defendants’ strike out claim refused.

Master Mccloud
[2020] EWHC 837 (QB)
Bailii
Highways Act 1980
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedOvu v London Underground Ltd (Duty of Care) QBD 13-Oct-2021
Safety of Stairs within Undergrounds Care of duty
The Claimant sued the London Underground company because their relative Mr Ovu died after falling down stairs on a fire escape. It was late at night and he wandered on his own on a cold night, outdoors, onto the stairs. The staircase was in good . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Negligence

Updated: 27 November 2021; Ref: scu.655911

Nyang v G4S Care and Justice Services Ltd and Others: QBD 11 Dec 2013

The claimant suffered very substantial injury. He was detained at an immigration removal centre. He said that he suffered a mental illness, and that through a negligent failure to diagnose and control his condition he ran head first into a wall causing the injuries. He had made threats to kill himself, but no steps had been taken for investigation or care.

Lewis J
[2013] EWHC 3946 (QB)
Bailii

Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 26 November 2021; Ref: scu.518922

Harrison and Others v Technical Sign Company Ltd and Others: CA 4 Dec 2013

A sign had fallen from a building injuring passers by. Judgment had been entered in their favour against several defendants who now disputed their respective levels of contributory negligence. The present appellant, who had surveyed the property with the sign denied duty of care to the passers by.

Moore-Bick, Patten, McFarlane LJJ
[2013] EWCA Civ 1569
Bailii
England and Wales

Negligence

Updated: 26 November 2021; Ref: scu.518766

O’Neill and Others v Tomlinson: QBNI 3 Jul 2013

Appeal from the decision of Deputy County Court Judge Gilpin on 25 March 2013 when he awarded andpound;7,500 in respect of general damages to the plaintiffs arising from an escape of oil from the defendants’ property onto the plaintiffs’ property.

[2013] NIQB 97
Bailii

Northern Ireland, Negligence, Nuisance

Updated: 26 November 2021; Ref: scu.518546

PBD and Another v Greater Manchester Police: QBD 18 Nov 2013

The claimant had acted as police informant for the defendant. He said that the defendant had wrongfully released his identity resulting in him having to seek witness relocation with consequential losses for himself and his partner the co-claimant.
Held: The claim failed. The Defendant did not owe the First Claimant a duty of care in respect of his psychiatric loss.

Silber J
[2013] EWHC 3559 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedHertfordshire Police v Van Colle; Smith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police HL 30-Jul-2008
Police Obligations to Witnesses is Limited
A prosecution witness was murdered by the accused shortly before his trial. The parents of the deceased alleged that the failure of the police to protect their son was a breach of article 2.
Held: The House was asked ‘If the police are alerted . .
CitedVan Colle and Van Colle v The United Kingdom ECHR 9-Feb-2010
Statement of Facts . .
CitedVan Colle v The United Kingdom ECHR 13-Nov-2012
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Negligence

Updated: 26 November 2021; Ref: scu.518028

Billings v Reed: CA 1945

The plaintiff’s wife had been killed by a negligently piloted RAF aeroplane. It was argued that, although this was a war injury, the language of section 3(1) did not exclude a claim based on trespass to the person.
Held: Lord Greene MR said: ‘It seems to me that in this context the phrase ‘breach of duty’ is comprehensive enough to cover the case of trespass to the person which is certainly a breach of duty as used in a wide sense.’

Lord Greene MR, Mackinnon and Lawrence LJJ
[1945] KB 11
Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act 1939
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedA v Hoare; H v Suffolk County Council, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs intervening; X and Y v London Borough of Wandsworth CA 12-Apr-2006
Each claimant sought damages for a criminal assault for which the defendant was said to be responsible. Each claim was to be out of the six year limitation period. In the first claim, the proposed defendant had since won a substantial sum from the . .
CitedA v Hoare HL 30-Jan-2008
Each of six claimants sought to pursue claims for damages for sexual assaults which would otherwise be time barred under the 1980 Act after six years. They sought to have the House depart from Stubbings and allow a discretion to the court to extend . .
AppliedLetang v Cooper CA 15-Jun-1964
The plaintiff, injured in an accident, pleaded trespass to the person, which was not a breach of duty within the proviso to the section, in order to achieve the advantages of a six-year limitation period.
Held: Trespass is strictly speaking . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Limitation, Negligence

Updated: 25 November 2021; Ref: scu.240375

General Construction Ltd v Chue Wing and Co Ltd and Another: PC 15 Oct 2013

(Mauritius) A high crane had fallen during a storm onto a neighbouring building. The court considered whether under the Mauritian law of faute the accident had occurred through force majeure.

Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Carnwath, Lord Toulson
[2013] UKPC 30
Bailii

Commonwealth, Negligence

Updated: 21 November 2021; Ref: scu.516493

Smoldon v Whitworth and Another: CA 17 Dec 1996

The referee of a colts rugby match appealed from a finding of liability after a scrum collapsed severely injuring the plaintiff.
Held: The appeal failed. The rules applicable to colts matches recognised the risks. I this game, the defendant had allowed many more collapsed scrums than should have taken place: ‘ the rules were framed for the protection of him and other players in the same position, he cannot possibly be said to have consented to a breach of duty on the part of the official whose duty it was to apply the rules and ensure so far as possible that they were observed.’

Lord Bingham of Cornhill LCJ
[1996] EWCA Civ 1225
Bailii
England and Wales

Negligence, Personal Injury

Updated: 20 November 2021; Ref: scu.653896

Streeter v Hughes and Another: QBD 20 Sep 2013

The claimant cyclist sought damages after suffering very serious injuries in a collision with a car driven by the defendant. Other witnesses said that the claimant emerged from a side road into the defendant’s car’s path. Experts said that the distance the claimant had been thrown suggested the car had been driving too fast.
Held: Examinng the evidence, the claimant had emerged in such a way as to preclude the defendant seeing him in time to stop.

Jeremy Baker J
[2013] EWHC 2841 (QB)
Bailii

Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 20 November 2021; Ref: scu.515376

LE Jones (Insurance Brokers) Ltd v Portsmouth City Council: CA 7 Nov 2002

The Council appealed against a finding that it was liable for damage to the claimant’s property caused by the roots of trees on the highway maintained by the appellant. The Council asked whether it was the correct defendant having acted as agent for the County Council, whether proper opportunity had been given to abate the nuisance, and whether the underpinning works had been necessary.

Aldous, Dyson LJJ
[2002] EWCA Civ 1723, [2003] BLR 67, (2002) 87 Con LR 169, [2003] 15 EG 139, [2003] 1 EGLR 99, [2002] 47 EG 146, [2003] 1 WLR 427
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSolloway v Hampshire County Council CA 1981
Tree root damage had occurred following two successive very hot and dry summers in 1975 and 1976, in an area where the subsoil was almost all gravel but where, as it happened, under the plaintiff’s house there were pockets of clay. An issue arose as . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Nuisance

Updated: 19 November 2021; Ref: scu.515016

John Summers and Sons Ltd v Frost: HL 1955

Construction of Workmen Safety Statutes

The normal rule that penal statutes must be strictly construed has not been allowed to stand in the way of the protection given to the workman by the statutory language. The House considered the requirement under section 14(1) of the 1937 Act that ‘Every dangerous part of any machinery . . shall be securely fenced unless it is in such a position or of such construction as to be as safe to every person employed or working on the premises as it would be if securely fenced’, and had applied to the concept of dangerousness an approach dating back to Hindle v Birtwhistle [1897] 1 QB 192, namely that a machine or part is dangerous ‘if in the ordinary course of human affairs danger may reasonably be anticipated from the use of them without protection’, and that it was ‘impossible to say that because an accident had happened once therefore the machine was dangerous’. Lords Reid and Keith at pp 765-766 and 774 expressly endorsed the relevance of determining whether the degree of danger was such that there was ‘a reasonably foreseeable cause of injury’.
Lord Reid aid that an employer considering the use of dangerous equipment must allow for possible lapses by a workman.
Viscount Simonds said that it was elementary that it is necessary to consider not only the risk run by a skilled and careful man who never relaxes his vigilance.

Viscount Simonds, Lord Reid
[1955] AC 740, [1955] 1 All ER 870
Factories Act 1937 14(1)
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedFytche v Wincanton Logistics Plc HL 1-Jul-2004
The claimant was employed as a milk truck driver. He was issued with a pair of boots capped to protect his feet from impact. In a snowstorm, and against company advice, he sough to dig himself out. The boots leaked and he suffered frostbite. He . .
CitedRobb v Salamis (M and I) Ltd HL 13-Dec-2006
The claimant was injured working for the defendants on a semi-submersible platform. He fell from a ladder which was not secured properly. He alleged a breach of the Regulations. The defendant denied any breach and asserted that the claimant had . .
CitedRobb v Salamis (M and I) Ltd HL 13-Dec-2006
The claimant was injured working for the defendants on a semi-submersible platform. He fell from a ladder which was not secured properly. He alleged a breach of the Regulations. The defendant denied any breach and asserted that the claimant had . .
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.

Health and Safety, Negligence

Updated: 19 November 2021; Ref: scu.198670

Brooke v Bool: 1928

Volunteer Was Joint Tortfeasor

A and B set out together to investigate the source of a gas leak which was B’s direct concern alone. A had come with him to help. Because B was too old to carry out a particular task, A carried it out instead. The means of investigation was ill-advised and an explosion took place.
Held: A was plainly liable. The Divisional Court held that B was liable too as a joint tortfeasor engaged in a common venture with A.
Talbot J said: ‘It is obvious that to examine a place in which an escape of gas is suspected is highly dangerous, unless proper care is taken; and that one of the necessary precautions against disaster is to avoid the use of a naked light. In my opinion the defendant, having undertaken this examination, was under a duty to take reasonable care to avoid danger resulting from it to the shop and its contents, and, if so, he cannot escape liability for the consequences of failure to discharge this duty by getting, as he did, some one to make the examination, or part of it, for him, whether that person is an agent, or a servant, or a contractor, or a mere voluntary helper. This is the principle of such cases as Bower v. Peate 1 Q. B. D. 321; Black v. Christchurch Finance Co. [1894] A C 48; Hughes v. Percival 8 App. Cas. 443; Hardaker v. Idle District Council [1896] 1 Q. B. 335; and see the judgment of Lord Blackburn in Dalton v. Angus 6 App Cas 740. The principle is that if a man does work on or near another’s property which involves danger to that property unless proper care is taken, he is liable to the owners of the property for damage resulting to it from the failure to take proper care, and is equally liable if, instead of doing the work himself, he procures another, whether agent, servant or otherwise, to do it for him.’

Talbot J
[1928] 2 KB 578
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedThe Koursk CA 1924
The navigators of two ships had committed two separate torts or one tort in which they were both tortfeasors.
Held: Three situations were identified where A might be jointly liable with B for B’s tortious act. Where A was master and B servant; . .

Cited by:
CitedUnilever Plc v Gillette (UK) Limited CA 1989
Unilever claimed infringement of its patent. The court was asked whether there was a good arguable case against the United States parent company of the existing defendant sufficient to justify the parent company to be joined as a defendant and to . .
CitedMCA Records Inc and Another v Charly Records Ltd and others (No 5) CA 5-Oct-2001
The court discussed the personal liability of a director for torts committed by his company: ‘i) a director will not be treated as liable with the company as a joint tortfeasor if he does no more than carry out his constitutional role in the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 19 November 2021; Ref: scu.230358

OLL Ltd v Secretary of State for Transport: QBD 22 Jul 1997

Coastguard Not liable in Negligence

Eight children with a teacher and two instructors set off on a canoeing trip but did not return. They got into difficulties at sea. Two became separated from the rest. The canoes capsized and sank. Some tried to swim ashore. Two more members became separated. They were all eventually rescued between 5.30 and 6.40 pm, but four of the children died and the other members of the party suffered severe hypothermia and shock. Proceedings were brought against the organisers of the trip, who sought redress against the Secretary of State as the minister responsible for HM Coastguard. The defendant sought a strike out of the claim.
Held: The claim was struck out. A coastguard owed no duty of care to those in distress even in giving a negligent mis-direction to non-employees. The claimant relied on an internal manual and orders intended and designed to ensure that the coastguard discharged its responsibilities properly, efficiently and effectively. It was said that the coastguard had encouraged an expectation in the minds of the public that they would respond promptly and appropriately to marine emergencies. It had thereby assumed responsibilities to the public for the execution of search and rescue missions in coastal waters.
It was submitted that a duty of care arose from the expectation that the coast guard would act carefully, the expectation being created by ministerial pronouncement, published procedures and a common knowledge that the coast guard would act when it knows of an emergency at sea. These submissions were rejected. They strained what Lord Hoffmann had said in Stovin v Wise beyond breaking point.

May J
Times 22-Jul-1997, [1997] 3 All ER 397
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedStovin v Wise, Norfolk County Council (Third Party) HL 24-Jul-1996
Statutory Duty Does Not Create Common Law Duty
The mere existence of statutory power to remedy a defect cannot of itself create a duty of care to do so. A highway authority need not have a duty of care to highway users because of its duty to maintain the highway. The two stage test ‘involves . .
CitedCapital and Counties Plc and Another v Hampshire County Council; Etc CA 20-Mar-1997
Three cases were brought against fire services after what were said to be negligent responses to call outs. On one, the fire brigade was called to a fire at office premises in Hampshire. The fire triggered the operation of a heat-activated sprinkler . .

Cited by:
CitedChief Constable of Northumbria v Costello CA 3-Dec-1998
A woman police officer was attacked by a prisoner in a cell. She sought damages for the failure of a senior officer nearby not to come to her aid, and from the chief constable under his vicarious liability.
Held: The chief constable’s appeal . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedHertfordshire Police v Van Colle; Smith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police HL 30-Jul-2008
Police Obligations to Witnesses is Limited
A prosecution witness was murdered by the accused shortly before his trial. The parents of the deceased alleged that the failure of the police to protect their son was a breach of article 2.
Held: The House was asked ‘If the police are alerted . .
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: 19 November 2021; Ref: scu.84444

Davies v Swan Motor Co (Swansea) Ltd: CA 1949

A plaintiff brought an action for damages for personal injury against the drivers of two cars.
Held: There are two aspects to apportioning responsibility between a plaintiff and defendant in an action for negligence, the respective causative potency of what they have done, and their respective blameworthiness
Denning LJ said: ‘If they were both found guilty of ‘fault’ which caused the damage, could it possibly be said that the plaintiff’s damages were to be reduced as against one and not as against the other? And even if that were possible, what would be the proportions as between the two drivers? Would contributions be assessed on the higher or lower figure of damages? If the Act of 1945 were to involve such questions, it would introduce many complications into the law. The Act seems to contemplate that, if the plaintiff’s own fault was one of the causes of the accident, his damages are to be reduced by the self-same amount as against any of the others whose fault was a cause of the accident, whether he sues one or more of them, and they bear the amount so reduced in the appropriate proportions as between themselves.’

Denning LJ
[1949] 2 KB 291
Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 1
England and Wales
Cited by:
ApprovedFitzgerald v Lane HL 14-Jul-1988
The plaintiff crossed road at a pelican crossing. The lights were against him but one car had stopped. As he passed that car he was struck by another in the second lane and again by a car coming the other way. The judge had held the three equally . .
ApprovedStapley v Gypsum Mines Ltd HL 25-Jun-1953
Plaintiff to take own responsibility for damage
The question was whether the fault of the deceased’s fellow workman, they both having disobeyed their foreman’s instructions, was to be regarded as having contributed to the accident.
Held: A plaintiff must ‘share in the responsibility for the . .
ApprovedChapman v Hearse, Baker v Willoughby HL 26-Nov-1969
The plaintiff, a pedestrian had been struck by the defendant’s car while crossing the road. The plaintiff had negligently failed to see the defendant’s car approaching. The defendant had a clear view of the plaintiff prior to the collision, but was . .
CitedEagle v Chambers CA 24-Jul-2003
The claimant was severely injured when run down by the defendant driving his car. She was in Blackpool, and drunk and wandering in the highway. The defendant was himself at or near the drink driving limit. She appealed against a finding that she was . .
CitedJones v Livox Quarries CA 25-Apr-1952
The plaintiff had ridden on the back of a kind of tractor in a quarry and in defiance of his employer’s instructions, risking being thrown off and injured. Another vehicle ran into the back of the first vehicle, injuring the plaintiff. He contended . .
CitedThe Miraflores and The Abadesa PC 1967
Two ships had collided. A third itself ran aground trying to avoid them, and its ownes sought damages.
Held: The unit approach to apportionment of damages was wrong.
Lord Morris said of section 1 of the 1911 Act: ‘The section calls for . .
CitedO’Connell v Jackson CA 7-Jul-1971
Motorcyclist negligent without helmet
The plaintiff sought damages after an accident. The defendant car driver had negligently moved forward into the path of the plaintiff motor cyclist who was injured. The defendant argued that the plaintiff, a motorcyclist, was contributorily . .
CitedSwallow Security Services Ltd v Millicent EAT 19-Mar-2009
EAT UNFAIR DISMISSAL: Contributory fault
The employers dismissed the employee after a bogus redundancy exercise, after she had knowingly taken paid holiday in excess of her holiday allowance and failed to . .
CitedKotula v EDF Energy Networks (Epn) Plc and Others QBD 15-Jun-2010
kotula_edfQBD2012
The claimant cyclist sought damages for severe personal injury. He was walking or riding his cycle through some roadworks by the roadside, and fell out through roadside barriers into the path of a car. The defendants admitted that the path was less . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Negligence

Updated: 17 November 2021; Ref: scu.185851

Monarch Steamship Co Ltd v Karlshamns Oljefabriker A/B: HL 1949

Damages were sought for breach of contract.
Held: After reviewing the authorities on remoteness of damage, the court reaffirmed the broad general rule that a party injured by the other’s breach of contract is entitled to such money compensation as will put him in the position in which he would have been but for the breach. The matters did not depend on the differences (if any) between contract and tort in that connection. The reasonable contemplation as to damages was what the court attributed to the parties and the question in such a case must always be what reasonable business men must be taken to have contemplated as the natural or probable result if the contract was broken. The question of whether the damage was foreseeable is a question of fact.
Lord Wright said: ‘Causation is a mental concept, generally based on inference or induction from uniformity of sequence as between two events that there is a causal connection between them . . The common law, however, is not concerned with philosophic speculation, but is only concerned with ordinary everyday life and thoughts and expressions . .’

Lord Wright
[1949] AC 196, [1948] UKHL 1, 65 TLR 217, 1949 SC (HL) 1, [1949] AC 196, 1949 SLT 51, (1948-49) 82 Ll L Rep 137, [1949] LJR 772, [1949] 1 All ER 1
Bailii
Scotland
Cited by:
CitedLagden v O’Connor HL 4-Dec-2003
The parties had been involved in a road traffic accident. The defendant drove into the claimant’s parked car. The claimant was unable to afford to hire a car pending repairs being completed, and arranged to hire a car on credit. He now sought . .
CitedChester v Afshar HL 14-Oct-2004
The claimant suffered back pain for which she required neurosurgery. The operation was associated with a 1-2% risk of the cauda equina syndrome, of which she was not warned. She went ahead with the surgery, and suffered that complication. The . .
CitedTransfield Shipping Inc v Mercator Shipping Inc (The Achilleas) HL 9-Jul-2008
The parties contracted to charter the Achileas. The charterer gave notice to terminate the hire, and the owner found a new charterer. Until the termination the charterers sub-chartered. That charter was not completed, delaying the ship for the . .
CitedCounty Ltd v Girozentrale Securities CA 1996
The plaintiff bank had agreed to underwrite a share placement. The defendant brokers made representations to potential investors outside and in breach of the terms of the engagement letter. The bank failed to check on the status of indicative . .
CitedBorealis Ab v Geogas Trading Sa ComC 9-Nov-2010
The parties had contracted for sale and purchase of butane for processing. It was said to have been contaminated. The parties now disputed the effect on damages for breach including on causation, remoteness, mitigation and quantum.
Held: The . .
CitedKpohraror v Woolwich Building Society CA 1996
The Society, acting as a bank, had at first failed to pay its customer’s cheque for andpound;4,550, even though there were sufficient funds. The bank said that it had been reported lost. The customer sought damages to his business reputation.
Damages, Negligence, Contract

Updated: 17 November 2021; Ref: scu.188648

Wilson 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’.

Jenkins, Pearce, Parker LJJ
[1958] EWCA Civ 2, [1958] 2 WLR 900, [1958] 2 QB 110, [1958] 2 All ER 265
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBiddle 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 . .

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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Health and Safety, Negligence

Updated: 16 November 2021; Ref: scu.262824

Chappell v Cooper: CA 1980

The plaintiff’s writ had not been served within the required time, and it had become too late to extend its validity. The plaintiff isued a second writ. The defendant argued limitation. Counsel for the plaintiffs sought to distinguish Walkley on the very narrow ground that there was no question of the first action having being struck out or discontinued.
Held: (Roskill LJ) ‘ . . I cannot accept the submission that [Walkley] is a decision only on the facts of that case. It seems to me plainly a decision on principle that if a plaintiff starts but then does not for any reason proceed with an action, whether it is because the plaintiff chooses not to serve or his solicitors fail to serve the writ timeously or because the action is subsequently struck out for want of prosecution, or because for good reason or bad the plaintiff or his solicitors give notice of discontinuance, it is not open to the plaintiff thereafter to seek to take advantage of the provisions of section [33] . . because as their Lordships have laid down (and we are of course bound by their decision) the cause of his prejudice is not the provisions of section [11], that is to say, the existence of the primary limitation period, but is the act or remission of himself or his solicitors in acting or failing to act as he or they have done in relation to their action.’

Roskill LJ, Ormrod LJ
[1980] 1 WLR 958, [1980] 2 All ER 463
England and Wales
Citing:
DiscussedWalkley v Precision Forgings Ltd HL 1979
The plaintiff tried to bring a second action in respect of an industrial injury claim outside the limitation period so as to overcome the likelihood that his first action, although timeous, would be dismissed for want of prosecution.
Held: He . .

Cited by:
CitedJacqueline Adam v Rasal Ali CA 21-Feb-2006
The defendant sought damages against the defendant for personal injury from his alleged negligence. Her action was struck out and she recommenced the action. The defendant pleaded that she was out of time. The claimant said that the first action . .
CitedHorton v Sadler and Another HL 14-Jun-2006
The claimant had been injured in a road traffic accident for which the defendant was responsible in negligence. The defendant was not insured, and so a claim was to be made against the MIB. The plaintiff issued proceedings just before the expiry of . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Limitation, Negligence

Updated: 16 November 2021; Ref: scu.240165

Verderame v Commercial Union Assurance Co Plc: CA 2 Apr 1992

The insurance brokers, acting to arrange insurance for a small private limited company did not owe a duty in tort to the directors of that company personally. Where an action was brought in a tort and in breach of contract, damages could not be awarded on the tort where they were not available in contract.

Balcombe LJ
[1992] BCLC 793, Times 02-Apr-1992
England and Wales
Citing:
FollowedWatts and Co v Morrow CA 30-Jul-1991
The plaintiff had bought a house on the faith of the defendant’s report that there were only limited defects requiring repair. In fact the defects were much more extensive. The defendant surveyor appealed against an award of damages after his . .

Cited by:
CitedJohnson v Gore Wood and Co (a Firm) CA 12-Nov-1998
The claimant had previously issued a claim against the defendant solicitors through his company. He now sought to pursue a claim in his own name. It was resisted as an abuse of process, and on the basis that no personal duty of care was owed to the . .
CitedHamilton Jones v David and Snape (a Firm) ChD 19-Dec-2003
The claimant was represented by the respondent firm of solicitors in an action for custody of her children. Through their negligence the children had been removed from the country. She sought damages for the distress of losing her children.
Agency, Insurance, Company, Contract, Negligence, Damages

Updated: 16 November 2021; Ref: scu.181818

Strable v Dartford Borough Council: CA 1984

A local authority is not liable in damages for a negligent failure properly to complete its planning law duties. No action lay and the remedy available to an individual in such a case is to object on appeal to the Secretary of State and, if still dissatisfied with the planning results of that appeal, to seek judicial review of the Secretary of State’s decision. The question is always whether, looking at the whole statute and at all the circumstances, including the history of the legislation, the relevant Act was passed primarily for the benefit of the individual or for the public in general.

Stephenson LJ
[1984] JPL 329
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Lam and Others (T/a ‘Namesakes of Torbay’) and Borough of Torbay CA 30-Jul-1997
The claimant sought damages after the planning authority allowed the first defendant to conduct a manufacturing business in the course of which spraying activities took place which caused them personal injuries and loss of business.
Held: The . .
CitedKane v New Forest District Council CA 13-Jun-2001
A pedestrian walked from a footpath into the road and was hit by a car. She sought damages from the highway authority, saying that they had allowed vegetation to grow to an extent to make it impossible to be seen. As a second tier appeal, the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Planning, Negligence

Updated: 16 November 2021; Ref: scu.225320

Marshall v Osmond: CA 1983

The plaintiff was passenger in a stolen car seeking to escape the police as they chased. The car was stopped, the plaintiff got out of the car, and was hit by a police car. He sought damages.
Held: His appeal against dismissal of his claim was dismissed. A police officer was to exercise such care and skill as was reasonable in the circumstances. Though the officer might have made errors of judgment, he had not in fact been negligent. Though the claimant had helped to create the circumstances which gave rise to the accident, the defence of volenti non fit injuria did not apply.
Sir John Donaldson MR said: ‘I think that the duty owed by a police driver to the suspect is, as Mr Spokes, on behalf of the plaintiff, has contended, the same duty as that owed to anyone else, namely to exercise such care and skill as is reasonable in all the circumstances. The vital words in that proposition of law are ‘in all the circumstances’, and of course one of the circumstances was that the plaintiff bore all the appearance of having been somebody engaged in a criminal activity for which there was a power of arrest.’
and ‘As I see it, what happened was that this police officer pursued a line in steering his car which would, in the ordinary course of events, have led to his ending up sufficiently far away from the Cortina to clear its open door. He was driving on a gravelly surface at night in what were no doubt stressful circumstances. There is no doubt that he made an error of judgment because, in the absence of an error of judgment, there would have been no contact between the cars. I am far from satisfied on the evidence that the police officer was negligent.’

Sir John Donaldson MR, Dillon LJ, Sir Denis Buckley
[1983] 2 All ER 367, [1983] 1 QB 1034, [1983] 3 WLR 13
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedAshton v Turner QBD 1981
The plaintiff sought damages after being injured as a passenger in a car. He and the driver had both just been involved in a burglary, and the driver, who had taken alcohol was attempting to escape. The driver was driving very dangerously in order . .

Cited by:
CitedKeyse v Commissioner of the Police for the Metropolis, Scutts CA 18-May-2001
The court considered liability where a police car on emergency duty hit Mr Scutts causing very serious injuries. The officer appealed against a finding of liability saying that the judge had declared irrelevant the fact he was on an emergency . .
AppliedHenry v Thames Valley Police CA 14-Jan-2010
The claimant appealed against rejection of his claim for damages after he had been injured when a police car following him ran over his leg. He had been riding a motorcycle and apparently seeking to escape them. He had stopped and was talking to one . .
CitedMacleod (By His Deputy and Litigation Friend, Macleod) v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis QBD 3-Apr-2014
macleod_cpmQBD0414
The claimant sought damages after being severely injured when knocked from his cycle by police officers in a car attending an emergency, and driving over the speed limit.
Held: The claim succeeded, and there had been no contributory negligence . .
CitedRobinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police SC 8-Feb-2018
Limits to Police Exemption from Liability
The claimant, an elderly lady was bowled over and injured when police were chasing a suspect through the streets. As they arrested him they fell over on top of her. She appealed against refusal of her claim in negligence.
Held: Her appeal . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Negligence, Road Traffic

Updated: 15 November 2021; Ref: scu.190025

Birch v Ministry of Defence: CA 14 Jun 2013

The claimant appealed against rejection of his claim for personal injuries. He had been driving a Land Rver whilst on active duty in Afghanistan. He said that he was known not to be properly qualified to drive.
Held: The appeal was allowed. Once it was known to the defendants that the claimant was to be selected to drive though unqualified, they were in breach of their duty of care to him, and the court would not make any deduction for contributory negligene.

Longmore, Tomlinson, Lewisn LJJ
[2013] EWCA Civ 676
Bailii
Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 1(1)
England and Wales

Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 14 November 2021; Ref: scu.510862

Vaughan v The Taff Vale Railway Company: 20 Nov 1858

A wood adjoining the defendants’ railway was set alight and burned by sparks from the locomotives. On several previous occasions it had been set on fire, and the Company had paid for the damage. Evidence was given that the defendants had done everything that was practicable to the locomotives to make them safe, but it was admitted that even with these precautions the locomotives had been the means of occasionally setting fire to the wood. The banks of the railway were covered with inflammable grass. The jury found the Company guilty of negligence.
Held: First, that, assuming the fire to have been caused by lighted coals from the locomotives falling in the plaintiff’s wood, the defendants were liable. – Secondly, that they were not excused by the Railway Clauses Consolidation Act, 8 and 9 Vict c. 20, s. 86 – Thirdly, that if the fire broke out on the defendants’ land and was communicated to the wood from the banks of the railway, there was evidence to justify the verdict, and that the defendants were not protected by the 14 Geo 3, c 78, s. 84 – Fourthly, that it was no defence that the plaintiff had allowed his wood to become peculiarly liable to take fire by neglecting to clear away the dry grass and dead sticks.

[1858] EngR 1160, (1858) 3 H and N 743, (1858) 157 ER 667
Commonlii
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromVaughan v The Taff Vale Railway Company 12-May-1860
A railway Company, authorized by the legislature to use locomotive engines, is not responsible for damage from fire occasioned by sparks emitted from an engine travelling on their railway, provided they have taken every precaution in their power and . .
CitedSmith v The London and South Western Railway Company 1869
Negligence requires duty to injured
Workmen, employed by the defendant railway company to cut the grass and trim hedges bordering the railway, placed the trimmings in heaps near the line, and allowed them to remain there for fourteen days, during very hot weather in the month of . .
CitedSmith v The London and South Western Railway Company 1870
Blackburn J said: ‘I take it that, since the case of Vaughan v Taff Vale Ry Co, which was expressly affirmed in Brand v Hammersmith Ry Co, it is clear that when a railway company is authorized by their Act of parliament to run engines on their line, . .
CitedStannard (T/A Wyvern Tyres) v Gore CA 4-Oct-2012
The defendant, now appellant, ran a business involving the storage of tyres. The claimant neighbour’s own business next door was severely damaged in a fire of the tyres escaping onto his property. The court had found him liable in strict liability . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 14 November 2021; Ref: scu.289631

Capps v Miller: CA 30 Nov 1988

The plaintiff was injured riding with the defendant on a motor-cycle. The defendant drove negligently, and crashed. The plaintiff’s crash hemet came off and he sustained severe head injuries. He had not fastened it. The defendant appealed an apportionment of 100% responsibility to himself.
Held: The judge was wrong. The plaintiff’s own contributory negligence had clearly contributed to the seriousness of the injury. His damages were reduced by 10%. It was not possible to make a finding on the medical evidence as to the extent to which the plaintiff’s injuries were worse because his undone helmet came off thus it was not possible readily to attribute the case to Lord Denning’s categories in Froom v Butcher.
Glidewell LJ drew a distinction between the plaintiff who puts on a crash helmet and fails to fasten it and the plaintiff who fails to wear a helmet at all, since a close fitting but unfastened helmet will in some accidents remain on the head, thus reducing or eliminating the damage resulting.

May, Croom-Johnson, Glidewell LJ
[1989] 2 All ER 333, [1988] EWCA Civ 5, [1989] 1 WLR 839
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
DistinguishedO’Connell v Jackson CA 7-Jul-1971
Motorcyclist negligent without helmet
The plaintiff sought damages after an accident. The defendant car driver had negligently moved forward into the path of the plaintiff motor cyclist who was injured. The defendant argued that the plaintiff, a motorcyclist, was contributorily . .
ConsideredFroom v Butcher CA 21-Jul-1975
The court asked what reduction if any should be made to a plaintiff’s damages where injuries were caused not only by the defendant’s negligent driving but also by the failure of the plaintiff to wear a seat belt. It had been submitted that, since . .

Cited by:
CitedWilliams v Williams (The Estate of) CA 30-Apr-2013
A child aged three had been injured as a passenger in her mother’s car when it was hit by another negligently driven vehicle. The mother appealed against a finding that she was 25% contributorily negligent in that the child seat used had been . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Updated: 14 November 2021; Ref: scu.188805

Swinney and Another v Chief Constable of Northumbria: CA 22 Mar 1996

The plaintiff, a woman and her husband, had passed on information in confidence to the police about the identity of a person implicated in the killing of a police officer, expressing her concern that she did not want the source of the information to be traced back to her. The information was recorded, naming the plaintiff, in a document which was left in an unattended police vehicle, which was broken into and the document was stolen, came into the possession of the person implicated. The plaintiff was threatened with violence and arson and suffered psychiatric damage. The plaintiff’s claim in negligence against the police was struck out, but re-instated.
Held: Police may exceptionally be liable in negligence in criminal investigations. There is a special relationship between the plaintiffs and the defendant, which is sufficiently proximate. Proximity is shown by the police assuming responsibility, and the plaintiffs relying upon that assumption of responsibility, for preserving the confidentiality of the information which, if it fell into the wrong hands, was likely to expose the first plaintiff and members of her family to a special risk of damage from the criminal acts of others, greater than the general risk which ordinary members of the public must endure with phlegmatic fortitude.
Peter Gibson LJ said: ‘the Court must evaluate all the public policy considerations that may apply.’ and the position of a police informer required special consideration from the viewpoint of public policy.
Hirst LJ said:’As Laws J. pointed out in his judgment, there are here other considerations of public policy which also have weight, namely, the need to preserve the springs of information, to protect informers, and to encourage them to come forward without an undue fear of the risk that their identity will subsequently become known to the suspect or to his associates. In my judgment, public policy in this field must be assessed in the round, which in this case means assessing the applicable considerations advanced in the Hill case [1989] A.C 53, which are, of course, of great importance, together with the considerations just mentioned in relation to informers, in order to reach a fair and just decision on public policy.’
Ward LJ said: ‘it is incontrovertible that the fight against crime is daily dependent upon information fed to the police by members of the public, often at real risk of villainous retribution from the criminals and their associates. The public interest will not accept that good citizens should be expected to entrust information to the police, without also expecting that they are entrusting their safety to the police. The public interest would be affronted were it to be the law that members of the public should be expected, in the execution of public service, to undertake the risk of harm to themselves without the police, in return, being expected to take no more than reasonable care to ensure that the confidential information imparted to them is protected. The welfare of the community at large demands the encouragement of the free flow of information without inhibition. Accordingly, it is arguable that there is a duty of care, and that no consideration of public policy precludes the prosecution of the plaintiffs’ claim, which will be judged on its merits later.’

Lord Justice Hirst, Lord Justice Ward
Times 28-Mar-1996, [1997] QBD 464, [1996] EWCA Civ 1322, [1996] 3 WLR 968, [1996] 3 All ER 449, [1996] PNLR 473
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedHill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire HL 28-Apr-1987
No General ty of Care Owed by Police
The mother of a victim of the Yorkshire Ripper claimed in negligence against the police alleging that they had failed to satisfy their duty to exercise all reasonable care and skill to apprehend the perpetrator of the murders and to protect members . .

Cited by:
CitedOsman v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-Oct-1998
Police’s Complete Immunity was Too Wide
(Grand Chamber) A male teacher developed an obsession with a male pupil. He changed his name by deed poll to the pupil’s surname. He was required to teach at another school. The pupil’s family’s property was subjected to numerous acts of vandalism, . .
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 . .
See AlsoSwinney and another v Chief Constable of Northumbria Police (No 2) QBD 25-May-1999
A police informant was owed a duty of confidentiality by the police. His information brought him into a special relationship with the police, and they could be liable in damages for failing to take reasonable steps to protect that confidence. . .
CitedVan Colle v Hertfordshire Police QBD 10-Mar-2006
The claimants claimed for the estate of their murdered son. He had been waiting to give evidence in a criminal trial, and had asked the police for support having received threats. Other witnesses had also suffered intimidation including acts of . .
CitedB and B v A County Council CA 21-Nov-2006
The claimants sought damages from the defendant local authority after their identities had been wrongfully revealed to the natural parents of the adoptees leading to a claimed campaign of harassment. The adopters has specifically requested that . .
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 . .
CitedAn Informer v A Chief Constable CA 29-Feb-2012
The claimant appealed against dismissal of his claim for damages against the police. He had provided them with information, but he said that they had acted negligently and in breach of contract causing him financial loss. The officer handling his . .
CitedAXN v The Queen CACD 27-May-2016
The defendant argued that greater note should have been taken on his sentencing to allow for the assistance he had given to the police after his arrest.
Held: The current accepted practice is that the text of the letter from the police to the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Negligence, Litigation Practice

Leading Case

Updated: 14 November 2021; Ref: scu.89660

Capital and Counties Plc and Another v Hampshire County Council; Etc: CA 20 Mar 1997

Three cases were brought against fire services after what were said to be negligent responses to call outs. On one, the fire brigade was called to a fire at office premises in Hampshire. The fire triggered the operation of a heat-activated sprinkler system, but on arrival a fire brigade officer gave instructions for the sprinkler system to be shut down. This led to the fire rapidly spreading out of control and the premises were destroyed. If the sprinkler system had been left on and the fire brigade had otherwise acted as it did to combat the fire, the premises would not have been destroyed. On another, the fire brigade was called to the scene of some fires on waste land near to the claimants’ industrial premises in London. When the fire brigade arrived the fires had already been extinguished. After checking that there was no evidence of any continuing danger the fire brigade left. Later a fire broke out at the claimants’ premises. In the last case, the fire brigade was called to a fire at a chapel in Yorkshire. The water hydrants near the premises either failed to work or the officers were unable for a long time to locate them, and so water had to be fetched from a dam half a mile away. It should have been possible to contain the fire, but as a result of the water shortage the whole building was destroyed.
Held: The court upheld the claim against Hampshire, but dismissed the other two.
Under the 1947 Act, the fire authorities had a stautory duty to secure the services for their area of a fire brigade and equipment, such as necessary to meet efficiently all normal requirements, and to take all reasonable measures to ensure that an adequate supply of water was available for use in case of fire.
The fire brigade may be liable in negligence for consequences of a fire if their actions made a fire worse despite the general rule against such liability. ‘In our judgment the fire brigade are not under a common law duty to answer the call for help, and are not under a duty to take care to do so. If, therefore, they fail to turn up, or fail to turn up in time, because they have carelessly misunderstood the message, got lost on the way or run into a tree, they are not liable.’

Stuart Smith LJ
Times 20-Mar-1997, [1997] QB 1004, [1997] 3 WLR 342
Fire Services Act 1947
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromCapital and Counties Plc and Another v Hampshire County Council QBD 26-Apr-1996
The Fire Brigade was negligent in turning off a sprinkler system in a burning building. . .
AppliedStovin v Wise, Norfolk County Council (Third Party) HL 24-Jul-1996
Statutory Duty Does Not Create Common Law Duty
The mere existence of statutory power to remedy a defect cannot of itself create a duty of care to do so. A highway authority need not have a duty of care to highway users because of its duty to maintain the highway. The two stage test ‘involves . .
See AlsoChurch of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints v West Yorkshire Fire and Civil Defence and John Munroe (Acrylics) Ltd v London Fire and Civil Defence Authority and others and Digital Equipment Company Ltd v Hampshire County Council and Capital and Counties etc CA 17-Dec-1996
The court made orders for the orderly hearing of the cases which raised interdependent issues. . .
CitedGeddis v Proprietors of Bann Reservoir HL 18-Feb-1878
The owner of land injured by operations authorised by statute ‘suffers a private loss for the public benefit’, and in the absence of clear statutory authority is unable to claim: ‘It is now thoroughly well established that no action will lie for . .
CitedEast Suffolk Rivers Catchment Board v Kent HL 1941
An exceptionally high spring tide caused many breaches of the banks of the River Deben, and extensive flooding, including the respondent’s farm. By section 6 of the 1930 Act, the appellants had a statutory power to maintain the flood defences, but . .

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 . .
CitedChief Constable of Northumbria v Costello CA 3-Dec-1998
A woman police officer was attacked by a prisoner in a cell. She sought damages for the failure of a senior officer nearby not to come to her aid, and from the chief constable under his vicarious liability.
Held: The chief constable’s appeal . .
CitedGorringe v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council HL 1-Apr-2004
Statutory Duty Not Extended by Common Law
The claimant sought damages after a road accident. The driver came over the crest of a hill and hit a bus. The road was not marked with any warning as to the need to slow down.
Held: The claim failed. The duty could not be extended to include . .
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 . .
See AlsoChurch of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints v West Yorkshire Fire and Civil Defence and John Munroe (Acrylics) Ltd v London Fire and Civil Defence Authority and others and Digital Equipment Company Ltd v Hampshire County Council and Capital and Counties etc CA 17-Dec-1996
The court made orders for the orderly hearing of the cases which raised interdependent issues. . .
CitedOLL Ltd v Secretary of State for Transport QBD 22-Jul-1997
Coastguard Not liable in Negligence
Eight children with a teacher and two instructors set off on a canoeing trip but did not return. They got into difficulties at sea. Two became separated from the rest. The canoes capsized and sank. Some tried to swim ashore. Two more members became . .
CitedKent v Doctor Griffiths, Doctor Roberts, The London Ambulance Service QBD 16-Jul-1999
The claimant suffered a respiratory arrest after an emergency ambulance called by the first defendant, did not arrive for 40 minutes.
Held: the ambulance service was negligenct and liable. The acceptance of the doctor’s request for an . .
Not followedBurnett 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, Local Government

Leading Case

Updated: 14 November 2021; Ref: scu.78881

Ashley and Another v Sussex Police (2): QBD 19 Dec 2008

Eady J
[2008] EWHC 3151 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
See AlsoAshley and Another v Sussex Police CA 27-Jul-2006
The deceased was shot by police officers raiding his flat in 1998. The claimants sought damages for his estate. They had succeeded in claiming damages for false imprisonment, but now appealed dismissal of their claim for damages for assault and . .

Cited by:
See AlsoAshley and Another v Sussex Police (1) QBD 19-Dec-2008
The court considered the terms under which copies of the Moonstone report could be redacted and disclosed. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Torts – Other

Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.279944

Ashton v Turner: QBD 1981

The plaintiff sought damages after being injured as a passenger in a car. He and the driver had both just been involved in a burglary, and the driver, who had taken alcohol was attempting to escape. The driver was driving very dangerously in order to avoid their arrest after two taxi drivers had tried to block the car.
Held: The claim failed. As a matter of public policy the law would not recognise a duty of care owed by one participant in a crime to another: ‘a duty of care did not exist between the first defendant and the plaintiff during the course of the burglary and during the course of the subsequent flight in the get-away car.’
He held in the alternative that, even if a duty of care was owed, the Claimant had willingly accepted as his the risk of negligence and injury resulting from it.

Ewbank J
[1981] QB 137, [1980] 3 All ER 870
Road Traffic Act 1972 148(3)
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedMarshall v Osmond CA 1983
The plaintiff was passenger in a stolen car seeking to escape the police as they chased. The car was stopped, the plaintiff got out of the car, and was hit by a police car. He sought damages.
Held: His appeal against dismissal of his claim was . .
DistinguishedKirkham v Anderton, The Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester police CA 20-Dec-1989
The claimant’s husband hanged himself in Risley Remand Centre after the police had failed to warn the prison authorities that he was (as the police knew) a suicide risk. He was suffering from clinical depression and had previously attempted suicide . .
Dictum DisapprovedPitts v The Personal Representatives of Mark James Hunt (Deceased) and Another CA 1990
The plaintiff and a friend had spent the evening drinking at a disco before setting off on the friend’s motorcycle. The plaintiff was aware that the motorcyclist was neither licensed to ride a motorcycle nor insured. During the journey, the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic, Negligence

Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.188781

Robbins v London Borough of Bexley: CA 17 Oct 2013

The claimant said that his house had been damaged by tree roots for which the appellant was responsible. The trees were 33 metres from the house.
Held: The appeal failed. The immediate cause of the damage was a failure to do something which the council had not been obliged to do. This was a Bolitho type case, and the judge was to ask what would have happened if the Council had done something rather than nothing. However: ‘the judge was justified on the facts, and as a matter of the proper application of the rules of causation, in asking what the Council would in fact have done, had it taken reasonable steps to prevent the damage. The Council’s error is in assuming that the judge found the content of its duty was simply to undertake a particular 25% cyclical pruning regime, and that its breach was its failure to undertake such a regime. That is not, in my judgment, how the judge’s judgment is properly to be understood.’ The judge was perfectly justified in inferring that, if the canopy reduction works had taken place from 1998 onwards, they would, on a balance of probability, have been undertaken more severely than the later works orders envisaged.

Moore-Bick, Aikens, Vos LJJ
[2013] EWHC 1233 (Civ)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedLeakey v The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty CA 31-Jul-1979
Natural causes were responsible for soil collapsing onto neighbouring houses in Bridgwater.
Held: An occupier of land owes a general duty of care to a neighbouring occupier in relation to a hazard occurring on his land, whether such hazard is . .
CitedSolloway v Hampshire County Council CA 1981
Tree root damage had occurred following two successive very hot and dry summers in 1975 and 1976, in an area where the subsoil was almost all gravel but where, as it happened, under the plaintiff’s house there were pockets of clay. An issue arose as . .
CitedBolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority HL 24-Jul-1997
The plaintiff suffered catastrophic brain damage as a result of cardiac arrest induced by respiratory failure as a child whilst at the defendant hospital. A doctor was summoned but failed to attend, and the child suffered cardiac arrest and brain . .
CitedDelaware 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 . .
CitedJoyce v Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth Health Authority CA 1996
Hobhouse LJ said: ‘Thus, a plaintiff can discharge the burden of proof on causation by satisfying the court either that the relevant person would in fact have taken the requisite action (although she would not have been at fault if she had not) or . .
CitedBeary v Pall Mall Investments (A Firm) CA 19-Apr-2005
The independent financial advisor defendant had negligently failed to advise the claimant client about the possibility of taking out an annuity. However, the claimant would not have done so, unless he had been positively advised that he should. The . .
Appeal fromRobbins v London Borough of Bexley TCC 16-Aug-2012
The claimant sought damages saying that her house had been damaged by subsidence after dessication of the soil by trees under the defendant’s control.
Held: The defendants were liable. . .
CitedBerent v Family Mosaic Housing and Another CA 13-Jul-2012
The claimant sought damages saying that her house had been damaged by the roots of plane trees on neighbouring land for which the defendants were responsible. . .
CitedPhethean-Hubble v Coles CA 21-Mar-2012
The claimant cyclist suffered serious injury in a collision with a car driven by the defendant. The defendant appealed against a finding that he was two thirds responsible. The case for the injured cyclist was that the motorist was going too fast. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Nuisance, Damages, Negligence

Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.516539

Simmons 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 incorrect. Since the pursuer suffered physical injuries the starting point is that he was a primary victim. ‘Mr Smith argued, however, that the pursuer’s psoriasis and his depressive illness sprang not from the accident itself, but from his anger at the happening of the accident. Hence he could not recover damages. I see no reason to give effect to such a distinction, even supposing that it can be realistically drawn in a given case. Regret, fear for the future, frustration at the slow pace of recovery and anger are all emotions that are likely to arise, unbidden, in the minds of those who suffer injuries in an accident such as befell the pursuer. If, alone or in combination with other factors, any of these emotions results in stress so intense that the victim develops a recognised mental illness, there is no reason in principle why he should not recover damages for that illness.’
Once liability is established, remoteness of damage is to be approached as follows: (1) a defender is not liable for a consequence of a kind which is not reasonably foreseeable; While a defender is not liable for damage that was not reasonably foreseeable, it does not follow that he is liable for all damage that was reasonably foreseeable: depending on the circumstances, the defender may not be liable for damage caused by a novus actus interveniens or unreasonable conduct on the part of the pursuer, even if it was reasonably foreseeable; Subject to (2), if the pursuer’s injury is of a kind that was foreseeable, the defender is liable, even if the damage is greater in extent than was foreseeable or it was caused in a way that could not have been foreseen; (4) The defender must take his victim as he finds him; (5) Subject to (2), where personal injury to the pursuer was reasonably foreseeable, the defender is liable for any personal injury, whether physical or psychiatric, which the pursuer suffers as a result of his wrongdoing.’

Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond
[2004] UKHL 20, Times 04-May-2004, [2004] ICR 585, 2004 GWD 14-315, [2004] PIQR P33, 2004 SLT 595
House of Lords, Bailii
Scotland
Citing:
CitedGraham v David A Hall Ltd 1996
The pursuer’s symptoms, other than some initial bruising to her back resulting from her fall, were caused not by the accident but by the defenders’ treatment of her afterwards including their refusal to acknowledge liability for it and to give her . .
Appeal fromChristopher Simmons v British Steel Plc IHCS 29-Oct-2002
The pursuer was injured in his head at work. That injury made worse a pre-existing skin condition, which in trun led to severe depression. He appealed a finding that the damage was too remote.
Held: The House was in a position itself to judge . .
CitedAllan 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 . .
CitedClarke v Edinburgh and District Tramways Co HL 1919
The House considered the ability of an appellate court to reconsider the facts.
Held: The privileges enjoyed by a trial judge extend not only to questions of credibility.
Lord Shaw said that the judge enjoys ‘those advantages, sometimes . .
CitedWatt (or Thomas) v Thomas HL 1947
When Scots Appellate Court may set decision aside
The House considered when it was appropriate for an appellate court in Scotland to set aside the judgment at first instance.
Lord Thankerton said: ‘(1) Where a question of fact has been tried by a judge without a jury, and there is no question . .
CitedReavis 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 . .
CitedGlasgow Corporation v Muir HL 16-Apr-1943
The House considered the proper test to define the standard of care that must be adopted by the reasonable man in a claim for negligence.
Held: Lord Clauson said that the test is whether the person owing the duty of care ‘had in contemplation . .
CitedGlasgow Corporation v Muir HL 16-Apr-1943
The House considered the proper test to define the standard of care that must be adopted by the reasonable man in a claim for negligence.
Held: Lord Clauson said that the test is whether the person owing the duty of care ‘had in contemplation . .
CitedSteel v Glasgow Iron and Steel Co Ltd 1944
The question was whether the actions of the deceased had broken the chain of causation when he intervened in an attempt to save property. ‘This rule of the ‘reasonable and probable consequence’ is a key that opens several locks; for it not only . .
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 . .
CitedCameron v Hamilton’s Auction Marts Ltd 1955
The court considered the extent of liability for negligent acts: ‘No Scots judge, so far as I know, has ever suggested liability for a consequence of negligence which was not natural and probable in the sense of being foreseeable, subject, of . .
CitedMcKillen 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 . .
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 . .
CitedBonnington Castings Ltd v Wardlaw HL 1-Mar-1956
The injury of which the employee complained came from two sources, a pneumatic hammer, in respect of which the employers were not in breach of the relevant Regulations; and swing grinders, in respect of which they were in breach.
Held: It had . .
CitedPage v Smith HL 12-May-1995
The plaintiff was driving his car when the defendant turned into his path. Both cars suffered considerable damage but the drivers escaped physical injury. The Plaintiff had a pre-existing chronic fatigue syndrome, which manifested itself from time . .
CitedFraser v The State Hospitals Board for Scotland OHCS 11-Jul-2000
An employer has a duty to take reasonable care to avoid for his employees unnecessary risk of injury including psychiatric and not merely physical injury, but that duty does not extend to a duty to avoid an employee experiencing unpleasant emotions . .
CitedMcGhee v National Coal Board HL 1973
The claimant who was used to emptying pipe kilns at a brickworks was sent to empty brick kilns where the working conditions were much hotter and dustier. His employers failed, in breach of their duty, to provide him with washing facilities after his . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedCampbell v North Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Power Plc SCS 30-Jun-1999
. .
CitedCampbell v North Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Power Plc SCS 30-Jun-1999
. .
CitedCowan 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 . .
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 . .
CitedSmith 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 . .
CitedM’Kew v Holland and Hannen and Cubitts (Scotland) Ltd 1969
. .
CitedWeld-Blundell v Stephens HL 1920
A physical cause may be irrelevant as a matter of law. The law is concerned not with causation, but with responsibility. Lord Sumner said: ‘more than half of human kind are tale-bearers by nature’.
Where a legal wrong was committed without loss . .

Cited by:
Appealed toChristopher Simmons v British Steel Plc IHCS 29-Oct-2002
The pursuer was injured in his head at work. That injury made worse a pre-existing skin condition, which in trun led to severe depression. He appealed a finding that the damage was too remote.
Held: The House was in a position itself to judge . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedPierce v Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council QBD 13-Dec-2007
The claimant sought damages, saying that the local authority had failed to protect him when he was a child against abuse by his parents.
Held: The claimant had been known to the authority since he was a young child, and they owed him a duty of . .
CitedCorr v IBC Vehicles Ltd HL 27-Feb-2008
The claimant’s husband had committed suicide. She sought damages for financial loss from his former employers under the 1976 Act. He had suffered a severe and debilitating injury working for them leading to his depression and suicide. The employers . .
CitedSpencer v Wincanton Holdings Ltd (Wincanton Logistics Ltd) CA 21-Dec-2009
The claimant suffered injury for which he sought compensation from his employers. He later had to have his leg amputated as a consequence, but then through his own inadvertence suffered further injury to his other leg and a complete loss of . .
CitedChubb Fire Ltd v The Vicar of Spalding and Churchwardens and Church Council of The Church of St Mary and St Nicholas, Spalding CA 20-Aug-2010
The appellants had supplied a dry powder extinguisher to the church. Vandals discharged the extinguisher, requiring substantial sums to be spent cleaning the dust. The church’s insurers sought to recover the costs saying that the appellant should . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.196077

Bonnington Castings Ltd v Wardlaw: HL 1 Mar 1956

The injury of which the employee complained came from two sources, a pneumatic hammer, in respect of which the employers were not in breach of the relevant Regulations; and swing grinders, in respect of which they were in breach.
Held: It had been wrong to formulate the question in terms of which was the most probable source of the disease complained of. The employee had to prove that the dust from the grinders made a substantial contribution to his injury, but that was established by showing that the proportion of dust that came from the swing grinders was not negligible. Where a breach of a duty of care is proved or admitted, the burden still lies on the plaintiff to prove that such breach caused the injury suffered. The test is the ‘but for’ test – what would have happened but for the negligent act.
Lord Reid said: ‘It appears to me that the source of his disease was the dust from both sources, and the real question is whether the dust from the swing grinders materially contributed to the disease. What is a material contribution must be a question of degree. A contribution which comes within the exception de minimis non curat lex is not material, but I think that any contribution which does not fall within that exception must be material. I do not see how there can be something too large to come within the de minimis principle but yet too small to be material.’ and ‘[the plaintiff] must make it appear at least that on a balance of probabilities the breach of duty caused or materially contributed to his injury’.
Lord Tucker said of the duty identified in Vyner: ‘I think it is desirable that your Lordships should take this opportunity to state in plain terms that no such onus exists unless the statute or statutory regulation expressly or impliedly so provides, as in several instances it does. No distinction can be drawn between actions for common law negligence and actions for breach of statutory duty in this respect. In both the plaintiff or pursuer must prove (a) breach of duty and (b) that such breach caused the injury complained of.’

Viscount Simonds, Lord Reid, Lord Tucker, Lord Keith of Avonholm, Lord Somervell of Harrow
[1956] 1 All ER 615 HL(Sc), [1956] 2 WLR 707, [1956] AC 613, 1956 SC (HL) 26, [1956] UKHL 1
Bailii
Grinding of Metals (Miscellaneous Industries) Regulations 1925 1
Scotland
Citing:
CriticisedVyner v Waldenberg Brothers Ltd CA 1946
Vyner was working a circular saw when part of his thumb was cut off. The saw failed in several respects to comply with the Woodworking Machinery Regulations, and in particular the guard was not properly adjusted. The accident happened before the . .
CitedLee v Nursery Furnishings Ltd CA 1945
A Court should not be astute to find against either party, but should apply the ordinary standards. Lord Goddard said: ‘In the first place I think one may say this, that where you find there has been a breach of one of these safety regulations and . .
CitedMist v Toleman and Sons CA 1946
. .
CitedWatts v Enfield Rolling Mills (Aluminium) Ltd CA 1952
. .
ApprovedStimpson v Standard Telephones and Cables Ltd CA 1940
. .
ApprovedCaswell v Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries HL 1939
An action was brought for injuries caused by a breach of statutory of duty.
Held: A breach of statutory duty is regarded as ‘akin to negligence’.
Lord Atkin said that a common sense rather than a philosophical or scientific approach to . .

Cited by:
CitedVernon v Bosley (2) CA 29-Mar-1996
The defendant had been driving the plaintiff’s daughters, but negligently caused an accident from which they died. The plaintiff was called to the accident, and claimed to have suffered post traumatic stress. The defendant said that the effect was . .
CitedWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority CA 1986
A prematurely-born baby was the subject of certain medical procedures, in the course of which a breach of duty occurred. to ensure that the correct amount was administered it was necessary to insert a catheter into an umbilical artery so that his . .
CitedBolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority HL 24-Jul-1997
The plaintiff suffered catastrophic brain damage as a result of cardiac arrest induced by respiratory failure as a child whilst at the defendant hospital. A doctor was summoned but failed to attend, and the child suffered cardiac arrest and brain . .
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 . .
ApprovedFairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd and Others HL 20-Jun-2002
The claimants suffered mesothelioma after contact with asbestos while at work. Their employers pointed to several employments which might have given rise to the condition, saying it could not be clear which particular employment gave rise to the . .
AppliedNicholson v Atlas Steel Foundry and Engineering Co Ltd HL 1957
The deceased had worked in the defender’s steel foundry, inhaling there siliceous dust particles. He contracted pneumoconiosis and died. The complaints related to the defender’s failure to provide adequate ventilation to extract the dust. The . .
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 . .
ExplainedMcGhee v National Coal Board HL 1973
The claimant who was used to emptying pipe kilns at a brickworks was sent to empty brick kilns where the working conditions were much hotter and dustier. His employers failed, in breach of their duty, to provide him with washing facilities after his . .
CitedDonachie v The Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police CA 7-Apr-2004
The claimant had been asked to work under cover. The surveillance equipment he was asked to use was faulty, requiring him to put himself at risk repeatedly to maintain it resulting in a stress disorder and a stroke.
Held: There was a direct . .
CitedMcWilliams v Sir William Arrol and Co Ltd HL 1962
A steel erector had fallen seventy feet to his death from a steel lattice tower. The employers had not provided a safety harness, but the judge found that he would not have used a security belt even if provided, and that the onus was on the pursuer . .
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 . .
CitedEnvironment Agency v Ellis CA 17-Oct-2008
The claimant was injured working for the appellants. The appellants now appealed the finding that they were responsible saying that other factors contributed to the injury, and in particular that he had fallen at home. The claimant said that that . .
CitedWootton v J Docter Ltd and Another CA 19-Dec-2008
The claimant sought damages saying that the contraceptive pill dispensed by the defendant was not the one prescribed by her doctor, and that she had become pregnant and suffered the losses claimed namely care, expenses and loss of earnings flowing . .
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 . .
CitedShortell v BICAL Construction Ltd QBD 16-May-2008
(Liverpool District Registry) The claimant sought damages in a death caused by lung cancer where the deceased had been a smoker exposed also to asbestos in working for th edefendant.
Held: Applying the Bonnington test of causation, the issue . .
CitedAlcock and Others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police QBD 31-Jul-1990
Overcrowding at a football match lead to the deaths of 95 people. The defendant’s employees had charge of safety at the match, and admitted negligence vis-a-vis those who had died and been injured. The plaintiffs sought damages, some of them for . .
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.

Negligence, Damages, Personal Injury, Health and Safety

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.180974

Haydon v Kent County Council: CA 1978

Impacted snow and ice had built up on a steep, narrow, made-up footpath from Monday to Thursday during a short wintry spell. The plaintiff slipped and broke her ankle. The highway authority operated a system of priorities. Their resources were fully taken up with sanding and gritting roads, but on the Wednesday evening one of their workmen reported the dangerous state of the particular path to them, and they took prompt action next morning, but not in time to prevent the plaintiff’s accident.
Held: The authority was liable. The duty to maintain the highway in section 44(1) included removing snow and ice and taking such protective measures as would render highways and paths safe for vehicles and pedestrians in bad weather conditions.
Lord Denning (dissenting): ”Repair’ means making good defects in the surface of the highway itself so as to make it reasonably passable for the ordinary traffic of the neighbourhood at all seasons of the year without danger caused by its physical condition. That is the combined effect of the statements of Blackburn J. in Reg. v. Inhabitants of High Halden (1859) 1 F. and F. 678; of Diplock L.J. in Burnside v. Emerson [1968] 1 W.L.R. 1490, 1497 and Cairns L.J. in Worcestershire County Council v. Newman [1975] 1 W.L.R. 901, 911. Thus deep ruts in cart roads, potholes in carriage roads, broken bridges on footpaths or bushes rooted in the surface make all the highways ‘out of repair’.’ The statutory definition does not imply that ‘maintain’ has a wider meaning than ‘repair’, and that given the legislation history the cause of action which an injured person has under the 1961 Act was limited to ‘non-repair’ of a highway, and did not include other cases. On the extent of that duty: ‘In my opinion, therefore, the duty in section 44 of the Act of 1959 ‘to maintain the highway’ is the equivalent of the duty at common law and in the Act of 1835 ‘to repair and keep in repair.’ It means that whenever there is a defect in the surface of the highway, the highway authority is under a duty to repair it. But it does not mean that the highway authority is under a duty to remove snow or ice whenever it makes the highway slippery or dangerous. I adhere, therefore, to the view I expressed in Burnside v. Emerson [1968] 1 W.L.R. 1490, 1494: ‘. . . an icy patch in winter or an occasional flooding at any time is not in itself evidence of a failure to maintain’.
Goff L.J said that the highway authority would be in breach of duty only if: ‘having regard to the nature and importance of the way, sufficient time [has] elapsed to make it prima facie unreasonable for the authority to have failed to take remedial measures. Then the authority is liable unless it is able to make out the statutory defence.’

Lord Denning MR, Goff and Shaw LJJ
[1978] QB 343, [1978] 2 All ER 97
Highways Act 1959 44(1), Highways Act 1961
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRegina v Inhabitants of High Halden 1859
highhalden1859
The court considered the liability of the parish for injury arising from a failure to repair the road. The road was ‘an old soft road formed of Weald of Kent clay, and had never been repaired with hard substances’. The evidence was that in wet . .
CitedBurnside and Another v Emerson and Others CA 1968
The plaintiffs were injured in a road accident caused by flooding. They sued the executors of the deceased driver whose car spun out of control into the path of their own car, and also the highway authority, who had installed a proper system of . .
CitedHereford and Worcester County Council v Newman CA 1975
The council had been found responsible by the magistrates for allowing footpaths to be ‘out of repair’. The paths were unusable for various reasons including having a hawthorn hedge growing down the middle, and having barbed wire fencing strung . .

Cited by:
ConsideredStovin v Wise (Norfolk City Council, 3rd party) CA 16-Feb-1994
A road user was injured on a corner which was known to the highway authority to be dangerous. The authority had sought to make arrangements with the owner of land adjoining the highway to remove a bank which obstructed the view.
Held: The . .
CitedGorringe v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council HL 1-Apr-2004
Statutory Duty Not Extended by Common Law
The claimant sought damages after a road accident. The driver came over the crest of a hill and hit a bus. The road was not marked with any warning as to the need to slow down.
Held: The claim failed. The duty could not be extended to include . .
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 . .
CitedThoburn v Northumberland County Council CA 19-Jan-1999
The claimant alleged that the defendant by allowing a flood across a road not to be cleared was in breach of their statutory duty under the 1980 Act.
Held: Though the blockage was not entirely on the Highway, the nature and extent of it was . .
CitedDepartment for Transport, Environment and the Regions v Mott Macdonald Ltd and others CA 27-Jul-2006
Claims arose from accidents caused by standing water on roadway surfaces after drains had not been cleared by the defendants over a long period of time. The Department appealed a decision giving it responsibility under a breach of statutory duty . .
CitedGoodes v East Sussex County Council HL 16-Jun-2000
The claimant was driving along a road. He skidded on ice, crashed and was severely injured. He claimed damages saying that the Highway authority had failed to ‘maintain’ the road.
Held: The statutory duty on a highway authority to keep a road . .
CitedAli v The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council CA 17-Nov-2010
The claimant appealed against rejection of her claim for damages after slipping on a footpath maintainable by the defendant after an accumulation of mud and debris. The claim appeared to be the first under section 130, and the highway authority . .
CitedPritchard v Clwyd County Council CA 16-Jun-1992
The plaintiff was injured wading through a flooded street. She claimed damages alleging a failure to maintain the storm water sewers. The defendants appealed a finding that they were responsible, and she appealed a contributory negligence . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Transport, Personal Injury, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.180995

Gray v Thames Trains and Others: HL 17 Jun 2009

The claimant suffered severe psychiatric injured in a rail crash caused by the defendant’s negligence. Under this condition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the claimant had gone on to kill another person, and he had been detained under section 41. He now sought damages for his loss of earnings through detention in prison and mental hospital.
Held: Such damages could not be claimed successfully once the claimant had been convicted. Though the defendants had admitted their negligence, success for the claimant would be against the public policy maxim that ex turpi causa non oritur actio. If the case was extreme, and the order for detention was made purely for the defendant’s mental condition, and not for the criminal behaviour, the maxim might not apply, but that was not the case here.
Lord Hoffmann said: ‘there is no dispute that there was a causal connection between the tort and the killing. The evidence which the judge accepted was but for the tort, Mr Gray would not have killed. But the rule of public policy invoked in this case is not based upon some primitive psychology which deems mental stress to be incapable of having a connection with subsequent criminal acts . . the case against compensating Mr Gray for his loss of liberty is based upon the inconsistency of requiring someone to be compensated for a sentence imposed because of his own personal responsibility for a criminal act.’ and ‘the maxim ex turpi causa expresses not so much a principle as a policy. Furthermore, that policy is not based upon a single justification but on a group of reasons, which vary in different situations.’
Lord Brown said: ‘The law cannot at one and the same time incarcerate someone for his criminality and compensate him civilly for the financial consequences.’

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2009] UKHL 33, Times 19-Jun-2009, [2009] PIQR P22, (2009) 108 BMLR 205, [2009] 4 All ER 81, [2009] 3 WLR 167, [2009] 1 AC 1339
Bailii
Mental Health Act 1983 37 41
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedClunis (By his Next Friend Prince) v Camden and Islington Health Authority CA 5-Dec-1997
The plaintiff had killed someone and, as a result, been convicted of manslaughter and ordered to be detained in a secure hospital when subject to after-care under section 117 of the 1983 Act. He sought damages from the health authority on the basis . .
CitedRegina v Drew HL 8-May-2003
The defendant was mentally ill. He had been convicted of a second serious offence, and now appealed the life sentence imposed. Psychiatrists had recommended a hospital order, but such an order could not now be made by virtue of the 2000 Act save in . .
Appeal fromGray v Thames Trains Ltd and Another CA 25-Jun-2008
The claimant was a victim of the Ladbroke Grove rail crash. He later committed and was convicted of a manslaughter and detained under the 1983 Act. He said that the accident had caused a major personality change. The defendant relied on the defence . .
CitedRegina v Birch CACD 1989
Even where there is culpability, a hospital order with a restriction order may well be the appropriate way to deal with a dangerous and disordered person.
Mustill LJ discussed the effect of a restriction order: ‘In marked contrast with the . .
CitedRegina v Eaton CACD 1976
A hospital order with a restriction order unlimited as to time was made in respect of a woman with a psychopathic disorder where her offence was minor criminal damage. . .
CitedTinsley v Milligan HL 28-Jun-1993
Two women parties used funds generated by a joint business venture to buy a house in which they lived together. It was vested in the sole name of the plaintiff but on the understanding that they were joint beneficial owners. The purpose of the . .
CitedHolman v Johnson 5-Jul-1775
ex turpi causa non oritur actio
Mansfield LCJ set out the principle of ex turpi causa non oritur actio: ‘The objection, that a contract is immoral or illegal as between plaintiff and defendant, sounds at all times very ill in the mouth of the defendant. It is not for his sake, . .
CitedAskey v Golden Wine Co Ltd 1948
Denning J said: ‘It is, I think, a principle of our law that the punishment inflicted by a criminal court is personal to the offender, and that the civil courts will not entertain an action by the offender to recover an indemnity against the . .
CitedNational Coal Board v England HL 1954
The plaintiff sought damages after being injured when a co-worker fired a shot. The employee however had himself coupled the detonator to the cable rather than leaving it to the shotfirer, and had his cimmitted a criminal offence. He had been found . .
CitedChapman v Hearse, Baker v Willoughby HL 26-Nov-1969
The plaintiff, a pedestrian had been struck by the defendant’s car while crossing the road. The plaintiff had negligently failed to see the defendant’s car approaching. The defendant had a clear view of the plaintiff prior to the collision, but was . .
CitedBritish Columbia v Zastowny 8-Feb-2008
Canlii (Supreme Court of Canada) Damages – Past and future wage loss – Periods of incarceration – Plaintiff seeking damages for injuries suffered as consequence of sexual assaults – Whether plaintiff entitled to . .
CitedHunter Area Health Service v Presland 21-Apr-2005
(Supreme Court of New South Wales – Court of Appeal) The plaintiff, who had been negligently discharged from a psychiatric hospital, was acquitted of murdering a woman six hours later on the ground of mental illness but ordered to be detained in . .
CitedJobling v Associated Dairies HL 1980
The claimant suffered an accident at work which left him with continuing disabling back pain. Before the trial of his claim he was diagnosed as suffering from a disease, in no way connected with the accident, which would in any event have wholly . .
CitedMeah v McCreamer (No 1) QBD 1985
The claimant had suffered serious brain damage as a result of the defendant’s negligence, resulting in a personality change which caused him to commit offences for which he was imprisoned. He sought damages for that imprisonment.
Held: Woolf J . .
CitedMeah v McCreamer (No 2) 1986
The court rejected an attempt to recover the damages which the plaintiff had been found liable to pay to two women whom he had subjected to criminal attacks. The damages were too remote. But the claim would also have been rejected on the public . .
CitedVellino v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police CA 31-Jul-2001
The police were not under any duty to protect someone who had been arrested from injuring himself in an attempt to escape. The claimant had a history of seeking to avoid capture by jumping from his flat window. On this occasion he injured himself in . .
CitedState Rail Authority of New South Wales v Wiegold 1991
(New South Wales) The plaintiff was seriously injured in an industrial accident caused by the defendant’s negligence. At first he received payments of worker’s compensation but when these ceased he took to supplementing his income by growing and . .
CitedRahman v Arearose Limited and Another, University College London, NHS Trust CA 15-Jun-2000
The claimant had suffered a vicious physical assault from which the claimant’s employers should have protected him, and an incompetently performed surgical operation. Three psychiatrists agreed that the aetiology of the claimant’s very severe . .
CitedCross v Kirkby CA 18-Feb-2000
The claimant was a hunt saboteur and the defendant a local farmer. The claimant shouted to the defendant ‘You’re fucking dead’ and jabbed him in the chest and throat with a broken baseball bat. In order to ward off further blows, the defendant . .
CitedWorrall v British Railways Board CA 29-Apr-1999
The plaintiff alleged that an injury which he has suffered as a result of his employer’s negligence had changed his personality. As a result, he had on two occasions committed sexual assaults on prostitutes, for which offences he had been sentenced . .
CitedRevill v Newberry CA 2-Nov-1995
A trespasser (even a thief) is entitled to protection from unnecessary violence, and to an award of damages for personal injuries inflicted. To deny the claimant compensation for an assault which went beyond self-defence was a different thing from . .
At first instanceGray v Thames Trains Ltd and Another QBD 6-Jul-2007
The claimant had been injured in an accident for which the defendants were responsible. He developed a personality disorder which led to him committing manslaughter and being detained under section 37. The defendants denied being liable beyond the . .

Cited by:
CitedPrison Officers Association v Iqbal CA 4-Dec-2009
The claimant, a prisoner, alleged false imprisonment. The prison officers had taken unlawful strike action leaving him to be confined within his cell and unable to be involved in his normal activities. In view of the strike, a governor’s order had . .
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 . .
CitedLes Laboratoires Servier and Another v Apotex Inc and Others SC 29-Oct-2014
Ex turpi causa explained
The parties had disputed the validity a patent and the production of infringing preparations. The english patent had failed and damages were to be awarded, but a Canadian patent remained the defendant now challenged the calculation of damages for . .
CitedHounga v Allen and Another SC 30-Jul-2014
The appellant, of Nigerian origin had been brought here at the age of 14 with false identity papers, and was put to work caring for the respondent’s children. In 2008 she was dismissed and ejected from the house. She brought proceedings alleging . .
CitedJetivia Sa and Another v Bilta (UK) Ltd and Others SC 22-Apr-2015
The liquidators of Bilta had brought proceedings against former directors and the appellant alleging that they were party to an unlawful means conspiracy which had damaged the company by engaging in a carousel fraud with carbon credits. On the . .
CitedHenderson v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust CA 3-Aug-2018
Upon the allegedly negligent release of the claimant from mental health care, she had, while in the midst of a serious psychotic episode, derived from the schizophrenia, killed her mother and been convicted of manslaughter. She now sought damages in . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Negligence, Torts – Other

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.347027

McGhee v National Coal Board: HL 1973

The claimant who was used to emptying pipe kilns at a brickworks was sent to empty brick kilns where the working conditions were much hotter and dustier. His employers failed, in breach of their duty, to provide him with washing facilities after his work, and he cycled home caked with sweat and dust. He suffered extensive irritation of the skin three days later, and he was diagnosed to be suffering from dermatitis. He said the failure of his employers to provide washing facilities caused his dermatitis. His own expert could not say that it had caused the disease, only that it had increased the risk. Even so, immediate washing, it was accepted, would have reduced the risk.
Held: It was unrealistic and contrary to ordinary common sense to hold that the negligence which materially increased the risk of injury did not materially contribute to causing it. This was a question of law not just of fact. The question of law was whether, on the facts of the case as found, a pursuer who could not show that the defender’s breach had probably caused the damage of which he complained could nonetheless succeed.
Lord Simon of Glaisdale stated his view: ‘a failure to take steps which would bring about a material reduction of the risk involves, in this type of case, a substantial contribution to the injury.’
Lord Salmon said that ‘In the circumstances of the present case it seems to me unrealistic and contrary to ordinary common sense to hold that the negligence which materially increased the risk of injury did not materially contribute to causing the injury.’ and ‘In the circumstances of the present case, the possibility of a distinction existing between (a) having materially increased the risk of contracting the disease, and (b) having materially contributed to causing the disease may no doubt be a fruitful source of interesting academic discussions between students of philosophy. Such a distinction is, however, far too unreal to be recognised by the common law.’
Lord Wilberforce: ‘But I find in the cases quoted an analogy which suggests the conclusion that, in the absence of proof that the culpable addition had, in the result, no effect, the employers should be liable for an injury, squarely within the risk which they created and that they, not the pursuer, should suffer the consequence of the impossibility, foreseeably inherent in the nature of his injury, of segregating the precise consequence of their default.’
Lord Reid: ‘From a broad and practical viewpoint I can see no substantial difference between saying that what the defender did materially increased the risk of injury to the pursuer and saying that what the defender did made a material contribution to his injury.’ and ‘The medical evidence is to the effect that the fact that the man had to cycle home caked with grime and sweat added materially to the risk that this disease might develop. It does not and could not explain just why that is so. But experience shows that it is so.’

Lord Reid, Lord Simon of Glaisdale, Lord Salmon, Lord Wilberforce
[1973] 1 WLR 1, [1973] SC (HL) 37, [1972] 3 All ER 1008, [1972] UKHL 7, [1972] UKHL 11
Bailii, Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
ExplainedBonnington Castings Ltd v Wardlaw HL 1-Mar-1956
The injury of which the employee complained came from two sources, a pneumatic hammer, in respect of which the employers were not in breach of the relevant Regulations; and swing grinders, in respect of which they were in breach.
Held: It had . .
CitedNicholson v Atlas Steel Foundry and Engineering Co Ltd HL 1957
The deceased had worked in the defender’s steel foundry, inhaling there siliceous dust particles. He contracted pneumoconiosis and died. The complaints related to the defender’s failure to provide adequate ventilation to extract the dust. The . .
CitedGardiner v Motherwell Machinery and Scrap Co Ltd HL 1961
The pursuer had worked for the defenders for three months, demolishing buildings, and had contracted dermatitis. He claimed that they had not provided him with adequate washing facilities and that failure caused the dermatitis. On appeal the . .

Cited by:
CitedFairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd and Others HL 20-Jun-2002
The claimants suffered mesothelioma after contact with asbestos while at work. Their employers pointed to several employments which might have given rise to the condition, saying it could not be clear which particular employment gave rise to the . .
ReviewedWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority CA 1986
A prematurely-born baby was the subject of certain medical procedures, in the course of which a breach of duty occurred. to ensure that the correct amount was administered it was necessary to insert a catheter into an umbilical artery so that his . .
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 . .
CitedDonachie v The Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police CA 7-Apr-2004
The claimant had been asked to work under cover. The surveillance equipment he was asked to use was faulty, requiring him to put himself at risk repeatedly to maintain it resulting in a stress disorder and a stroke.
Held: There was a direct . .
CitedBarker v Corus (UK) Plc HL 3-May-2006
The claimants sought damages after contracting meselothemia working for the defendants. The defendants argued that the claimants had possibly contracted the disease at any one or more different places. The Fairchild case set up an exception to the . .
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 . .
CitedWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority CA 1986
A prematurely-born baby was the subject of certain medical procedures, in the course of which a breach of duty occurred. to ensure that the correct amount was administered it was necessary to insert a catheter into an umbilical artery so that his . .
CitedEnvironment Agency v Ellis CA 17-Oct-2008
The claimant was injured working for the appellants. The appellants now appealed the finding that they were responsible saying that other factors contributed to the injury, and in particular that he had fallen at home. The claimant said that that . .
CitedSanderson v Hull CA 5-Nov-2008
Insufficient proof of cause of infection
The claimant worked as a turkey plucker. She caught an infection (campylobacter enteritis) at work, and the employer now appealed against a finding of liability. The employer said that the only necessary protection was regular washing of hands. The . .
CitedHotson v East Berkshire Health Authority HL 2-Jul-1988
The claimant (then 13) fell twelve feet in climbing a tree and sustained an acute traumatic fracture of the left femoral epiphysis. At hospital, his injury was not correctly diagnosed or treated for five days, and he went on to suffer a vascular . .
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 . .
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.

Scotland, Negligence, Damages

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.180929

Mitchell and Another v Glasgow City Council: HL 18 Feb 2009

(Scotland) The pursuers were the widow and daughter of a tenant of the respondent who had been violently killed by his neighbour. They said that the respondent, knowing of the neighbour’s violent behaviours had a duty of care to the deceased and should have removed the neighbour, or warned them when their attempts to remove him failed, and further that the procedures preventing their claim infringed their human rights.
Held: The rejection of the claim for irrelevancy was based on a point of law assuming that the averrments were shown, and therefore did not infringe the pursuers’ human rights. It would be unjust to put the defenders to the expense of a case when, in law, the case was bound to fail. Forseeability of harm does not of itself impose a duty of care, and there is generally no positive duty on a person to protect others, and consequently the law does not impose a duty to prevent a person from being harmed by the criminal act of a third party based simply upon foreseeability. The creation of a duty to warn would create great uncertainty and complexity.
Lord Rodger said: ‘The obligation of the United Kingdom under article 2 goes wider, however, In particular, where a state has assumed responsibility for an individual, whether by taking him into custody, by imprisoning him, detaining him under mental health legislation, or conscripting him into the armed forces, the state assumes responsibility for that individual’s safety. So in these circumstances police authorities, prison authorities, health authorities and the armed forces are all subject to positive obligations to protect the lives of those in their care.’

Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2009] UKHL 11, Times 18-Feb-2009, [2009] WLR (D) 65, [2009] 2 WLR 481, 2009 SCLR 270, 2009 SC (HL) 21, 2009 GWD 7-122, 2009 Hous LR 2, [2009] PIQR P13, [2009] NPC 27, [2009] 3 All ER 205, [2009] HRLR 18, 2009 SLT 247
Bailii, HL
European Convention on Human Rights 2
Scotland
Citing:
CitedHussain and Another v Lancaster City Council CA 14-May-1998
It was suggested that a landlord, or at least a local authority landlord, who knows or ought to know of a nuisance being committed in the neighbourhood of the demised premises, but who fails to take such steps as are reasonable in all the . .
CitedJamieson v Jamieson HL 1952
The house discussed the test for relevancy of a pursuer’s averments.
Held: A case should only be dismissed on grounds of relevancy and specification if it would necessarily fail at proof.
The House reversed the decision of the Court of . .
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 . .
CitedMiller v South of Scotland Electricity Board HL 1958
An employer should recognise that it is not possible to predict all the ways in which dangers may arise, especially where the risk is created by carelessness. The employer is liable even if he did not foresee the precise accident that happened. In . .
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, . .
CitedHertfordshire Police v Van Colle; Smith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police HL 30-Jul-2008
Police Obligations to Witnesses is Limited
A prosecution witness was murdered by the accused shortly before his trial. The parents of the deceased alleged that the failure of the police to protect their son was a breach of article 2.
Held: The House was asked ‘If the police are alerted . .
CitedGorringe v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council HL 1-Apr-2004
Statutory Duty Not Extended by Common Law
The claimant sought damages after a road accident. The driver came over the crest of a hill and hit a bus. The road was not marked with any warning as to the need to slow down.
Held: The claim failed. The duty could not be extended to include . .
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 . .
CitedHill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire HL 28-Apr-1987
No General ty of Care Owed by Police
The mother of a victim of the Yorkshire Ripper claimed in negligence against the police alleging that they had failed to satisfy their duty to exercise all reasonable care and skill to apprehend the perpetrator of the murders and to protect members . .
CitedAmin, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Oct-2003
Prisoner’s death – need for full public enquiry
The deceased had been a young Asian prisoner. He was placed in a cell overnight with a prisoner known to be racist, extremely violent and mentally unstable. He was killed. The family sought an inquiry into the death.
Held: There had been a . .
CitedW v Essex County Council and Another HL 17-Mar-2000
A foster child was placed with a family. The child had a history of abusing other children, but the foster parents, who had other children were not told. The foster child caused psychiatric damage to the carers.
Held: It was wrong to strike . .
CitedCommissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) HL 11-Feb-1999
The deceased was a prisoner known to be at risk of committing suicide. Whilst in police custody he hanged himself in his prison cell. The Commissioner accepted that he was in breach of his duty of care to the deceased, but not that that breach was . .
CitedStansbiev Troman CA 1948
A decorator working alone in a house went out to buy wallpaper and left the front door unlocked. He was held liable for the loss caused by a thief who entered while he was away. For the purpose of attributing liability to the thief (e.g. in a . .
CitedX (Minors) v Bedfordshire County Council; M (A Minor) and Another v Newham London Borough Council; Etc HL 29-Jun-1995
Liability in Damages on Statute Breach to be Clear
Damages were to be awarded against a Local Authority for breach of statutory duty in a care case only if the statute was clear that damages were capable of being awarded. in the ordinary case a breach of statutory duty does not, by itself, give rise . .
CitedElguzouli-Daf v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and Another CA 16-Nov-1994
The Court upheld decisions striking out actions for negligence brought by claimants who had been arrested and held in custody during criminal investigations which were later discontinued. The Crown Prosecution Service owes no general duty of care to . .
CitedDorset Yacht Co Ltd v Home Office HL 6-May-1970
A yacht was damaged by boys who had escaped from the supervision of prison officers in a nearby Borstal institution. The boat owners sued the Home Office alleging negligence by the prison officers.
Held: Any duty of a borstal officer to use . .
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 . .
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 fromMitchell v Glasgow City Council SCS 30-Jun-2005
Outer House . .

Cited by:
CitedRabone and Another v Pennine Care NHS Trust CA 21-Jun-2010
The claimant’s daughter had committed suicide after being given home leave on a secure ward by the respondent mental hospital. A claim in negligence had been settled, but the parents now appealed refusal of their claim that the hospital had failed . .
CitedGeary v JD Wetherspoon Plc QBD 14-Jun-2011
The claimant, attempting to slide down the banisters at the defendants’ premises, fell 4 metres suffering severe injury. She claimed in negligence and occupiers’ liability. The local council had waived a requirement that the balustrade meet the . .
CitedRabone and Another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation SC 8-Feb-2012
The claimant’s daughter had committed suicide whilst on home leave from a hospital where she had stayed as a voluntary patient with depression. Her admission had followed a suicide attempt. The hospital admitted negligence but denied that it owed . .
CitedKent County Council, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Coroner for The County of Kent (North-West District) and Others Admn 15-Oct-2012
The council sought review of the coroner’s decision that the inquest would be an article 2 inquest and with a jury. The deceased was 14 years old and had taken methadone. In the months before his death, he had had involvement with the council’s . .
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, Human Rights

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.293984

Osman v The United Kingdom: ECHR 28 Oct 1998

Police’s Complete Immunity was Too Wide

(Grand Chamber) A male teacher developed an obsession with a male pupil. He changed his name by deed poll to the pupil’s surname. He was required to teach at another school. The pupil’s family’s property was subjected to numerous acts of vandalism, which the police investigated and in respect of which they interviewed the teacher, who denied responsibility but whom, albeit without the evidence with which to prosecute, they considered to be the culprit. To the knowledge of the police the teacher perpetrated other irrational, criminal acts and announced ‘in a few months I’ll be doing life’. To his employers he said that he proposed to do ‘a sort of Hungerford’. On three occasions within a week he was seen, to the knowledge of the police, outside the pupil’s family home and, later that week, he killed the pupil’s father and seriously wounded the pupil. The claimants asserted that the killer had been known to be a threat, but that insufficient protection had been given by the police.
Held: The UK’s complete immunity for the police for operational decisions was too broad, and it was capable of infringing the human right of protection of life. An absolute rule denying access to courts was disproportionate to the needs of the police.
Article 2(1) may, depending on the facts, impose a duty on a public authority to take all reasonable steps to protect a person from a real and immediate risk to his life. ‘It is sufficient for an applicant to show that the authorities did not do all that could reasonably be expected of them to avoid a real and immediate risk to life of which they have or ought to have knowledge.’
As to the levels of damages: ‘The Court notes that it conducts its assessment of what an applicant is entitled to by way of just satisfaction in accordance with the principles laid down in its case law under Article 50 and not by reference to the principles or scales of assessment used by domestic courts.’

Bernhardt P
Times 05-Nov-1998, 23452/94, 87/1997/871/1083, [1999] 1 FLR 193, [1998] ECHR 101, 5 BHRC 293, (2000) 29 EHRR 245, [1999] Fam Law 86, [1998] HRCD 966, [1999] Crim LR 82, (1999) 163 JPN 297, (1999) 11 Admin LR 200
Worldlii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 2 6
Human Rights
Citing:
CitedHill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire HL 28-Apr-1987
No General ty of Care Owed by Police
The mother of a victim of the Yorkshire Ripper claimed in negligence against the police alleging that they had failed to satisfy their duty to exercise all reasonable care and skill to apprehend the perpetrator of the murders and to protect members . .
CitedGolder v The United Kingdom ECHR 21-Feb-1975
G was a prisoner who was refused permission by the Home Secretary to consult a solicitor with a view to bringing libel proceedings against a prison officer. The court construed article 6 of ECHR, which provides that ‘in the determination of his . .
CitedThe Republic of Ireland v The United Kingdom ECHR 18-Jan-1978
The UK lodged a derogation with the Court as regards its human rights obligations in Northern Ireland because of the need to control terroist activity. The Government of Ireland intervened. From August 1971 until December 1975 the UK authorities . .
CitedMcCann and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 6-Oct-1995
mccann_ukECHR1995
Wrong assumptions made by police officers in the killing of terrorists amounted to a human rights breach, despite the existence of danger to the public of an imminent attack. Article 2(1) is ‘one of the most fundamental provisions in the . .
CitedLCB v The United Kingdom ECHR 9-Jun-1998
The court had no jurisdiction to consider allegations not raised before the commission or predating a country’s accession to the convention. There was no breach in a failure to record an exposure to radiation in a test. Article 2 imposes substantive . .
CitedTinnelly and Sons Ltd and Others and McElduff and Others v United Kingdom ECHR 10-Jul-1998
Legislation which disallowed claimants who asserted that they had been discriminated against, on the grounds of their religious background, from appealing through the courts system, was a clear breach of their human rights. A limitation will not be . .
CitedDorset Yacht Co Ltd v Home Office HL 6-May-1970
A yacht was damaged by boys who had escaped from the supervision of prison officers in a nearby Borstal institution. The boat owners sued the Home Office alleging negligence by the prison officers.
Held: Any duty of a borstal officer to use . .
CitedDawson v Vasandau 1863
It is not necessary for a charging officer to believe that the prosecution will result in a conviction before charging a prisoner. . .
CitedHicks v Faulkner 1878
Before charging a prisoner, a police officer must have ‘an honest belief in the guilt of the accused based upon a full conviction, founded upon reasonable grounds, of the existence of a state of circumstances, which, assuming them to be true, would . .
CitedGlinski v McIver HL 1962
The court considered the tort of malicious prosecution when committed by a police officer, saying ‘But these cases must be carefully watched so as to see that there really is some evidence from his conduct that he knew it was a groundless charge.’ . .
CitedHussein v Chang Fook Kam PC 1970
In determining whether the information available to an officer is sufficient to give rise to a reasonable suspicion and charge, the test to be applied by a police officer is ‘Suspicion in its ordinary meaning is a state of conjuncture or surmise . .
CitedGolder v The United Kingdom ECHR 21-Feb-1975
G was a prisoner who was refused permission by the Home Secretary to consult a solicitor with a view to bringing libel proceedings against a prison officer. The court construed article 6 of ECHR, which provides that ‘in the determination of his . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v P HL 1991
The defendant faced specimen counts of rape and incest against each of his two daughters. The trial judge refused an application for separate trials in respect of the offences alleged against each daughter. The defendant was convicted.
Held: . .
Appeal followingOsman and another v Ferguson and another CA 7-Oct-1992
Limits of Police duty to protect
A schoolmaster developed an infatuation for a teenage pupil. It led to the killing of the pupil’s father, the wounding of the pupil, the wounding of a deputy headmaster and the killing of the deputy headmaster’s son. Mr Osman’s widow and the pupil . .
CitedSwinney and Another v Chief Constable of Northumbria CA 22-Mar-1996
The plaintiff, a woman and her husband, had passed on information in confidence to the police about the identity of a person implicated in the killing of a police officer, expressing her concern that she did not want the source of the information to . .
CitedRegina v Dytham CACD 1979
A constable was 30 yards away from the entrance to a club, from which he saw a man ejected. There was a fight involving cries and screams and the man was beaten and kicked to death in the gutter outside the club. The constable made no move to . .
CitedKnightley v Johns and others CA 27-Mar-1981
There had been an accident in a tunnel, blocking it. The defendant inspector ordered a traffic constable to ride into the tunnel on his motorcycle against the flow of traffic. The constable crashed and sought damages for negligence against the . .
CitedRigby and another v Chief Constable of Northamptonshire 1985
The police were found liable to pay damages for negligence having fired a gas canister into the plaintiffs’ gunsmith’s hop premises in order to flush out a dangerous psychopath. There had been a real and substantial fire risk in firing the canister . .
CitedKirkham v Anderton, The Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester police CA 20-Dec-1989
The claimant’s husband hanged himself in Risley Remand Centre after the police had failed to warn the prison authorities that he was (as the police knew) a suicide risk. He was suffering from clinical depression and had previously attempted suicide . .

Cited by:
CitedRegina (A and Others) v Lord Saville of Newdigate and Others QBD 16-Nov-2001
When making a decision which would interfere with the human rights of an individual, and even where the risks from which protections was sought, could be seen as small, it was the duty of the decision maker to justify the interference. The . .
CitedRegina (A and others) (Widgery Soldiers) v Lord Saville of Newdigate and Others CA 19-Dec-2001
The court would apply common sense in deciding whether soldier witnesses should be obliged to attend in person at an enquiry in Londonderry, where they claimed their lives would be at risk. It was not appropriate to seek to define what would be . .
CitedMatthews v Ministry of Defence HL 13-Feb-2003
The claimant sought damages against the Crown, having suffered asbestosis whilst in the armed forces. He challenged the denial to him of a right of action by the 1947 Act.
Held: Human rights law did not create civil rights, but rather voided . .
CitedPretty v The United Kingdom ECHR 29-Apr-2002
Right to Life Did Not include Right to Death
The applicant was paralysed and suffered a degenerative condition. She wanted her husband to be allowed to assist her suicide by accompanying her to Switzerland. English law would not excuse such behaviour. She argued that the right to die is not . .
CitedBloggs 61, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 18-Jun-2003
The applicant sought review of a decision to remove him from a witness protection scheme within the prison. He claimed that having been promised protection, he had a legitimate expectation of protection, having been told he would receive protection . .
CitedRegina v Chief Constable of Norfolk, ex parte DF Admn 2002
Test for need for police protection
The court considered the duties of the police to protect the applicants.
Held: The search for a phrase which encapsulates a threshold of risk which engages article 2 is a search for a chimera. The degree of risk described as ‘real and . .
CitedMunjaz v Mersey Care National Health Service Trust And the Secretary of State for Health, the National Association for Mental Health (Mind) Respondent interested; CA 16-Jul-2003
The claimant was a mental patient under compulsory detention, and complained that he had been subjected to periods of seclusion.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The hospital had failed to follow the appropriate Code of Practice. The Code was not . .
CitedKhan, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Health CA 10-Oct-2003
The claimant’s child had died as a result of negligence in hospital. The parents had been told the result of police investigation and decision not to prosecute, and the hospital’s own investigation, but had not been sufficiently involved. There . .
CitedAmin, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Oct-2003
Prisoner’s death – need for full public enquiry
The deceased had been a young Asian prisoner. He was placed in a cell overnight with a prisoner known to be racist, extremely violent and mentally unstable. He was killed. The family sought an inquiry into the death.
Held: There had been a . .
CitedMiddleton, Regina (on the Application of) v Coroner for the Western District of Somerset HL 11-Mar-2004
The deceased had committed suicide in prison. His family felt that the risk should have been known to the prison authorities, and that they had failed to guard against that risk. The coroner had requested an explanatory note from the jury.
CitedGreenfield, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Feb-2005
The appellant had been charged with and disciplined for a prison offence. He was refused legal assistance at his hearing, and it was accepted that the proceedings involved the determination of a criminal charge within the meaning of article 6 of the . .
CitedA, Re Application for Judicial Review QBNI 25-Jun-2001
The applicant, who feared for his life if identified, sought the release to him of materials discovered by the police in searching premises associated with a loyalist paramiliitary group. He thought that they might include information sourced form . .
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 . .
CitedRegina v Ashworth Hospital Authority (Now Mersey Care National Health Service Trust) ex parte Munjaz HL 13-Oct-2005
The claimant was detained in a secure Mental Hospital. He complained at the seclusions policy applied by the hospital, saying that it departed from the Guidance issued for such policies by the Secretary of State under the Act.
Held: The House . .
CitedPlymouth City Council v HM Coroner for the County of Devon and Another Admn 27-May-2005
The local authority in whose care the deceased child had been held challenged a decision by the coroner not to limit his inquiry to the last few days of the child’s life. The coroner had decided that he had an obligation to conduct a wider enquiry . .
CitedGentle and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v the Prime Minister and others Admn 20-Dec-2005
The applicants sought leave to bring judicial review of the decisions which led to the invasion of Iraq. They were relatives of servicemen who had died there.
Held: The court’s only duty at this stage was to ask whether there was an arguable . .
CitedVan Colle v Hertfordshire Police QBD 10-Mar-2006
The claimants claimed for the estate of their murdered son. He had been waiting to give evidence in a criminal trial, and had asked the police for support having received threats. Other witnesses had also suffered intimidation including acts of . .
CitedC Plc and W v P and Secretary of State for the Home Office and the Attorney General ChD 26-May-2006
cplc_pChD2006
The claimant sought damages from the first defendant for breach of copyright. An ex parte search order had been executed, with the defendant asserting his privilege against self-incrimination. As computer disks were examined, potentially unlawful . .
CitedRegina v Davis (Iain); Regina v Ellis, Regina v Gregory, Regina v Simms, Regina v Martin CACD 19-May-2006
The several defendants complained at the use at their trials of evidence given anonymously. The perceived need for anonymity arose because, from intimidation, the witnesses would not be willing to give their evidence without it.
Held: The . .
CitedHolland v Lampen-Wolfe HL 20-Jul-2000
The US established a base at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, and provided educational services through its staff to staff families. The claimant a teacher employed at the base alleged that a report on her was defamatory. The defendant relied on state . .
CitedVan Colle and Another v Chief Constable of the Hertfordshire Police CA 24-Apr-2007
The deceased had acted as a witness in an intended prosecution. He had sought protection after being threatened. No effective protection was provided, and he was murdered. The chief constable appealed a finding of liability.
Held: The . .
CitedSavage v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Another CA 21-Dec-2007
The claimant said that the defendant hospital had been negligent in failing to prevent her daughter escaping from the mental hospital at which she was detained and committing suicide.
Held: The status of a detained mental patient was more akin . .
CitedK v Central and North West London Mental Health NHS Trust and Another QBD 30-May-2008
k_centralQBD2008
The claimant appealed against an order striking out his claim in negligence. He had leaped from a window in a suicide attempt. The accommodation was provided by the defendant whilst caring for him under the 1983 Act.
Held: The case should be . .
CitedHurst, Regina (on the Application of) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v London Northern District Coroner HL 28-Mar-2007
The claimant’s son had been stabbed to death. She challenged the refusal of the coroner to continue with the inquest with a view to examining the responsibility of any of the police in having failed to protect him.
Held: The question amounted . .
CitedHertfordshire Police v Van Colle; Smith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police HL 30-Jul-2008
Police Obligations to Witnesses is Limited
A prosecution witness was murdered by the accused shortly before his trial. The parents of the deceased alleged that the failure of the police to protect their son was a breach of article 2.
Held: The House was asked ‘If the police are alerted . .
CitedHaddock v MGN Ltd and others ChNI 17-Oct-2008
Application for injunction to prevent the defendant newspapers and television companies from publishing the plaintiff’s picture in the course of a forthcoming civil action. He was coming toward the end of a long term of imprisonment. Whilst on . .
CitedOneryildiz v Turkey ECHR 18-Jun-2002
(Grand Chamber) The applicant had lived with his family in a slum bordering on a municipal house-hold refuse tip. A methane explosion at the tip resulted in a landslide which engulfed the applicant’s house, killing his close relatives. The applicant . .
CitedRe E (A Child); E v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and Another (Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and others intervening) HL 12-Nov-2008
(Northern Ireland) Children had been taken to school in the face of vehement protests from Loyalists. The parents complained that the police had failed to protect them properly, since the behaviour was so bad as to amount to inhuman or degrading . .
CitedJL, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice; Regina (L (A Patient)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 26-Nov-2008
The prisoner was left with serious injury after attempting suicide in prison. He said that there was a human rights duty to hold an investigation into the circumstances leading up to this.
Held: There existed a similar duty to hold an enhanced . .
CitedSavage v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MIND intervening) HL 10-Dec-2008
The deceased had committed suicide on escaping from a mental hospital. The Trust appealed against a refusal to strike out the claim that that they had been negligent in having inadequate security.
Held: The Trust’s appeal failed. The fact that . .
CitedRabone and Another v Pennine Care NHS Trust CA 21-Jun-2010
The claimant’s daughter had committed suicide after being given home leave on a secure ward by the respondent mental hospital. A claim in negligence had been settled, but the parents now appealed refusal of their claim that the hospital had failed . .
CitedQ, Regina (on The Application of) v Q Constabulary and Another Admn 17-Mar-2011
The claimant renewed his request for an order against the defendant that he should be given a place on a witness protection scheme. He had given evidence for the prosecution in a gangland murder trial. A risk assessment had identified a risk ‘real . .
CitedBryant and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v The Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis Admn 23-May-2011
Several claimants sought leave to bring judicial review of decisions taken by the defendant in the investigation of suggestions that their telephone answering systems had been intercepted by people working for the News of the World. They said that . .
CitedRabone and Another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation SC 8-Feb-2012
The claimant’s daughter had committed suicide whilst on home leave from a hospital where she had stayed as a voluntary patient with depression. Her admission had followed a suicide attempt. The hospital admitted negligence but denied that it owed . .
CitedMichael and Others v South Wales Police and Another CA 20-Jul-2012
The deceased had called the police and said her life was under immediate threat. An officer downgraded its seriousness, and she was killed within 15 minutes by her partner, and before the officers arrived. She had sought assistance four times . .
CitedIn re A (A Child) SC 12-Dec-2012
A woman, X, had made an allegation in confidence she had been sexually assaulted as a child. The court was asked whether that confidence could be overriden to allow an investigation to protect if necessary a child still living with the man. Evidence . .
CitedH v A (No2) FD 17-Sep-2015
The court had previously published and then withdrawn its judgment after third parties had been able to identify those involved by pulling together media and internet reports with the judgment.
Held: The judgment case should be published in . .
CitedMastromatteo v Italy ECHR 24-Oct-2002
The deceased had been a bystander killed by a group of criminals, some of whom were on leave of absence from prison and one of whom had absconded from prison. A complaint was made by the applicant that there had been a breach of the positive duty to . .
CitedSarjantson v Humberside Police CA 18-Oct-2013
The claimant had been severely injured in an attack by a group of young men. He said that the defendant had failed in its duty to protect him and his family. He nw appealed against the action being struck out.
Held: the judge’s interpretation . .
CitedGorovenky And Bugara v Ukraine ECHR 12-Jan-2012
The applicants’ relatives were shot by an off-duty police officer. They complained that the state had failed to exercise requisite control over the procedure for equipping police officers with a weapon. They alleged that there had been a breach of . .
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 . .
CitedTyrrell v HM Senior Coroner County Durham and Darlington and Another Admn 26-Jul-2016
The court was aked what article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights requires of a coroner when a serving prisoner dies of natural causes.
Held: The reuest for judicial review failed. Mr Tyrrell’s death was, from the outset, one which . .
CitedCommissioner of Police of The Metropolis v DSD and Another SC 21-Feb-2018
Two claimants had each been sexually assaulted by a later notorious, multiple rapist. Each had made complaints to police about their assaults but said that no effective steps had been taken to investigate the serious complaints.
Held: The . .
CitedDB v Chief Constable of Police Service of Northern Ireland SC 1-Feb-2017
The appellant said that the police Service of Northern Ireland had failed properly to police the ‘flags protest’ in 2012 and 2013. The issue was not as to the care and effort taken, but an alleged misunderstanding of their powers.
Held: Treacy . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Human Rights, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.165671

Goodwin v Bennetts UK Ltd: CA 11 Dec 2008

The claimant appealed against dismissal of her claim for personal injury in the form of tenosynovitis from keyboard use. The judge had found the defendants not negligent. The claimant typed, but not intensively, and made a fairly small number of keystrokes a day.
Held: The claimant’s daily routine was such that it was in practice interrupted by such breaks or changes of activity as would reduce her workload on the display screen equipment. Though the defendants were in breach, that breach had no causative effect. The appeal succeeded but only in part and as to the time after her return to work when the company had advice to minimise keyboard use.

[2008] EWCA Civ 1374
Bailii
Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 1
England and Wales
Cited by:
JudgmentGoodwin v Bennetts UK Ltd (Costs) CA 11-Dec-2008
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Health and Safety, Negligence

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.278664

Trent 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 then ruined. The authority was criticised scathingly. The Authority replied that no allegation of bad faith having been made they had no duty in tort to the claimants.
Held: Human rights law could not be applied here by the English courts since the acts complained of preceeded the 1998 Act. All the authorities pointed to a conclusion that no duty or claim arose. The exercise of the powers under sections 25, 28 and 30 may often, perhaps usually, cause economic damage to the proprietors of the nursing homes, or, in the case of section 25, the intended nursing homes. The purpose of these powers, however, is to protect the interests of the residents in nursing homes. The interests of the proprietors of nursing homes that the homes should remain open for that use ‘are in potential conflict with the interests of’ the residents. The remedy lay in the provision of proceural safeguards. The absence of any worthwhile protection against a health authority whose negligent use of statutory powers to close a care home, ruining its innocent proprietors, was insufficient to create a correlative duty of care.
Baroness Hale: ‘there was indeed a serious injustice here which deserved a remedy. It is with the greatest of regret that we have all reached the conclusion that the common law of negligence does not supply one.’ The claimants may have a remedy before the ECHR.

Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury
[2009] UKHL 4, Times 22-Jan-2009, [2009] WLR (D) 14, [2009] 2 WLR 248, (2009) 106 BMLR 88, [2009] HRLR 14, 106 BMLR 88, [2009] 1 All ER 957, (2009) 12 CCL Rep 194, [2009] PTSR 382, [2009] LS Law Medical 112
Bailii, HL
Registered Homes Act 1984 23(1), Human Rights Act 1998
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSporrong and Lonnroth v Sweden ECHR 23-Sep-1982
Balance of Interests in peaceful enjoyment claim
(Plenary Court) The claimants challenged orders expropriating their properties for redevelopment, and the banning of construction pending redevelopment. The orders remained in place for many years.
Held: Article 1 comprises three distinct . .
CitedVan Marle And Others v The Netherlands ECHR 26-Jun-1986
The applicants were accountants who had practised as such for some years when a new statute came into force which required then to register. Their applications were refused.
Held: Article 1PI was engaged. In paragraphs 41 and 42 the Court said . .
CitedLyons v East Sussex County Council 1987
When an authority applies for the revocation of a nursing home’s licence, only evidence relevant to the issues identified in the 1984 Act can be presented. The authority must show a case to the civil standard of proof. The authority need not be . .
CitedX (Minors) v Bedfordshire County Council; M (A Minor) and Another v Newham London Borough Council; Etc HL 29-Jun-1995
Liability in Damages on Statute Breach to be Clear
Damages were to be awarded against a Local Authority for breach of statutory duty in a care case only if the statute was clear that damages were capable of being awarded. in the ordinary case a breach of statutory duty does not, by itself, give rise . .
CitedColumbia Pictures Industries Inc v Robinson ChD 1986
The plaintiff had obtained an Anton Piller order against a defendant whose business consisted almost entirely in the manufacture and sale of pirated videos.
Held: The injunction had been obtained for an improper purpose and without full . .
Appeal FromJain and Another v Trent Strategic Health Authority CA 22-Nov-2007
The claimant argued that the defendant owed him a duty of care as proprietor of a registered nursing home in cancelling the registration of the home under the 1984 Act. The authority appealed a finding that it owed such a duty.
Held: The . .
CitedJD, MAK and RK, RK and Another v East Berkshire Community Health, Dewsbury Health Care NHS Trust and Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Oldham NHS Trust and Dr Blumenthal CA 31-Jul-2003
Damages were sought by parents for psychological harm against health authorities for the wrongful diagnosis of differing forms of child abuse. They appealed dismissal of their awards on the grounds that it was not ‘fair just and reasonable’ to . .
CitedB and others v Attorney General and others PC 16-Jul-2003
(New Zealand) Children were removed from their home. The father was interviewed for suspected child abuse, but no charges were laid. He sought damages in negligence for the way the matter had been handled. Children whose allegations against adopted . .
CitedHarris 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. . .
CitedBusiness Computers International Ltd v Registrar of Companies ChD 1988
A winding up petition was served at an address which was not that of the plaintiff’s registered office, and nobody appeared at the hearing. A winding up order was made against the plaintiff company, which now sued the solicitors who had misserved . .
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 . .
CitedElguzouli-Daf v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and Another CA 16-Nov-1994
The Court upheld decisions striking out actions for negligence brought by claimants who had been arrested and held in custody during criminal investigations which were later discontinued. The Crown Prosecution Service owes no general 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, . .
CitedReeman and Reeman v Department of Transport; West Marine Surveyors and Consultants and Richard Primrose Ltd CA 26-Mar-1997
The purchaser of a fishing boat had relied on an incorrect safety certificate in respect of the vessel. He sought to claim in negligence.
Held: The object of the statutory scheme pursuant to which the certificate had been issued was to promote . .
CitedMartine v South East Kent Health Authority CA 22-Mar-1993
The authority applied ex parte under the 1984 to the magistrate for the revocation of the plaitiff’s nursing home licence. It was supported by a written statement of the reasons for making the order made by the health authority’s chief nursing . .
CitedHertfordshire Police v Van Colle; Smith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police HL 30-Jul-2008
Police Obligations to Witnesses is Limited
A prosecution witness was murdered by the accused shortly before his trial. The parents of the deceased alleged that the failure of the police to protect their son was a breach of article 2.
Held: The House was asked ‘If the police are alerted . .
See AlsoJain and Another v Trent Strategic Health Authority QBD 4-Dec-2006
. .

Cited by:
CitedHome Office v Mohammed and Others CA 29-Mar-2011
The claimants sought damages saying that after a decision had been made that they should receive indefinite leave to remain in 2001 (latest), the leave was not issued until 2007 (earliest) thus causing them severe losses. The defendant now appealed . .
At HLJain and another v The United Kingdom ECHR 16-Sep-2009
. .
At HLJain and another v The United Kingdom ECHR 9-Mar-2010
The applicants ran a Registered Nursing Home. The health authority, having concerns about its elderly residents, brought an ex parte application under section 30 of the Registered Homes Act 1984 for an order cancelling the Certificate of . .
CitedSteel and Another v NRAM Ltd (Formerly NRAM Plc) SC 28-Feb-2018
The appellant solicitor acted in a land transaction. The land was mortgaged to the respondent bank. She wrote to the bank stating her client’s intention to repay the whole loan. The letter was negligently mistaken and the bankers allowed the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Health Professions, Negligence, Human Rights

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.280077

Woodland 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.
Held: The claimant’s appeal was dismissed (Laws LJ dissenting). Tominson LJ said: ‘I do not consider that it is open to us to find that there was here, on the basis of the pleaded facts, a relevant non-delegable duty of care which will lead to liability in the authority in the event of negligence being found on the part of the Second or Third Defendants or of the swimming teacher . . As I have already observed, so to hold would go beyond anything which has been held as a matter of decision by the Australian courts, and I do not believe that anything has been placed before us which would justify such an extension of our existing law. I do not believe that we can find in the pleaded facts alone any material on the basis of which we could conclude that the imposition of the duty would be fair, just and reasonable.’
Laws LJ (dissenting) said: ‘the question here is not whether an existing duty can be delegated, nor whether to allow so radical a departure from the paradigm duty of care as is found in the rule of vicarious liability. It is whether in the circumstances we should acknowledge ‘a duty not merely to take care, but a duty to provide that care is taken’.’
He concluded that ‘control is too blunt a criterion to constitute an apt qualification of the general principle giving rise to the non-delegable duty of a school or hospital, which I have broadly described as an acceptance of responsibility to take care of the institution’s clientele, being a group of persons who are particularly vulnerable or dependent. The true test reflects the factors which suggest that control is important, but has more nuance. I would express it thus. A school or hospital owes a non-delegable duty to see that care is taken for the safety of a child or patient who (a) is generally in its care, and (b) is receiving a service which is part of the institution’s mainstream function of education or tending to the sick.’
Kitchin LJ said: ‘ the characterisation of the special relationship which has been found to justify the imposition of a non-delegable duty of care in the cases to which I have referred also assists in defining the limits of that duty. The essential elements of that special relationship are that the hospital or school has undertaken the care, supervision and control of a vulnerable person.’ and ‘ the general rule which recognises that the duty to take reasonable care may be discharged by entrusting the performance of a task to an apparently competent independent contractor is an important feature of the law of negligence; and any departure from the general rule must be justified on policy grounds.’

Laws, Tomlinson, Kitchin LJJ
[2012] EWCA Civ 239, [2013] 3 WLR 853, [2012] ELR 327, [2012] Med LR 419, [2012] PIQR P12, [2012] BLGR 879
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedMitchil v Alestree 1726
In an action upon the case brought against the defendant, for that he did ride an horse into a place called Lincoln’s Inn Fields, (a place much frequented by the King’s subjects, and unapt for such purposes) for the breaking and taming of him, and . .
Appeal fromWoodland 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 . .
CitedThe Pass of Ballater 1942
The court considered whether a duty of care was non-delegable. Langton J said: ‘while in general a person who employs a contractor is not liable for the acts of the contractor, yet where instruments or materials which are in themselves dangerous are . .
CitedFarraj and Another v King’s Healthcare NHS Trust (KCH) and Another CA 13-Nov-2009
The claimant parents each carried a gene making any child they bore liable to suffer a serious condition. On a pregnancy the mother’s blood was sent for testing to the defendants who sent it on to the second defendants. The condition was missed, . .
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 . .
CitedGold v Essex County Council CA 1942
The hospital was held accountable for an injury caused by negligence of an employee radiographer. The main issue was whether the authority could be vicariously liable even for employees in cases where their employment called for the exercise of . .
CitedCassidy v Ministry of Health CA 1951
The court considered the liability in negligence of the respondent for the negligence of doctors employed by it.
Held: The Ministry was liable for the negligence of doctors who were employed by it on contracts of service.
Denning LJ . .
CitedCommonwealth v Introvigne 1982
(High Court of Australia) A pupil was injured when he swung, whilst skylarking unsupervised, from a halyard attached to a flagpole in the school quadrangle. The halyard was in turn connected to a pulley which was part of a truck attached to the top . .
CitedKondis v State Transport Authority 16-Oct-1984
(High Court of Australia) Mason J discussed the concept of the personal duty which Lord Wright expounded in Wilson and said that it made it impossible to draw a convincing distinction between the delegation of performance of the employer’s duty to . .
CitedD and F Estates v Church Commissioners for England HL 14-Jul-1988
The House considered the liability of main contractors on a construction site for the negligence of it sub-contractors.
Lord Bridge said: ‘It is trite law that the employer of an independent contractor is, in general, not liable for the . .
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 . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedAM v Reverend Joseph Hendron and others OHCS 13-Sep-2005
Serious abuse was said to have been inflicted by monks of the De La Salle order on those in their charge at an approved school in Scotland. The former pupil claimant contended that the SED owed him a non-delegable duty which entitled him to . .
CitedWilsons and Clyde Coal Co Ltd v English HL 19-Jul-1937
The employer had entrusted the task of organising a safe system of work to an employee as a result of whose negligence another employee was injured. The employer could not have been held liable for its own negligence, since it had taken all . .
CitedRoe v Minister of Health CA 8-Apr-1954
The plaintiffs sought damages after being severely paralysed after what should have been minor spinal anaesthetic procedures. The nupercaine had been contaminated by seepage. A part time anaesthetist, not employed directly by the hospital had been . .
CitedA v Ministry of Defence; Re A (A Child) CA 7-May-2004
The wife of a British Army soldier serving in Germany delivered a premature baby, ‘A’, with a German obstetrician in a German hospital. A suffered brain damage in the birth as a result of the obstetrician’s negligence. The mother claimed against the . .
CitedBrown 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 . .
CitedRobertson v Nottingham Health Authority CA 1987
Brooke LJ held that ‘the only rule that this court has to apply in the present case is that if a patient is injured by reason of a negligent breakdown in the systems for communicating material information to the clinicians responsible for her care, . .

Cited by:
At CAWoodland 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.

Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.451842

County Ltd v Girozentrale Securities: CA 1996

The plaintiff bank had agreed to underwrite a share placement. The defendant brokers made representations to potential investors outside and in breach of the terms of the engagement letter. The bank failed to check on the status of indicative commitments obtained by the chairman of the company. A significant number of shares were not taken up, and the bank held a loss. At trial Judge had held that ‘the brokers’ representations were not of equal efficacy with the bank’s decision to accept the quality of the indicative commitments . . without making proper inquiries’
Held: The bank’s appeal succeeded. It was entitled to recover its loss from the brokers.
Hobhouse LJ said: ‘Where a plaintiff does not know of a defendant’s breach of contract and where he is entitled to rely upon the defendant having performed his contract, it will only be in the most exceptional circumstances that conduct of the plaintiff suffices to break the causal relationship between the defendant’s breach and the plaintiff’s loss.
The plaintiffs’ conduct was not voluntary in the sense of being undertaken with a knowledge of its significance. Conduct which is undertaken without an appreciation of the existence of the earlier causal factor will normally only suffice to break the causal relationship if the conduct was reckless. It is the character of reckless conduct that it makes the actual state of knowledge of that party immaterial.’
There is a close relationship between the application of such concepts as remoteness, contributory negligence and causation. Where a defendant’s breach of contract remains an effective cause of the loss, at least ordinarily, the chain of causation will not be broken.

Beldam, Hobhouse LJJ
[1996] 3 All ER 834
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedMonarch Steamship Co Ltd v Karlshamns Oljefabriker A/B HL 1949
Damages were sought for breach of contract.
Held: After reviewing the authorities on remoteness of damage, the court reaffirmed the broad general rule that a party injured by the other’s breach of contract is entitled to such money . .

Cited by:
CitedPlatform Home Loans Ltd v Oyston Shipways Ltd and others HL 18-Feb-1999
The plaintiffs had lent about 1 million pounds on the security of property negligently valued at 1.5 million pounds. The property was sold for much less than that and the plaintiffs suffered a loss of 680,000 pounds. The judge found that the . .
CitedBorealis Ab v Geogas Trading Sa ComC 9-Nov-2010
The parties had contracted for sale and purchase of butane for processing. It was said to have been contaminated. The parties now disputed the effect on damages for breach including on causation, remoteness, mitigation and quantum.
Held: The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Damages

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.190065

Scott v Shepherd: 1773

Squib Thrower’s Liability through Negligence

An accusation of assault and trespass will lie where the defendant threw a squib which was then thrown about by others in self defence, but eventually exploded putting out the plaintiff’s eye.

(1773) 3 Wils 403, [1773] 2 Wm Bl 892, (1773) 95 ER 1124
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedCommissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) HL 11-Feb-1999
The deceased was a prisoner known to be at risk of committing suicide. Whilst in police custody he hanged himself in his prison cell. The Commissioner accepted that he was in breach of his duty of care to the deceased, but not that that breach was . .
CitedHaystead v Director of Public Prosecutions QBD 2-Jun-2000
The defendant had hit a mother in the face as she held the child. The force was sufficient to cause her to drop the child causing injury to the child. He appealed against a conviction for beating the child.
Held: The appeal failed. A battery . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.235785

Stapley v Gypsum Mines Ltd: HL 25 Jun 1953

Plaintiff to take own responsibility for damage

The question was whether the fault of the deceased’s fellow workman, they both having disobeyed their foreman’s instructions, was to be regarded as having contributed to the accident.
Held: A plaintiff must ‘share in the responsibility for the damage’ for the Act to apply, and this involves consideration not only of the blameworthiness of each party but also of the relative importance of a plaintiff’s acts in causing damage, apart from his blameworthiness. The court is concerned with the causative potency matters giving rise to the result of the accident, not just to the accident itself. The question as to what caused an accident must be determined as a properly instructed and reasonable jury would decide it, by applying common sense to the facts of each particular case.
Reid L said: ‘Finally, it is necessary to apply the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act, 1945. Sellers J. reduced the damages by one half, holding both parties equally to blame. Normally one would not disturb such an award, but Sellers J. does not appear to have taken into account the fact that Stapley deliberately and culpably entered the stope. By doing so it appears to me that he contributed to the accident much more directly than Dale. The Act directs that the damages ‘shall be reduced to such extent as the court thinks just and equitable having regard to the claimant’s share in the responsibility for the damage’ (section 1(1)). A court must deal broadly with the problem of apportionment and in considering what is just and equitable must have regard to the blameworthiness of each party, but ‘the claimant’s share in the responsibility for the damage’ cannot, I think, be assessed without considering the relative importance of his acts in causing the damage apart from his blameworthiness. It may be that in this case Dale was not much less to blame than Stapley, but Stapley’s conduct in entering the stope contributed more immediately to the accident than anything that Dale did or failed to do. I agree with your Lordships that in all the circumstances it is proper in this case to reduce the damages by 80% and to award 20%. of the damages to the appellant. ‘
and ‘One may find that as a matter of history several people have been at fault and that if any one of them had acted properly the accident would not have happened, but that does not mean that the accident must be regarded as having been caused by the faults of all of them. One must discriminate between those faults which must be discarded as being too remote and those which must not. Sometimes it is proper to discard all but one and to regard that one as the sole cause, but in other cases it is proper to regard two or more as having jointly caused the accident. I doubt whether any test can be applied generally.’
Lord Asquith said that court of law: ‘must accept the fact that the philosophic doctrine of causation and the juridical doctrine of responsibility for the consequences of a negligent act diverge.’ The law is concerned with assigning responsibility for the consequences of the breach, and a defendant is not necessarily responsible in law for everything that follows from his act, even if it is wrongful.

Reid L, Porter L, Oaksey L, Tucker L
[1953] AC 663, [1953] UKHL 4, [1953] 2 All ER 478, [1953] 3 WLR 279
Bailii
Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 1(1)
England and Wales
Citing:
ApprovedDavies v Swan Motor Co (Swansea) Ltd CA 1949
A plaintiff brought an action for damages for personal injury against the drivers of two cars.
Held: There are two aspects to apportioning responsibility between a plaintiff and defendant in an action for negligence, the respective causative . .

Cited by:
CitedEagle v Chambers CA 24-Jul-2003
The claimant was severely injured when run down by the defendant driving his car. She was in Blackpool, and drunk and wandering in the highway. The defendant was himself at or near the drink driving limit. She appealed against a finding that she was . .
CitedExel Logistics Ltd v Curran and others CA 30-Sep-2004
The claimants sought damages for personal injuries after a crash in a Land Rover maintained by the defendants. The defendants appealed findings of negligence in failing properly to inflate the rear tyres, in continuing despite the danger, and poor . .
CitedChester v Afshar HL 14-Oct-2004
The claimant suffered back pain for which she required neurosurgery. The operation was associated with a 1-2% risk of the cauda equina syndrome, of which she was not warned. She went ahead with the surgery, and suffered that complication. The . .
CitedCommissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) HL 11-Feb-1999
The deceased was a prisoner known to be at risk of committing suicide. Whilst in police custody he hanged himself in his prison cell. The Commissioner accepted that he was in breach of his duty of care to the deceased, but not that that breach was . .
CitedBadger v The Ministry of Defence QBD 16-Dec-2005
The widow of the deceased sought damages after his exposure to asbestos whilst working for the defendant. He had contracted lung cancer. The defendant argued that the deceased had continued to smoke knowing of the risks, and that he had made a . .
CitedNational Coal Board v England HL 1954
The plaintiff sought damages after being injured when a co-worker fired a shot. The employee however had himself coupled the detonator to the cable rather than leaving it to the shotfirer, and had his cimmitted a criminal offence. He had been found . .
CitedVellino v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police CA 31-Jul-2001
The police were not under any duty to protect someone who had been arrested from injuring himself in an attempt to escape. The claimant had a history of seeking to avoid capture by jumping from his flat window. On this occasion he injured himself in . .
CitedCorr v IBC Vehicles Ltd HL 27-Feb-2008
The claimant’s husband had committed suicide. She sought damages for financial loss from his former employers under the 1976 Act. He had suffered a severe and debilitating injury working for them leading to his depression and suicide. The employers . .
CitedSt George v The Home Office CA 8-Oct-2008
The claimant was taken into prison. He was known to be subject to epilepsy, with high risks on withdrawal from drugs, but was allocated a high bunk. He had a seizure and fell, suffering head injuries. He sought damages in negligence. The defendant . .
CitedSmith v Skanska Construction Services Ltd QBD 29-Jul-2008
The court considered whether the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal road accident in Thailand was driving within the authority of the UK employers. The driver was not an employee but had authority to use company vehicles for tasks for the . .
AppliedClay v AJ Crump and Sons Ltd CA 1964
An architect, a demolition contractor and a building contractor were each held liable to an employee of building contractors for the collapse of a wall which, with the architect’s approval, demolition contractors had left standing.
Held: As . .
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 . .
CitedBPE Solicitors and Another v Hughes-Holland (In Substitution for Gabriel) SC 22-Mar-2017
The court was asked what damages are recoverable in a case where (i) but for the negligence of a professional adviser his client would not have embarked on some course of action, but (ii) part or all of the loss which he suffered by doing so arose . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Damages, Vicarious Liability

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.185853

Woodland v Stopford and Others: CA 16 Mar 2011

The claimant appealed against a decision allowing a defendant to withdraw an admission of liability. As a child she had got into difficulties during a class swimming lesson, and had ceased to breathe leaving her with catastrophic hypoxic brain injury. There had been confusion about the involvement of the Swimming Teachers’ Association. The claimant said that there had been no new evidence to justify the court allowing the withdrawal.
Held: The appeal failed. The judge had impeccably applied the law, and carefully exercised his discretion. He was entitled to the conclusion he had reached, and the court could not disturb it.

Ward, Arden, Moore-Bick LJJ
[2011] EWCA Civ 266, [2011] Med LR 237
Bailii
Civil Procedure Rules 14.1A(2)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSowerby v Charlton CA 21-Dec-2005
Before proceedings, in without prejudice discussions, the defendant made certain admissions. They were withdrawn before proceedings commenced. The claimant said that they could not be withdrawn.
Held: Until proceedings began the Civil . .
CitedStoke on Trent City Council v Walley CA 31-Jul-2006
Does the court have jurisdiction to enter judgment for a claimant in reliance on an admission made by a defendant before the commencement of the action, which the defendant has subsequently withdrawn. . .
CitedAmerican Reliable Insurance Company and others v Willis Ltd ComC 24-Oct-2008
The court considered an application by a party to be allowed to withdraw an admission made before commencement of proceedings. The defendant sought to withdraw admissions in their original defence which had been made because it was thought not to be . .

Cited by:
CitedDar v Vonsak and Another QBD 17-Dec-2012
The second defendant insurers appealed against a refusal by the court to allow it to withdraw an admission of liability in respect of a road traffic accident. The insurer said that the fact that it now saw the accident as fraudulent was an . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Litigation Practice, Negligence, Civil Procedure Rules

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.430608

Wilson v Haden (T/A Clyne Farm Centre): QBD 15 Feb 2013

The claimant sought damages after being injured on an adventure sports weekend hosted by the defendant.
Held: The defendants had failed to follow their own safety procedures associated with this particular feature. The landing area cushioning had suffered compaction and did not meet the appropriate standards. However it had not been shown: ‘whether, on a balance of probabilities, the injury would have been less severe or would have been avoided if adequate impact attenuating material had been in place. In those circumstances, I find that the claimant has failed to establish the necessary causative link between his injury and the defendant’s breach of his duty to provide adequate impact attenuation. ‘

Swift J
[2013] EWHC 229 (QB)
Bailii
Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedDrake v Harbour CA 31-Jan-2008
The plaintiff engaged the defendants to re-wire her house. She was away, and the defendants in sole charge of the house when it suffered a major fire originating in a room used by the defendants. The defendants appealed a finding of liability saying . .
CitedVaile v London Borough of Havering CA 11-Mar-2011
The claimant teacher sought damages after being assaulted at school by a child with special needs. The pupil had been identified as having an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) but the claimant was not aware of that and had not been advised as to the . .
CitedClough v First Choice Holidays and Flights Ltd CA 25-Jan-2006
The appellant broke his neck slipping from a wall in a swimming pool in Lanzarote. The wall was not coated with fully non-slip paint. At first instance the failure to use such paint was held negligent for the purpose of the contract between them and . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.470999

Avrora Fine Arts Investment Ltd v Christie, Manson and Woods Ltd: ChD 27 Jul 2012

The claimants had bought a painting (Odalisque) through the defendant auctioneers. They now claimed that it had been misattributed to Kustodiev, and claimed in negligence and misrepresentation.
Held: Based on the connoisseurship evidence, the painting was likely not to be by Kustodiev. The claimant was entitled under the contract to cancel the contract and recover the money paid. The claims for negligence and under the Misrepresentation Act failed.

Newey J
[2012] EWHC 2198 (Ch)
Bailii
Misrepresentation Act 1967 2(1), Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 2
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedDrake v Thos Agnew and Sons Limited QBD 8-Mar-2002
The claimant sought the return of money paid by him for a painting. He said it had been sold to his agent as by ‘Van Dyck’ but subsequently proved not to be so. He had employed an agent to acquire the painting, but the agent had not disclosed to him . .
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 . .
CitedMcCullagh v Lane Fox and Partners Ltd CA 19-Dec-1995
There was no duty in negligent mis-statement from a vendor’s estate agent to a purchaser for that purchaser’s financial loss after proceeding without first obtaining a survey relying upon the agent.
Hobhouse LJ said: ‘On the Sunday, Mr. Scott . .
CitedMorin v Bonhams and Brooks Limited Bonhams and Brooks S A M CA 18-Dec-2003
The claimant had bought a vintage Ferrari motor car through the defendant auctioneers in Monaco but sought rescission after it appeared that the odometer had been altered. The auction conditions purported to exclude any description of the car. He . .
CitedSmith v Land and House Property Corporation CA 1885
Bowen LJ said: ‘if the facts are not equally known to both sides, then a statement of opinion by the one who knows the facts best involves very often a statement of material fact, for he impliedly states that he knows facts which justify his . .
CitedDe Balkany v Christie Manson and Woods Ltd QBD 19-Jan-1995
Over-painting was deemed to be a forgery within the Christie terms and conditions. The exception was excluded. Christie’s was liable under the guarantee it had given. Morison J also considered (obiter) the defendant’s possible liability in tort, and . .
CitedThomson v Christie Manson and Woods Ltd and Another QBD 2004
Two urns had been auctioned as ‘a pair of Louis XV porphyry and gilt-bronze two-handled vases’. The buyer claimed that this was false. The parties agreed Christie’s had impliedly represented that it had reasonable grounds for its opinion.
CitedMorin v Bonhams and Brooks Ltd and Another ComC 18-Mar-2003
Claim for rescission of contract for purchase of Ferrari car at auction after discovery of alteration to odometer.
Jonathan Hirst QC said (after discussing the Christie’s case): ‘Plainly this authority provides substantial ammunition for BandB . .
CitedIFE Fund Sa v Goldman Sachs International ComC 21-Nov-2006
A claim advanced depended on the defendant having owed a duty to provide information. Toulson J said: ‘[The claimant] relies on the publication of the SIM [i.e. a Syndicate Information Memorandum] to give rise to the alleged duty of care. The . .
CitedRaiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich Ag v The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc ComC 11-Jun-2010
The court was asked whether certain provisions fell within section 3 of the Misrepresentation Act.
Held: Christopher Clarke J referred to dicta of Gloster J and said: ‘In Springwell Gloster J took the view that terms which simply defined the . .
CitedOverseas Medical Supplies Limited v Orient Transport Services Limited CA 20-May-1999
The appellant challenged a finding that it was responsible for the loss of medical equipment being transported from Tehran to the UK, and of failing to insure it as required, the contractual term exempting it from responsibility being an . .
CitedSpringwell Navigation Corporation v JP Morgan Chase Bank and Others CA 1-Nov-2010
The court was asked as to whether representations has been made.
Held: Aikens LJ referred to a provision stating ‘no representation or warranty, express or implied, is or will be made . . in or in relation to such documents or information’, . .
CitedTitan Steel Wheels Ltd v The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc Comc 11-Feb-2010
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Negligence, Consumer

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.463298

Re Corby Group Litigation: TCC 29 Jul 2009

The claimants sought damages saying that the demolition by the defendants of former steel works had allowed the escape of poisons which had been transmitted to the claimants’ mothers and then to the claimants as birth defects.
Held: The works had not been carried out safely and in accordance with then current best practices, resulting in the release of the contaminants and the injury to the claimants.

Akenhead J
[2009] EWHC 1944 (TCC), [2010] Env LR D2, [2009] NPC 100
Bailii
England and Wales

Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.365631

Haley v London Electricity Board: HL 28 Jul 1964

Electricity undertakers owed a duty of care to blind persons as a class when they excavated a trench along a pavement in a London suburb because blind people foreseeably walk along pavements.

Reid, Morton of Henryton, Evershed, Hodson, Guest LL
[1964] 3 All ER 185, [1964] 3 WLR 479, [1965] AC 778, [1964] UKHL 3
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedBritish Railways Board v Herrington HL 16-Feb-1972
Land-owner’s Possible Duty to Trespassers
The plaintiff, a child had gone through a fence onto the railway line, and been badly injured. The Board knew of the broken fence, but argued that they owed no duty to a trespasser.
Held: Whilst a land-owner owes no general duty of care to a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Utilities, Negligence, Personal Injury

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.181272

Bates v Malyon: QBD 10 Oct 2008

The defendant had driven into the rear of the claimant’s car. The claimant appealed dismissal of his claim by the judge who said he had not discharged the burden of proof of negligence.
Held: The appeal failed. The judge had reached a conclusion as to the facts. In a fast track case such as this it was wrong to criticise the judge for failing to answer every point of fact raised.

Walker J
[2008] EWHC 2386 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedStephens and Another v Cannon and Another CA 14-Mar-2005
The claimants had purchased land from the defendants. The contract was conditional on a development which did not take place. The master had been presented with very different valuations of the property.
Held: The master was not entitled to . .
CitedBaird v Thurrock Borough Council CA 7-Nov-2005
The defendant council appealed a finding of negligence after a dustbinman had been injured when he was struck by a wheelie bin. He had said that a malfunction in the mechanism loading the wheelie bin caused him to be hit by one.
Held: The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic, Negligence

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.276808

Alderslade 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 maximum amount allowed for lost or damaged articles is twenty times the charge made for the laundry.’ Negligence was not expressly excluded. The question was: What do the words exclude?
Held: The defendant was able to rely on the exclusion clause. The loss could only arise through negligence. With that in mind, the limitation clause had to be read to apply to an allegation of negligence.
Lord Greene MR set out the principles applicable in interpreting clauses which purport to exempt one party to a contract from liability for negligence. These principles are (1) that if the clause expressly exempts the party in whose favour it is made (the proferens) from liability for negligence, effect must be given to it; (2) if there is no express reference to negligence, the court must consider whether the words used are wide enough to cover it; and (3) if a doubt arises on this point it must be resolved in favour of the other party and against the proferens.
If the words used are wide enough to achieve exemption, the court must then consider whether ‘the head of damage may be based on some ground other than that of negligence’
Lord Justice Mackinnon set out the rule or principle which he said was very admirably stated by Lord Justice Scrutton in Rutter -v- Palmer. He said: ‘Applying that principle to the facts of the case, I think that the clause in question does avail to protect the proprietors of the laundry in respect of liability for negligence which must be assumed to be the cause of these handkerchieves having disappeared.’

Lord Greene MR, Mackinnon LJ
[1945] KB 189, [1945] 1 All ER 244
England and Wales
Citing:
AppliedRutter 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: . .

Cited by:
CitedSociete Generale, London Branch v Geys SC 19-Dec-2012
The claimant’s employment by the bank had been terminated. The parties disputed the sums due, and the date of the termination of the contract. The court was asked ‘Does a repudiation of a contract of employment by the employer which takes the form . .
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 . .
CitedSmith v UMB Chrysler (Scotland) Ltd HL 9-Nov-1977
The principles set out in Canada Steamship apply to ‘clauses which purport to exempt one party to a contract from liability’. The principles should be applied without ‘mechanistic construction’.
Lord Keith of Kinkel said: The tests were . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.470521

Savage v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MIND intervening): HL 10 Dec 2008

The deceased had committed suicide on escaping from a mental hospital. The Trust appealed against a refusal to strike out the claim that that they had been negligent in having inadequate security.
Held: The Trust’s appeal failed. The fact that she was detained for her own protection rather than to protect others required different standards from the hospital. Just what protection was required was a matter for trial. At common law, ‘in deciding what measures should be taken to protect the lives of patients in mental hospitals, or of patients in general hospitals who are suffering from mental illness, the authorities will have to take account of the vulnerability of these patients – including a heightened risk they may commit suicide.’
Under Article 2, health authorities are under an over-arching obligation to protect the lives of patients in their hospitals which ‘requires health authorities to ensure that the hospitals for which they are responsible employ competent staff and that they are trained to a high professional standard. In addition, the authorities must ensure that the hospitals adopt systems of work which will protect the lives of patients.’

Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Neuberger
[2008] UKHL 74, [2009] HRLR 12, [2009] 1 All ER 1053, [2009] PTSR 469, [2009] UKHRR 480, [2009] 2 WLR 115, (2009) 12 CCL Rep 125, [2009] 1 AC 681, (2009) 105 BMLR 180, [2009] LS Law Medical 40
Bailii, HL, Times
Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934, Fatal Accidents Act 1976, Human Rights Act 1998 7, European Convention on Human Rights 2, Mental Health Act 1983 3
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedAmin, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Oct-2003
Prisoner’s death – need for full public enquiry
The deceased had been a young Asian prisoner. He was placed in a cell overnight with a prisoner known to be racist, extremely violent and mentally unstable. He was killed. The family sought an inquiry into the death.
Held: There had been a . .
CitedPowell v United Kingdom ECHR 4-May-2000
A ten-year old boy had died from Addison’s disease. No inquest took place, because the coroner decided that the boy had died of natural causes. The parents, who were also affected by the events, had accepted compensation from the local health . .
Appeal fromSavage v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Another CA 21-Dec-2007
The claimant said that the defendant hospital had been negligent in failing to prevent her daughter escaping from the mental hospital at which she was detained and committing suicide.
Held: The status of a detained mental patient was more akin . .
CitedKeenan v The United Kingdom ECHR 3-Apr-2001
A young prisoner was known to be at risk of suicide, but nevertheless was not provided with adequate specialist medical supervision. He was punished for an offence, by way of segregation which further put him at risk.
Held: Inhuman and . .
CitedLCB v United Kingdom ECHR 9-Jun-1998
The applicant’s father had been present on Christmas Island during British nuclear tests. She was diagnosed with leukaemia. She claimed the UK had been should have warned her parents of the risks associated with exposure to radiation and monitored . .
CitedJL, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice; Regina (L (A Patient)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 26-Nov-2008
The prisoner was left with serious injury after attempting suicide in prison. He said that there was a human rights duty to hold an investigation into the circumstances leading up to this.
Held: There existed a similar duty to hold an enhanced . .
CitedRenolde v France ECHR 16-Oct-2008
A prisoner with mental health problems committed suicide during pre-trial detention. It was said that the state had infringed his article 2 right.
Held: The court noted the vulnerability of persons in custody, especially those who were . .
CitedOsman v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-Oct-1998
Police’s Complete Immunity was Too Wide
(Grand Chamber) A male teacher developed an obsession with a male pupil. He changed his name by deed poll to the pupil’s surname. He was required to teach at another school. The pupil’s family’s property was subjected to numerous acts of vandalism, . .
CitedAtaman v Turkey ECHR 27-Apr-2006
The Court set out the need to supervise soldiers to whom weapons were entrusted and to prevent suicides. Since the carrying of weapons was involved, the authorities could be expected to show particular diligence and adopt a suitable system for . .
CitedAkdogdu v Turkey ECHR 18-Oct-2005
ECHR Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) – No violation of Art. 2; Violation of Art. 3; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses partial award – domestic proceedings; Costs and expenses . .
CitedKilinc And Others v Turkey ECHR 7-Jun-2005
kilinc_turkeyECHR05
A state authority may have a positive obligation to prevent foreseeable suicides amongst conscripts to its armed forces. . .
CitedSlimani v France ECHR 27-Jul-2004
A Tunisian was committed to a psychiatric hospital on several occasions. He died while detained in a detention centre awaiting deportation. The applicant complained that there had been a violation of article 2 on two grounds: the detention centre . .
CitedSalman v Turkey ECHR 27-Jun-2000
Where someone dies or is injured whilst in custody the burden is on the state to provide a ‘satisfactory and convincing explanation’ of what has happened: ‘Persons in custody are in a vulnerable position and the authorities are under a duty to . .
CitedEdwards v The United Kingdom ECHR 14-Mar-2002
The deceased, a young man of mixed race, had been placed in a cell with another prisoner who was known to be violent, racist, and mentally unstable. The staff knew that the panic button was defective. The deceased was murdered by his cell-mate. His . .
CitedIn re Officer L HL 31-Jul-2007
Police officers appealed against refusal of orders protecting their anonymity when called to appear before the Robert Hamill Inquiry.
Held: ‘The tribunal accordingly approached the matter properly under article 2 in seeking to ascertain . .
CitedIsiltan v Turkey ECHR 22-May-1995
(Commission) . .
CitedHertfordshire Police v Van Colle; Smith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police HL 30-Jul-2008
Police Obligations to Witnesses is Limited
A prosecution witness was murdered by the accused shortly before his trial. The parents of the deceased alleged that the failure of the police to protect their son was a breach of article 2.
Held: The House was asked ‘If the police are alerted . .
CitedTarariyeva v Russia ECHR 14-Dec-2006
A complaint was made that the authorities had failed in their duty to protect a prisoner’s life. The authorities had him in custody for two years and knew of his health problems. He was not properly treated in the penal colony. When he had acute . .
CitedDodov v Bulgaria ECHR 17-Jan-2008
The applicant’s mother, who had Alzheimer’s lived in a nursing home needing constant supervision. She was left alone in a courtyard and disappeared. There had been negligence by staff in leaving her alone. The applicant complained to the . .
CitedThorne v Northern Group Hospital Management Committee 6-Jun-1964
At common law, ‘as a matter of general principle a hospital is under a duty to take precautions to avoid the possibility of injury, whether self-inflicted or otherwise, occurring to patients who it knows, or ought to know, have a history of mental . .
CitedSelfe v Ilford and District Hospital Management Committee 26-Nov-1970
. .
CitedHerczegfalvy v Austria ECHR 24-Sep-1992
The applicant was detained in an institution for mentally deranged offenders. While so detained he was subjected to the forcible administration of food and neuroleptics and to handcuffing to a security bed. He complained of violation of his Article . .
CitedRegina v Bournewood Community and Mental Health NHS Trust, Ex parte L CA 2-Dec-1997
The applicant was severely autistic, and unable to consent to medical treatment. He had been admitted voluntarly to a mental hospital and detained under common law powers. The Hospital trust appealed a finding that his detention had been unlawful. . .
CitedSacker, Regina (on the Application of) v Coroner for the County of West Yorkshire HL 11-Mar-2004
The deceased committed suicide in prison. Her family sought to have added to the verdict the words ‘contributed by neglect’ and complained that the inquest had not provided a full and proper investigation of the death.
Held: The Act needed to . .
CitedGoodson v HM Coroner for Bedfordshire and Luton Admn 17-Dec-2004
A patient had died in hospital following an operation. The NHS Trust submitted that ‘There is a real distinction between cases of medical negligence, which were specifically addressed as a discrete area in Calvelli, and cases of intentional killing . .
CitedMiddleton, Regina (on the Application of) v Coroner for the Western District of Somerset HL 11-Mar-2004
The deceased had committed suicide in prison. His family felt that the risk should have been known to the prison authorities, and that they had failed to guard against that risk. The coroner had requested an explanatory note from the jury.
CitedTakoushis, Regina (on the Application of) v HM Coroner for Inner North London Admn 16-Dec-2004
A patient suffering schizophrenia had been a voluntary patient. He was allowed to visit another unit within the hospital grounds, but then left altogether and was next found preparing to jump from Tower Bridge. He was taken by ambulance to Hospital . .

Cited by:
CitedRabone and Another v Pennine Care NHS Trust CA 21-Jun-2010
The claimant’s daughter had committed suicide after being given home leave on a secure ward by the respondent mental hospital. A claim in negligence had been settled, but the parents now appealed refusal of their claim that the hospital had failed . .
CitedSmith, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence and Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner (Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening) SC 30-Jun-2010
The deceased soldier died of heat exhaustion whilst on active service in Iraq. It was said that he was owed a duty under human rights laws, and that any coroner’s inquest should be a fuller one to satisfy the state’s duty under Article 2.
CitedRabone and Another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation SC 8-Feb-2012
The claimant’s daughter had committed suicide whilst on home leave from a hospital where she had stayed as a voluntary patient with depression. Her admission had followed a suicide attempt. The hospital admitted negligence but denied that it owed . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Human Rights, Health Professions

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.278662

JD 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 the suffering of psychiatric injury by the parent was a foreseeable result of making it and such injury has in fact been suffered by the parent.
Held: The appeals were dismissed. The doctors had a duty to question whether abuse had occurred, and having honestly formed a suspicion, to act in accordance with the guidance given. The complaint was in substance as to the length of time taken to clear the parent of the false accusation.
health care and childcare professionals investigating allegations of child abuse did not owe a duty of care to the parents of the children concerned.
Lord Bingham of Cornhill (dissenting) said: ‘It could not now be plausibly argued that a common law duty of care may not be owed by a publicly-employed healthcare professional to a child with whom the professional is dealing. The fundamental complaint in each case was the absolute terms of the diagnosis made and ‘a negligent failure to investigate, test, explore, check and verify.”
Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead said: ‘identifying the parameters of an expanding law of negligence is proving difficult, especially in fields involving the discharge of statutory functions by public authorities.’ and ‘Abandonment of the concept of a duty of care in English law, unless replaced by a control mechanism which recognises this limitation, is unlikely to clarify the law. That control mechanism has yet to be identified. And introducing this protracted period of uncertainty is unnecessary, because claims may now be brought directly against public authorities in respect of breaches of Convention rights.’
Lord Nicholls explained that conflict of interest was a persuasive factor here. When considering whether a child has been abused, a doctor should be able to act single-mindedly in the interests of the child and he ought not to have at the back of his mind an awareness that if his doubts about intentional injury or sexual abuse were to prove unfounded he might be exposed to claims by a distressed parent: ‘At that time [when a doctor is carrying out his investigation] the doctor does not know whether there has been abuse by the parent. But he knows that when he is considering this possibility the interests of parent and child are diametrically opposed. The interests of the child are that the doctor should report any suspicions he may have and that he should carry out further investigation in consultation with other child care professionals. The interests of the parent do not favour either of these steps. This difference of interest in the outcome is an unsatisfactory basis for imposing a duty of care on a doctor in favour of a parent.’
Orse D v East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Steyn, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2005] UKHL 23, [2005] 2 AC 373, Times 22-Apr-2005, [2005] 2 WLR 993
Bailii, House of Lords
European Convention on Human Rights
England and Wales
Citing:
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 . .
Appeal fromJD, MAK and RK, RK and Another v East Berkshire Community Health, Dewsbury Health Care NHS Trust and Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Oldham NHS Trust and Dr Blumenthal CA 31-Jul-2003
Damages were sought by parents for psychological harm against health authorities for the wrongful diagnosis of differing forms of child abuse. They appealed dismissal of their awards on the grounds that it was not ‘fair just and reasonable’ to . .
CitedX (Minors) v Bedfordshire County Council; M (A Minor) and Another v Newham London Borough Council; Etc HL 29-Jun-1995
Liability in Damages on Statute Breach to be Clear
Damages were to be awarded against a Local Authority for breach of statutory duty in a care case only if the statute was clear that damages were capable of being awarded. in the ordinary case a breach of statutory duty does not, by itself, give rise . .
CitedZ And Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 10-May-2001
Four children complained that, for years before they were taken into care by the local authority, its social services department was well aware that they were living in filthy conditions and suffering ‘appalling’ neglect in the home of their . .
CitedHill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire HL 28-Apr-1987
No General ty of Care Owed by Police
The mother of a victim of the Yorkshire Ripper claimed in negligence against the police alleging that they had failed to satisfy their duty to exercise all reasonable care and skill to apprehend the perpetrator of the murders and to protect members . .
CitedTP And KM v The United Kingdom ECHR 10-May-2001
The Grand Chamber found a violation of Articles 8 and 13 and awarded each applicant GBP 10,000 in respect of a separation which lasted a year. Article 8 imposes positive obligations of disclosure on a local authority involved in care proceedings: . .
CitedOsman v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-Oct-1998
Police’s Complete Immunity was Too Wide
(Grand Chamber) A male teacher developed an obsession with a male pupil. He changed his name by deed poll to the pupil’s surname. He was required to teach at another school. The pupil’s family’s property was subjected to numerous acts of vandalism, . .
CitedDS RL v Gloucestershire County Council and London Borough of Tower Hamlets and London Borough of Havering CA 14-Mar-2000
The court considered and restated the criteria for liability set out in X (Minors). . .
CitedBarrett v London Borough of Enfield HL 17-Jun-1999
The claimant had spent his childhood in foster care, and now claimed damages against a local authority for decisions made and not made during that period. The judge’s decision to strike out the claim had been upheld by the Court of Appeal.
CitedWaters v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis HL 27-Jul-2000
A policewoman, having made a complaint of serious sexual assault against a fellow officer complained again that the Commissioner had failed to protect her against retaliatory assaults. Her claim was struck out, but restored on appeal.
Held: . .
CitedA and Another v Essex County Council CA 17-Dec-2003
The claimant sought damages. The respondent had acted as an adoption agency but had failed to disclose all relevant information about the child.
Held: Any such duty extended only during the period where the child was with the prospective . .
CitedA, B v Essex County Council QBD 18-Dec-2002
The applicants sought damages after they had had placed with them for adoption a child who proved to be destructively hyperactive.
Held: The authority might be liable where they failed to disclose to adoptive parents known characteristics of a . .
CitedPhelps v Hillingdon London Borough Council; Anderton v Clwyd County Council; Gower v Bromley London Borough Council; Jarvis v Hampshire County Council HL 28-Jul-2000
The plaintiffs each complained of negligent decisions in his or her education made by the defendant local authorities. In three of them the Court of Appeal had struck out the plaintiff’s claim and in only one had it been allowed to proceed.
CitedSpring v Guardian Assurance Plc and Others HL 7-Jul-1994
The plaintiff, who worked in financial services, complained of the terms of the reference given by his former employer. Having spoken of his behaviour towards members of the team, it went on: ‘his former superior has further stated he is a man of . .
CitedE and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 26-Nov-2002
The four applicants had been abused by their stepfather, and sought investigation of the local authority for failing to protect them. They had been compensated by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in part, but now sought a remedy from the . .
CitedL (Minor), P (Father) v Reading Borough Council Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police CA 12-Mar-2001
A social worker and police officer interviewed a child and father on allegations of sexual abuse made by the mother. No criminal proceedings followed, but the father alleged that the misrepresentation of the interviews by the officer and social . .
CitedSutherland Shire Council v Heyman 4-Jul-1985
(High Court of Australia) The court considered a possible extension of the law of negligence.
Brennan J said: ‘the law should develop novel categories of negligence incrementally and by analogy with established categories. ‘
Dean J said: . .
CitedCLT v Connon and Others 8-May-2000
Austlii (Supreme Court of South Australia) The father, the appellant, was accused of sexually abusing his three children. He sued for damages alleging negligence on the part of the medical practitioners who . .
CitedB v United Kingdom ECHR 1987
A local authority considering taking action in respect of a child must consider also the views and opinions of the parents. . .
CitedVenema v The Netherlands ECHR 17-Dec-2002
A young child aged 11 months was separated from her mother because of fears that the mother was suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy and would injure her. The child was returned five months later, following medical reports which found that . .
CitedP, C And S v The United Kingdom ECHR 16-Jul-2002
The applicants challenged the way in which their newborn children had been removed by the state after birth. S had not had the opportunity of legal representation, after her lawyers had withdrawn. The removal of S’s child was challenged as . .
CitedRe L (Care: Assessment: Fair Trial) FD 2002
The court emphasised the need, in the interests not merely of the parent but also of the child, of a transparently fair and open procedure at all stages of the care process, including the making of documents openly available to parents.
Munby . .
CitedW v United Kingdom ECHR 1987
A local authority must, in reaching decisions on children in care, take account of the views and interests of the natural parents, which called for a degree of protection. In the context of care proceedings, public authorities may not be required to . .
CitedElsholz v Germany ECHR 13-Jul-2000
A violation of article 8 was found when access to his child was denied to an innocent father. . .
CitedMcMichael v United Kingdom ECHR 2-Mar-1995
In the course of care proceedings, medical and social services’ reports were disclosed to the courts, but not to the parents involved.
Held: The courts’ failure to show reports to the parents in care proceedings was a breach of the Convention. . .
CitedEverett v Griffiths HL 1921
The plaintiff had been committed to a mental hospital. The question was whether the doctor (Anklesaria) who signed the certificate to support his committal was liable to him in negligence.
Held: The House affirmed the judgment of the Court of . .
CitedEverett v Griffiths CA 1920
The plaintiff, who had been detained as a lunatic as the result of the decision of Griffiths, a Justice of the Peace and Chairman of the Board of Guardians in reliance on a medical certificate signed by Anklesaria, a Doctor, sued them both in . .
CitedKapfunde v Abbey National Plc and Dr Daniel and Another CA 25-Mar-1998
A Doctor employed by a potential employer to report on the health of applicants for employment, owed no duty of care to those applicants. . .
CitedSmith v Eric S Bush, a firm etc HL 20-Apr-1989
In Smith, the lender instructed a valuer who knew that the buyer and mortgagee were likely to rely on his valuation alone. The valuer said his terms excluded responsibility. The mortgagor had paid an inspection fee to the building society and . .
CitedRoss v Caunters (a firm) ChD 1979
The court upheld a finding of negligence against a firm of solicitors for failing to ensure the correct attestation of a will, and also the award of damages in favour of a disappointed beneficiary.
A solicitor owes a duty of care to the party . .
CitedSidaway v Board of Governors of the Bethlem Royal Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital HL 21-Feb-1985
The plaintiff alleged negligence in the failure by a surgeon to disclose or explain to her the risks inherent in the operation which he had advised.
Held: The appeal failed. A mentally competent patient has an absolute right to refuse to . .
CitedGartside v Sheffield Young and Ellis 1983
(New Zealand) The court discussed the potential liability of a solicitor having failed to prepare an effective will: ‘To deny an effective remedy in a plain case would seem to imply a refusal to acknowledge the solicitor’s professional role in the . .
CitedRe N CA 20-May-1999
The claimant was a victim of a rape. She alleged that the police had mishandled the prosecution, resulting in the dismissal of the charges against the defendant, which in turn, she said exacerbated her own post traumatic stress disorder.
Held: . .
CitedGillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority and Department of Health and Social Security HL 17-Oct-1985
Lawfulness of Contraceptive advice for Girls
The claimant had young daughters. She challenged advice given to doctors by the second respondent allowing them to give contraceptive advice to girls under 16, and the right of the first defendant to act upon that advice. She objected that the . .
CitedB and others v Attorney General and others PC 16-Jul-2003
(New Zealand) Children were removed from their home. The father was interviewed for suspected child abuse, but no charges were laid. He sought damages in negligence for the way the matter had been handled. Children whose allegations against adopted . .
CitedSullivan v Moody 11-Oct-2001
(High Court of Australia) A medical practitioner who examines and reports on the condition of an individual may owe a duty to more than one person: ‘The duty for which the [appellant fathers] contend cannot be reconciled satisfactorily, either with . .
CitedIn Re A (Minors) (Conjoined Twins: Medical Treatment); aka In re A (Children) (Conjoined Twins: Surgical Separation) CA 22-Sep-2000
Twins were conjoined (Siamese). Medically, both could not survive, and one was dependent upon the vital organs of the other. Doctors applied for permission to separate the twins which would be followed by the inevitable death of one of them. The . .
CitedAttorney-General v Prince and Gardner 1998
(New Zealand Court of Appeal) Claims in negligence were made by the natural mother of a child who had been adopted, and also by the child, now an adult, complaining of the process followed in the adoption and also of failure to investigate a . .
CitedJames Mcgregor Fairlie v Perth and Kinross Healthcare NHS Trust IHCS 8-Jul-2004
A claim for damages might perhaps have been pleaded under article 8 of the European Convention, but since the pursuer’s claim was in effect for loss of reputation, the claim in negligence was bound to fail even if the judge had not held, as he did . .
CitedBest v Samuel Fox and Co Ltd 1952
The court considered liability for injury to secondary victims. Lord Morton of Henryton: ‘it has never been the law of England that an invitor, who has negligently but unintentionally injured an invitee, is liable to compensate other persons who . .
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 . .
CitedDick 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. . .
CitedRobertson v Turnbull HL 1982
. .
CitedWhite and Another v Jones and Another HL 16-Feb-1995
Will Drafter liable in Negligence to Beneficiary
A solicitor drawing a will may be liable in negligence to a potential beneficiary, having unduly delayed in the drawing of the will. The Hedley Byrne principle was ‘founded upon an assumption of responsibility.’ Obligations may occasionally arise . .
CitedNorth Glamorgan NHS Trust v Walters CA 6-Dec-2002
A new mother woke in hospital to see her baby (E) fitting. E suffered a major epileptic seizure leading to coma and irreparable brain damage. E was transferred to a London hospital and the following day the claimant was told by a consultant that E’s . .
CitedTredget and Tredget v Bexley Health Authority 1994
(Central London County Court) As a result of the defendant hospital’s negligent management of Mrs Tredget’s labour, her baby was born in a severely asphyxiated state and died two days later. The actual birth of the child with its ‘chaos’ or . .
CitedMcLoughlin v O’Brian HL 6-May-1982
The plaintiff was the mother of a child who died in an horrific accident, in which her husband and two other children were also injured. She was at home at the time of the accident, but went to the hospital immediately when she had heard what had . .
CitedAlcock and Others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police HL 28-Nov-1991
The plaintiffs sought damages for nervous shock. They had watched on television, as their relatives and friends, 96 in all, died at a football match, for the safety of which the defendants were responsible. The defendant police service had not . .

Cited by:
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, . .
CitedAD and OH (A Child) v Bury Metropolitan Borough Council CA 17-Jan-2006
The claimants, mother and son, sought damages from the respondent after they had commenced care proceedings resulting in the son being taken into temporary care. The authority had wrongly suspected abuse. The boy was later found to suffer brittle . .
CitedWatkins v Home Office and others HL 29-Mar-2006
The claimant complained of misfeasance in public office by the prisons for having opened and read protected correspondence whilst he was in prison. The respondent argued that he had suffered no loss. The judge had found that bad faith was . .
CitedLawrence v Pembrokeshire County Council CA 15-May-2007
The claimant complained of the negligence of the defendant council’s social worker’s in putting her four children into care. The Ombudsman had found the council guilty of maladministration and had awarded her andpound;5,000 for distress.
Held: . .
CitedRowley and others v Secretary of State for Department of Work and Pensions CA 19-Jun-2007
The claimants sought damages for alleged negligence of the defendant in the administration of the Child Support system.
Held: The defendant in administering the statutory system owed no direct duty of care to those affected: ‘a common law duty . .
CitedPierce v Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council QBD 13-Dec-2007
The claimant sought damages, saying that the local authority had failed to protect him when he was a child against abuse by his parents.
Held: The claimant had been known to the authority since he was a young child, and they owed him a duty of . .
CitedMitchell and Another v Glasgow City Council HL 18-Feb-2009
(Scotland) The pursuers were the widow and daughter of a tenant of the respondent who had been violently killed by his neighbour. They said that the respondent, knowing of the neighbour’s violent behaviours had a duty of care to the deceased and . .
Appeal fromMAK and RK v The United Kingdom ECHR 23-Mar-2010
mak_ukECHR10
When RK, a nine year old girl was taken to hospital, with bruises, the paediatrician wrongly suspecting sexual abuse, took blood samples and intimate photographs in the absence of the parents and without their consent.
Held: The doctor had . .
CitedJames-Bowen and Others v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis SC 25-Jul-2018
The Court was asked whether the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (‘the Commissioner’) owes a duty to her officers, in the conduct of proceedings against her based on their alleged misconduct, to take reasonable care to protect them from . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Health Professions, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.224322

Williams and Another v Natural Life Health Foods Ltd and Another: HL 30 Apr 1998

A company director was not personally reliable in negligence for bad advice given by him as director unless it could clearly be shown that he had willingly accepted such personal responsibility. A special relationship involving an assumption of personal liability must be established before a company director can become liable for negligent misstatement under the Hedley Byrne principles.
Lord Steyn said: ‘The touchstone of liability is not the state of mind of the defendant. An objective test means that the primary focus must be on things said and done by the defendant or on his behalf. Obviously the impact of what a defendant says or does must be judged in the light of the relevant contextual scene. Subject to this qualification the primary focus must be on exchanges (in which term I include statements and conduct) which cross the line between the defendant and the plaintiff.’ As to whether he was liable as a joint tortfeasor: ‘In any event, the argument is unsustainable. A moment’s reflection will show that, if the argument were to be accepted in the present case, it would expose directors, officers and employees of companies carrying on business as providers of services to a plethora of new tort claims. The fallacy in the argument is clear. In the present case liability of the company is dependent on a special relationship with the plaintiffs giving rise to an assumption of responsibility. M was a stranger to that particular relationship. He cannot therefore be liable as a joint tortfeasor with the company. If he is to be held liable to the plaintiffs, it could only be on the basis of a special relationship between himself and the plaintiffs. There was none. I would therefore reject this alternative argument.’

Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton
Times 01-May-1998, Gazette 28-May-1998, [1998] UKHL 17, [1998] 1 WLR 830, [1998] BCC 428, (1998) 17 Tr LR 152, [1998] 1 BCLC 689, [1998] 2 All ER 577
House of Lords, Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromWilliams; Reid v Natural Life Health Foods Limited and Mistlin CA 5-Dec-1996
(Majority) A director of a one man company himself could himself be liable for negligent advice outside his duties as a director where his personal character known to be relied upon. In order to fix a director with personal liability, it must be . .
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 . .
At first instanceWilliams and Another v Natural Life Health Foods Ltd and Another QBD 18-Jan-1996
A company director can be liable for the negligent mis-statement of the company if he warrants his own personal skill. . .
CitedSalomon v A Salomon and Company Ltd HL 16-Nov-1896
A Company and its Directors are not same paersons
Mr Salomon had incorporated his long standing personal business of shoe manufacture into a limited company. He held nearly all the shares, and had received debentures on the transfer into the company of his former business. The business failed, and . .

Cited by:
CitedChagos Islanders v The Attorney General, Her Majesty’s British Indian Ocean Territory Commissioner QBD 9-Oct-2003
The Chagos Islands had been a British dependent territory since 1814. The British government repatriated the islanders in the 1960s, and the Ilois now sought damages for their wrongful displacement, misfeasance, deceit, negligence and to establish a . .
CitedNiru Battery Manufacturing Company, Bank Sepah Iran v Milestone Trading Limited CA 23-Oct-2003
The claimant had contracted to purchase lead from some of the defendants. There were delays in payment but when funds were made available they should have been repaid. An incorrect bill of lading was presented. The bill certified that the goods had . .
CitedCommissioners of Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc ComC 3-Feb-2004
The claimant had obtained orders against two companies who banked with the respondent. Asset freezing orders were served on the bank, but within a short time the customer used the bank’s Faxpay national service to transfer substantial sums outside . .
CitedCustoms and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc CA 22-Nov-2004
The claimant had obtained judgment against customers of the defendant, and then freezing orders for the accounts. The defendants inadvertently or negligently allowed sums to be transferred from the accounts. The claimants sought repayment by the . .
CitedPrecis (521) Plc v William M Mercer Ltd CA 15-Feb-2005
Purchasers of a company sought to claim in negligence against the respondent actuaries in respect of a valuation of the company’s pension funds.
Held: There was a paucity of authority as to when a duty of care was assumed. The words used and . .
CitedMCA Records Inc and Another v Charly Records Ltd and others (No 5) CA 5-Oct-2001
The court discussed the personal liability of a director for torts committed by his company: ‘i) a director will not be treated as liable with the company as a joint tortfeasor if he does no more than carry out his constitutional role in the . .
CitedHM Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc HL 21-Jun-2006
The claimant had served an asset freezing order on the bank in respect of one of its customers. The bank paid out on a cheque inadvertently as to the order. The Commissioners claimed against the bank in negligence. The bank denied any duty of care. . .
CitedPatchett and Another v Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association Ltd CA 15-Jul-2009
The claimant suffered damages when the contractor he engaged to construct his swimming pool went into liquidation. Before employing him, he had consulted the defendant’s web-site which suggested that its members were checked for solvency on becoming . .
CitedJeremy D Stone Consultants Ltd and Another v National Westminster Bank Plc and Another ChD 11-Feb-2013
The claimants asserted an equitable claim against funds held by the defendant bank in the name of a company owned by another defendant who they said defrauded them through a Ponzi investment scheme.
Held: The claim failed. On the evidence, the . .
CitedBen Hashem v Ali Shayif and Another FD 22-Sep-2008
The court was asked to pierce the veil of incorporation of a company in the course of ancillary relief proceedings in a divorce. H had failed to co-operate with the court.
After a comprehensive review of all the authorities, Munby J said: ‘The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Company, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.158948

Geary v JD Wetherspoon Plc: QBD 14 Jun 2011

The claimant, attempting to slide down the banisters at the defendants’ premises, fell 4 metres suffering severe injury. She claimed in negligence and occupiers’ liability. The local council had waived a requirement that the balustrade meet the minimum height. The defendant had been told that it would neither be allowed to increase its height nor to place studs in it to discourage such actions. There had been previous incidents but no injuries. The defendant said that the claimant had voluntarily taken an obvious risk. The claimant said that this could not be a defence but went only as to contributory negligence.
Held: The claimant’s admissions as to her awareness of the risk were fatal to her claim: ‘The claimant freely chose to do something which she knew to be dangerous. Because of the conversations about ‘Mary Poppins’, there was even a degree of pre-planning. She knew that sliding down the banisters was not permitted, but she chose to do it anyway. She was therefore the author of her own misfortune. The defendant owed no duty to protect her from such an obvious and inherent risk. She made a genuine and informed choice and the risk that she chose to run materialised with tragic consequences.’

Coulson J
[2011] EWHC 1506 (QB)
Bailii
Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 2(5), Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 1(6), Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedThe Carlgarth 1927
Scrutton LJ said: ‘When you invite a person into your house to use the staircase, you do not invite him to slide down the banisters, you invite him to use the staircase in the ordinary way in which it is used.’ and ‘Another distinction is that in a . .
CitedKeown v Coventry Healthcare NHS Trust CA 2-Feb-2006
The claimant a young boy fell from a fire escape on the defendant’s building. He suffered brain damage and in later life was convicted of sexual offences.
Held: His claim failed: ‘there was no suggestion that the fire escape was fragile or had . .
CitedTomlinson v Congleton Borough Council and others HL 31-Jul-2003
The claimant dived into a lake, severely injuring himself. The council appealed, 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 appeal . .
CitedEvans v Kosmar Villa Holidays Plc CA 23-Oct-2007
The claimant sought damages from the tour operator after he suffered a head injury resulting in incomplete tetraplegia after diving into a shallow swimming pool in the early hours of the morning in a resort in Greece while on a tour run by 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 . .
CitedFowles v Bedfordshire County Council CA 22-May-1995
The claimant had received some instruction as to the use of gymnastic mats, but the instruction from the defendants was inadequate and had not made him aware of the dangers. Subsequently, when the claimant used the mats with a friend on a subsequent . .
CitedMinistry of Defence v Radclyffe CA 30-Jun-2009
The court held the appellant Ministry liable for a soldier’s injuries incurred when jumping from a high bridge. A senior officer had earlier ‘assumed responsibility to prevent the junior soldiers from taking undue risks of which he was or ought to . .
CitedPerrett v Collins, Underwood PFA (Ulair) Limited (T/a Popular Flying Association) CA 22-May-1998
The plaintiff was a passenger in an aircraft which crashed, and there was a preliminary issue as to the liability to him of those who certified that the aircraft was fit to fly. The propeller was mismatched to the gearbox.
Held: A certifying . .
CitedMitchell and Another v Glasgow City Council HL 18-Feb-2009
(Scotland) The pursuers were the widow and daughter of a tenant of the respondent who had been violently killed by his neighbour. They said that the respondent, knowing of the neighbour’s violent behaviours had a duty of care to the deceased and . .
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, . .
CitedMichael Alexander Watson v British Boxing Board of Control Ltd, World Boxing Organisation Incorporated CA 19-Dec-2000
The claimant was seriously injured in a professional boxing match governed by rules established by the defendant’s rules. Ringside medical facilities were available, but did not provide immediate resuscitation. By the time he received resuscitation . .
CitedPortsmouth Youth Activities Committee (A Charity) v Poppleton CA 12-Jun-2008
The claimant was injured climbing without ropes (‘bouldering’) at defendant’s activity centre. The defendant appealed against a finding of 25% responsibility in having failed to warn climbers that the existence of thick foam would not remove all . .
CitedRichard Vowles v David Evans, and The Welsh Rugby Union Limited CA 11-Mar-2003
The claimant had been injured in a rugby match, and had recovered damages from the referee, who now appealed.
Held: The relationship was proximate, and the injury reasonably forseeable, and if the referee failed to exercise reasonable care, . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Land, Negligence

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.440886

Lambert and Others v Barratt Homes Ltd and Another: CA 16 Jun 2010

The claimants had bought houses from the first defendants, who in turn had bought the land from Rochdale, the second defendants. In preparing the land for construction the first defendants were said to have negligently filled in a drainage culvert so that the claimants’ properties were flooded by water flowing from the second defendant’s retained land, over the strip owned by the first defendants and onto the claimants’ properties. Rochdale appealed a finding of partial liability.
Held: The court regretted that the case should be continued in the face of a practical solution now available. Nevertheless though the necessary works could not be undertaken without access to the second defendant’s land, the judge had mistakenly exended this to a duty to contribute to the costs of the works. ‘Rochdale was not in the slightest degree responsible for the cause of the flooding but as a result of Barratt’s actions the only way of removing the hazard which resulted from the natural accumulation of rainwater at the south eastern corner of the retained land was to construct a catch pit on the retained land and pipe the water to the sewer by a different route. ‘
The duty asserted went beyond the duty as described in Leakey. Though Rochdale should not be dismissed from the case, their appeal succeeded.

May J P, Longmore LJ, Moore-Bick LJ
[2010] EWCA Civ 681, [2010] Env LR D8, [2010] 33 EG 72, [2010] NPC 69, (2010) 131 Con LR 29, [2010] BLR 527, [2010] 2 EGLR 59, [2010] 25 EG 103 (CS), [2010] JPL 1625
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedLeakey v The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty CA 31-Jul-1979
Natural causes were responsible for soil collapsing onto neighbouring houses in Bridgwater.
Held: An occupier of land owes a general duty of care to a neighbouring occupier in relation to a hazard occurring on his land, whether such hazard is . .
CitedArscott and others v Coal Authority and Another CA 13-Jul-2004
The defendant had deposited coal wastes. When the river Taff flooded, the spoil heaps diverted the floods to damage the claimants’ homes. They appealed refusal of their claims in nuisance. The judge applied the common enemy rule: ‘an owner or . .
CitedGoldman v Hargrave PC 13-Jun-1966
(Australia) In Western Australia, a red gum tree was struck by lightning and set on fire. The appellant had the tree cut down, but took no reasonable steps by spraying the fire with water to prevent the fire from spreading, believing that it would . .
CitedArscott and others v Coal Authority and Another CA 13-Jul-2004
The defendant had deposited coal wastes. When the river Taff flooded, the spoil heaps diverted the floods to damage the claimants’ homes. They appealed refusal of their claims in nuisance. The judge applied the common enemy rule: ‘an owner or . .
CitedGreen v The Right Honourable Lord Somerleyton and others CA 28-Feb-2003
The parties owned areas of marshland divided by a road. The claimant sought a declaration that the defendants had no right to allow floodwater to escape over his land from what he said was an artificial reservoir on the defendant’s land. The . .
DistinguishedSedleigh-Denfield v O’Callaghan HL 24-Jun-1940
Occupier Responsible for Nuisance in adopting it
A trespasser laid a drain along a ditch on the defendant’s land. Later the defendants came to use the drain themselves. A grate was misplaced by them so that in a heavy rainstorm, it became clogged with leaves, and water flowed over into the . .
CitedHolbeck Hall Hotel Ltd and Another v Scarborough Borough Council CA 22-Feb-2000
Land owned by the defendant was below a cliff, at the top of which was the claimant’s hotel. The land slipped, and the hotel collapsed. Some landslip was foreseen from natural causes, but not to the extent of this occasion.
Held: The owner of . .
CitedPalmer and Another v Bowman and Another CA 27-Oct-1999
There is no easement of right for an owner of higher land for water naturally to drain off over neighbouring lower land, and nor was an easement required. The doctrine of lost modern grant need not be applied. Although the higher land owner had no . .
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 . .
CitedBroder v Saillard 1875
. .
CitedHurdman v North Eastern Railway Co 1878
The defendants raised their land, so that the rain collected and penetrated an adjoining wall and ran into the plaintiff’s land, causing substantial damage.
Held: The heap or mound erected on the defendants’ land had to be considered as ‘an . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Nuisance, Negligence

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.416761

Hertfordshire Police v Van Colle; Smith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police: HL 30 Jul 2008

Police Obligations to Witnesses is Limited

A prosecution witness was murdered by the accused shortly before his trial. The parents of the deceased alleged that the failure of the police to protect their son was a breach of article 2.
Held: The House was asked ‘If the police are alerted to a threat that D may kill or inflict violence on V, and the police take no action to prevent that occurrence, and D does kill or inflict violence on V, may V or his relatives obtain civil redress against the police, and if so, how and in what circumstances?’
The police appeal in each case was allowed. The fact that Mr Van Colle was to be a witness in a criminal prosecution did not place him in a category to which the test in Osman applied, and there was no valid basis for concluding that the police ought to have known that there was a real and immediate risk to his life. However, if the police had possessed fuller knowledge, they would have had an operational obligation to take all reasonable steps to protect the deceased’s life.
Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Haywood said: ‘police are inevitably faced . . with a conflict of interest between the person threatened and the maker of the threat. If the police would be liable in damages to the former for not taking sufficiently strong action but not to the latter for acting too strongly, the police, subconsciously or not, would be inclined to err on the side of over-reaction. I would regard this precisely as inducing in them a detrimentally defensive frame of mind.’

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2008] UKHL 50, [2008] 3 All ER 977, [2008] 3 WLR 593, Times 01-Aug-2008, [2009] PIQR P2, [2008] UKHRR 967, [2008] HRLR 44, [2009] 1 AC 225, [2009] 1 Cr App R 12, [2009] LS Law Medical 1
Bailii, HL
European Convention on Human Rights 2
England and Wales
Citing:
At First InstanceVan Colle v Hertfordshire Police QBD 10-Mar-2006
The claimants claimed for the estate of their murdered son. He had been waiting to give evidence in a criminal trial, and had asked the police for support having received threats. Other witnesses had also suffered intimidation including acts of . .
Appeal fromSmith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police CA 5-Feb-2008
Allegation f failure by the police to protect the claimant from a violent partner . .
Appeal fromVan Colle and Another v Chief Constable of the Hertfordshire Police CA 24-Apr-2007
The deceased had acted as a witness in an intended prosecution. He had sought protection after being threatened. No effective protection was provided, and he was murdered. The chief constable appealed a finding of liability.
Held: The . .
CitedOsman v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-Oct-1998
Police’s Complete Immunity was Too Wide
(Grand Chamber) A male teacher developed an obsession with a male pupil. He changed his name by deed poll to the pupil’s surname. He was required to teach at another school. The pupil’s family’s property was subjected to numerous acts of vandalism, . .
CitedIn re Officer L HL 31-Jul-2007
Police officers appealed against refusal of orders protecting their anonymity when called to appear before the Robert Hamill Inquiry.
Held: ‘The tribunal accordingly approached the matter properly under article 2 in seeking to ascertain . .
CitedEdwards v The United Kingdom ECHR 14-Mar-2002
The deceased, a young man of mixed race, had been placed in a cell with another prisoner who was known to be violent, racist, and mentally unstable. The staff knew that the panic button was defective. The deceased was murdered by his cell-mate. His . .
CitedRegina (A and others) (Widgery Soldiers) v Lord Saville of Newdigate and Others CA 19-Dec-2001
The court would apply common sense in deciding whether soldier witnesses should be obliged to attend in person at an enquiry in Londonderry, where they claimed their lives would be at risk. It was not appropriate to seek to define what would be . .
CitedDorset Yacht Co Ltd v Home Office HL 6-May-1970
A yacht was damaged by boys who had escaped from the supervision of prison officers in a nearby Borstal institution. The boat owners sued the Home Office alleging negligence by the prison officers.
Held: Any duty of a borstal officer to use . .
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 . .
CitedAncell v McDermott CA 29-Jan-1993
The plaintiff sought damages in negligence. Diesel had been spilled on the road. Though police officers saw it and took basic steps, the deceased was in a car which skidded on the diesel some time later. . .
CitedGlamorgan Coal Company Ltd v Glamorganshire Standing Joint Committee CA 1916
The court considered the duties on police constables to protect property.
Held: Pickford LJ said: ‘[The defendants] are the police authority and have to make proper police arrangements to maintain the peace. If one party to a dispute is . .
CitedGlasbrook Brothers Limited v Glamorgan County Council HL 1925
A colliery manager asked for police protection for his colliery during a strike. He wanted police officers to be billeted on the premises. The senior police officer for the area was willing to provide protection by a mobile force, but he refused to . .
CitedRegina v Dytham CACD 1979
A constable was 30 yards away from the entrance to a club, from which he saw a man ejected. There was a fight involving cries and screams and the man was beaten and kicked to death in the gutter outside the club. The constable made no move 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, . .
CitedGibson v Orr, the Chief Constable, Strathlclyde Police SCS 26-Feb-1999
The pursuer and his passengers were injured when he drove off a bridge which had been damaged in a severe rainstorm. He claimed in negligence against the police, who had been informed of the collapse of the bridge, but had not erected any warning . .
CitedKnightley v Johns and others CA 27-Mar-1981
There had been an accident in a tunnel, blocking it. The defendant inspector ordered a traffic constable to ride into the tunnel on his motorcycle against the flow of traffic. The constable crashed and sought damages for negligence against the . .
CitedRigby and another v Chief Constable of Northamptonshire 1985
The police were found liable to pay damages for negligence having fired a gas canister into the plaintiffs’ gunsmith’s hop premises in order to flush out a dangerous psychopath. There had been a real and substantial fire risk in firing the canister . .
CitedAncell v McDermott CA 29-Jan-1993
The plaintiff sought damages in negligence. Diesel had been spilled on the road. Though police officers saw it and took basic steps, the deceased was in a car which skidded on the diesel some time later. . .
CitedClough v Bussan 1990
The defendant, after a car crash, joined in the police as third party defendants, saying that they had contributed to a car accident by failing to do anything about traffic lights which they knew were out of order.
Held: The action against the . .
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 . .
CitedLavis v Kent County Council QBD 18-Feb-1992
The plaintiff had received serious injuries whilst riding his motor cycle at a road junction for which the defendants were responsible. He alleged that they were liable to him for failing to ensure that proper warning signs were placed at the . .
CitedAlexandrou v Oxford (Chief Constable of the Merseyside Police) CA 16-Feb-1990
A shop was burgled. The shop-owner blamed the police for their negligent investigation.
Held: The police were not liable in negligence. . .
CitedOsman and another v Ferguson and another CA 7-Oct-1992
Limits of Police duty to protect
A schoolmaster developed an infatuation for a teenage pupil. It led to the killing of the pupil’s father, the wounding of the pupil, the wounding of a deputy headmaster and the killing of the deputy headmaster’s son. Mr Osman’s widow and the pupil . .
CitedWainwright and another v Home Office HL 16-Oct-2003
The claimant and her son sought to visit her other son in Leeds Prison. He was suspected of involvement in drugs, and therefore she was subjected to strip searches. There was no statutory support for the search. The son’s penis had been touched . .
CitedJD, MAK and RK, RK and Another v East Berkshire Community Health, Dewsbury Health Care NHS Trust and Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Oldham NHS Trust and Dr Blumenthal CA 31-Jul-2003
Damages were sought by parents for psychological harm against health authorities for the wrongful diagnosis of differing forms of child abuse. They appealed dismissal of their awards on the grounds that it was not ‘fair just and reasonable’ to . .
CitedOLL Ltd v Secretary of State for Transport QBD 22-Jul-1997
Coastguard Not liable in Negligence
Eight children with a teacher and two instructors set off on a canoeing trip but did not return. They got into difficulties at sea. Two became separated from the rest. The canoes capsized and sank. Some tried to swim ashore. Two more members became . .
CitedCalvelli And Ciglio v Italy ECHR 17-Jan-2002
The applicants’ baby had died shortly after birth in 1987. They complained about the medical care. The complaint was not investigated speedily by the authority, resulting in a criminal complaint becoming time barred after a conviction in 1994 was . .

Cited by:
CitedRe E (A Child); E v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and Another (Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and others intervening) HL 12-Nov-2008
(Northern Ireland) Children had been taken to school in the face of vehement protests from Loyalists. The parents complained that the police had failed to protect them properly, since the behaviour was so bad as to amount to inhuman or degrading . .
CitedSavage v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MIND intervening) HL 10-Dec-2008
The deceased had committed suicide on escaping from a mental hospital. The Trust appealed against a refusal to strike out the claim that that they had been negligent in having inadequate security.
Held: The Trust’s appeal failed. The fact that . .
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 . .
CitedMitchell and Another v Glasgow City Council HL 18-Feb-2009
(Scotland) The pursuers were the widow and daughter of a tenant of the respondent who had been violently killed by his neighbour. They said that the respondent, knowing of the neighbour’s violent behaviours had a duty of care to the deceased and . .
CitedDesmond v The Chief Constable Of Nottinghamshhire Police QBD 1-Oct-2009
The claimant appealed against the striking out of parts of his claim alleging negligence and misfeasance. He had been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, but then was fully cleared by a third officer. When he later applied for an enhanced CRB . .
CitedRabone and Another v Pennine Care NHS Trust CA 21-Jun-2010
The claimant’s daughter had committed suicide after being given home leave on a secure ward by the respondent mental hospital. A claim in negligence had been settled, but the parents now appealed refusal of their claim that the hospital had failed . .
CitedQ, Regina (on The Application of) v Q Constabulary and Another Admn 17-Mar-2011
The claimant renewed his request for an order against the defendant that he should be given a place on a witness protection scheme. He had given evidence for the prosecution in a gangland murder trial. A risk assessment had identified a risk ‘real . .
CitedEquality and Human Rights Commission v Prime Minister and Others Admn 3-Oct-2011
The defendant had published a set of guidelines for intelligence officers called upon to detain and interrogate suspects. The defendant said that the guidelines could only be tested against individual real life cases, and that the court should not . .
CitedRabone and Another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation SC 8-Feb-2012
The claimant’s daughter had committed suicide whilst on home leave from a hospital where she had stayed as a voluntary patient with depression. Her admission had followed a suicide attempt. The hospital admitted negligence but denied that it owed . .
CitedAn Informer v A Chief Constable CA 29-Feb-2012
The claimant appealed against dismissal of his claim for damages against the police. He had provided them with information, but he said that they had acted negligently and in breach of contract causing him financial loss. The officer handling his . .
CitedKent County Council, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Coroner for The County of Kent (North-West District) and Others Admn 15-Oct-2012
The council sought review of the coroner’s decision that the inquest would be an article 2 inquest and with a jury. The deceased was 14 years old and had taken methadone. In the months before his death, he had had involvement with the council’s . .
See AlsoVan Colle and Van Colle v The United Kingdom ECHR 9-Feb-2010
Statement of Facts . .
See AlsoVan Colle v The United Kingdom ECHR 13-Nov-2012
. .
CitedPBD and Another v Greater Manchester Police QBD 18-Nov-2013
The claimant had acted as police informant for the defendant. He said that the defendant had wrongfully released his identity resulting in him having to seek witness relocation with consequential losses for himself and his partner the co-claimant. . .
CitedBirks, Regina (On the Application of) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis Admn 25-Sep-2014
The claimant police officer sought judicial review of a decision to continue his suspension. He had been investigated and cleared after a death in custody. He sought to join the Church of England Ministry and was offered a post. He was re-assured . .
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 . .
CitedCommissioner of Police of The Metropolis v DSD and Another SC 21-Feb-2018
Two claimants had each been sexually assaulted by a later notorious, multiple rapist. Each had made complaints to police about their assaults but said that no effective steps had been taken to investigate the serious complaints.
Held: The . .
CitedSXH v The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) SC 11-Apr-2017
The Court was asked: ‘Does a decision by a public prosecutor to bring criminal proceedings against a person fall potentially within the scope of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in circumstances where a) the prosecutor has . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Negligence, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.271277

O’Connell v Jackson: CA 7 Jul 1971

Motorcyclist negligent without helmet

The plaintiff sought damages after an accident. The defendant car driver had negligently moved forward into the path of the plaintiff motor cyclist who was injured. The defendant argued that the plaintiff, a motorcyclist, was contributorily negligent in not wearing a crash helmet.
Held: Once the court had established that the plaintiff was contibutorily negligent, it then had to allow both for the extent of his responsibility for the injury and the blameworthiness of his conduct in comparison to that of the defendant in order to assess the proper reduction in damages. The Highway Code was to be relied upon, and that said that a helmet should be worn.

Russell, Edmund Davies, Cairns LJJ
[1972] 1 QB 270, [1971] CLY 3115, [1971] EWCA Civ 5, [1971] 3 All ER 129, [1971] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 354, [1971] 3 WLR 463, [1972] RTR 51, [1971] 2 LLR 354
Bailii
Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1947 81, Road Traffic Act I960 74
England and Wales
Citing:
ApprovedJones v Livox Quarries CA 25-Apr-1952
The plaintiff had ridden on the back of a kind of tractor in a quarry and in defiance of his employer’s instructions, risking being thrown off and injured. Another vehicle ran into the back of the first vehicle, injuring the plaintiff. He contended . .
AdoptedJones v Livox Quarries CA 25-Apr-1952
The plaintiff had ridden on the back of a kind of tractor in a quarry and in defiance of his employer’s instructions, risking being thrown off and injured. Another vehicle ran into the back of the first vehicle, injuring the plaintiff. He contended . .
CitedDavies v Swan Motor Co (Swansea) Ltd CA 1949
A plaintiff brought an action for damages for personal injury against the drivers of two cars.
Held: There are two aspects to apportioning responsibility between a plaintiff and defendant in an action for negligence, the respective causative . .
CitedHilder v Associated Portland Cement Co 1961
A motor cyclist was killed after being hit by a ball kicked by a boy playing in a field adjoining the highway.
Held: The failure of the motor cyclist to wear a crash helmet was not contributory negligence on his part, because (a) no advice on . .

Cited by:
DistinguishedCapps v Miller CA 30-Nov-1988
The plaintiff was injured riding with the defendant on a motor-cycle. The defendant drove negligently, and crashed. The plaintiff’s crash hemet came off and he sustained severe head injuries. He had not fastened it. The defendant appealed an . .
CitedBadger v The Ministry of Defence QBD 16-Dec-2005
The widow of the deceased sought damages after his exposure to asbestos whilst working for the defendant. He had contracted lung cancer. The defendant argued that the deceased had continued to smoke knowing of the risks, and that he had made a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Personal Injury, Damages, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.216372

Donoghue (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 friend, so she was unable to rely upon any contract.
Held: The English and the Scots law on the subject are identical. The pursuer was entitled to recover damages for negligence. The manufacturer intended that the contents be consumed without the opportunity first to examine them, and unless reasonable care was taken in the preparation a consumer may suffer injury. The cases of George v. Skivington and `the dicta in Heaven v. Pender ‘should be buried so securely that their perturbed spirits shall no longer vex the law.’ (Majority) The nature of an article ‘may very well call for different degrees of care’. ‘the person dealing with [an inherently dangerous article] may well contemplate persons as being within the sphere of his duty to take care who would not be sufficiently proximate with less dangerous goods; so that not only the degree of care but the range of persons to whom the duty is owed may be extended.’
Lord Atkin said: ‘. . the lawyer’s question, Who is my neighbour? receives a restricted reply. You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour. Who, then, in law is my neighbour? The answer seems to be – persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question.’

Atkin, Thankerton, MacMillan, Buckmaster Tomlin LL
[1932] AC 562, [1932] SC (HL) 31, [1932] ScLT 317, [1932] All ER Rep 1, (1932) 101 LJPC 119, (1932) 147 LT 281, [1932] SLT 317, (1932) 48 TLR 494, (1932) 37 Com Cas 350, [1932] UKHL 100, [1932] Sol Jo 396, [1932] WN 139, [1932] SC 31, (1933) 4 DLR 337, 533 CA 47
Bailii
Scotland
Citing:
CitedLe Lievre v Gould CA 6-Feb-1893
Mortgagees of the interest of a builder under a building agreement, advanced money to him from time to time, relying upon certificates given by a surveyor as to stages reached. The surveyor was not appointed by the mortgagees, and there was no . .
ApprovedGeorge 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 . .
Dicta ConsideredHeaven 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 . .
OverruledMullen v Barr and Co Ld, and M’Gowan v Barr and Co Ld 1929
A mouse was found in a bottle. The buyer claimed damages for the shock: ‘In a case like the present, where the goods of the defenders are widely distributed throughout Scotland, it would seem little short of outrageous to make them responsible to . .
CitedLongmeid v Holliday 1851
A defective lamp was sold to a man whose wife was injured by its explosion. The seller of the lamp, against whom the action was brought, was not the manufacturer.
Held: No general duty of care was owed by a manufacturer of a lamp to a user.
DistinguishedLangridge v Levy ExP 1836
A man sold a gun which he knew to be dangerous for the use of the purchaser’s son. The gun exploded in the son’s hands.
Held: The son had a right of action in tort against the gunmaker, but, Parke B said: ‘We should pause before we made a . .
CitedWinterbottom 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 . .
CitedEarl 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 . .
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 . .
CitedBlackmore v Bristol and Exeter Ry Co 1858
. .
CitedCollis v Selden 1868
The defendant installed a chandelier in a public house. It fell and injured the plaintiff.
Held: There was nothing to say that the defendant had any knowledge that the plaintiff, as opposed to members of the public in general, would enter the . .
CitedBates v Batey & Ld 1913
The defendants, who manufactured ginger beer, were held not liable to a consumer (who had purchased from a retailer one of their bottles) for injury occasioned by the bottle bursting as the result of a defect of which the defendants did not know, . .
CitedThomas v Winchester 1852
(New York) A chemist carelessly issued poison in answer to a request for a harmless drug, and he was held responsible to a third party injured by his neglect. . .
CitedMacPherson v Buick Motor Co 1916
(New York Court of Appeal) A manufacturer of a defective motor-car was held liable for damages at the instance of a third party. A motor-car might reasonably be regarded as a dangerous article: ‘There is no claim that the defendant know of the . .
CitedCunnington v Great Northern Ry Co 1883
. .
CitedHawkins v Smith QBD 1896
A dock labourer in the employ of the dock company was injured by a defective sack which had been hired by the consignees from the defendant, who knew the use to which it was to be put, and had been provided by the consignees for the use of the dock . .
CitedElliott v Hall QBD 1885
The defendants, colliery owners, consigned coal to the plaintiff’s employers, coal merchants, in a truck hired by the defendants from a wagon company. The plaintiff was injured in the course of unloading the coal by reason of the defective condition . .
CitedOliver v Saddler and Co HL 1929
Stevedores had been employed to unload a cargo of maize in bags. They provided the rope slings by which the cargo was raised to the ship’s deck by their own men using the ship’s tackle, and then transported to the dockside by the shore porters, of . .
CitedGrote 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 . .
CitedDixon v Bell 18-Jun-1816
The defendant had left a loaded gun at his lodgings and sent his servant, a mulatto girl aged about thirteen or fourteen, for the gun, asking the landlord to remove the priming and give it her. The landlord did remove the priming and gave it to the . .
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 . .
CitedBrass v Maitland 1856
There is an implied warranty from a consignor to the carrier as to the non-dangerous nature of what is to be carried. . .
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 . .
CitedFarrant v Barnes 1862
A duty of care from a consignor to a carrier’s servant that the goods to be transported can be safely carried, is owed independently of any contract. . .
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 . .
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.
CitedEmmens v Pottle CA 1885
A subordinate distributor, here a vendor of newspapers, can plead the common law defence to defamation, of innocent dissemination.
Held: The vendor was prima facie liable, and therefore had to demonstrate the defence to avoid liability. He . .
CitedGordon v M’Hardy 1903
The pursuer sought to recover damages from a retail grocer on account of the death of his son by ptomaine poisoning, caused by eating tinned salmon purchased from the defender. The pursuer averred that the tin, when sold, was dented, but he did not . .
CitedBottomley v Bannister CA 1932
The deceased man, the father of the plaintiff, had taken an unfurnished house from the defendants, who had installed a gas boiler with a special gas-burner which if properly regulated required no flue. The deceased and his wife were killed by fumes . .
CitedWhite v Steadman 1913
Lush J said: ‘a person who has the means of knowledge and only does not know that the animal or chattel which he supplies is dangerous because he does not take ordinary care to avail himself of his opportunity of knowledge is in precisely the same . .
CitedClelland v Robb 1911
If a man has no duty or obligation of diligence, he cannot be charged with negligence. . .
CitedKemp and Dougall v Darngavil Coal Co 1909
A man cannot be charged with negligence if he has no obligation to exercise diligence. . .

Cited by:
CitedAlcock and Others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police CA 31-May-1991
The defendant policed a football match at which many people died. The plaintiffs, being relatives and friends of the deceased, inter alia suffered nervous shock having seen the events either from within the ground, or from outside or at home on . .
CitedK v the Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 31-May-2002
The applicant sought damages from the defendant who had released from custody pending deportation a man convicted of violent sexual crimes and who had then raped her. She appealed against a strike out of her claim. She had been refused information . .
CitedBritish Railways Board v Herrington HL 16-Feb-1972
Land-owner’s Possible Duty to Trespassers
The plaintiff, a child had gone through a fence onto the railway line, and been badly injured. The Board knew of the broken fence, but argued that they owed no duty to a trespasser.
Held: Whilst a land-owner owes no general duty of care to a . .
CitedDorset Yacht Co Ltd v Home Office HL 6-May-1970
A yacht was damaged by boys who had escaped from the supervision of prison officers in a nearby Borstal institution. The boat owners sued the Home Office alleging negligence by the prison officers.
Held: Any duty of a borstal officer to use . .
DistinguishedCandler v Crane Christmas and Co CA 15-Dec-1950
Though the accounts of the company in which the plaintiff had invested had been carelessly prepared and gave a wholly misleading picture of the state of the company, the plaintiff could not recover damages. A false statement, carelessly, as . .
CitedStovin v Wise, Norfolk County Council (Third Party) HL 24-Jul-1996
Statutory Duty Does Not Create Common Law Duty
The mere existence of statutory power to remedy a defect cannot of itself create a duty of care to do so. A highway authority need not have a duty of care to highway users because of its duty to maintain the highway. The two stage test ‘involves . .
CitedBellefield Computer Services Limited, Unigate Properties Limited; Unigate Dairies Limited; Unigate (Uk) Limited; Unigate Dairies (Western) Limited v E Turner and Sons Limited Admn 28-Jan-2000
The Defendant builders constructed a steel building to be used as, inter alia. a dairy. The original owners sold it to the appellants. A fire spread from the storage area to the rest of the dairy and caused much damage. The Builders, had they . .
CitedDutton v Bognor Regis Urban District Council CA 1972
The court considered the liability in negligence of a Council whose inspector had approved a building which later proved defective.
Held: The Council had control of the work and with such control came a responsibility to take care in . .
AppliedTate and Lyle Industries Ltd v Greater London Council HL 24-Mar-1983
The plaintiff had constructed and used two jetties, and dredged a channel down to the Thames for their use. The Council constructed two terminals nearby, the result of which was to cause a build up of silt blocking the channel.
Held: The . .
CitedDennis v Charnwood Borough Council CA 1983
The respondent approved plans for a new house. The raft foundation was inadequate and serious cracks developed. The authority appealed a finding of negligence in having approved defective plans.
Held: The appeal failed. The authority had a . .
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 . .
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 . .
AppliedBurfitt 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 . .
CitedBolam 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 . .
CitedBinod Sutradhar v Natural Environment Research Council CA 20-Feb-2004
The defendant council had carried out research into a water supply in India in the 1980s. The claimant drank the water, and claimed damages for having consumed arsenic in it.
Held: There is a close link between the tests in law for proximity . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedOld Gate Estates Ltd v Toplis and Harding and Russell 1939
The case of Donoghue -v- Stevenson was restricted in its application to cases of negligence causing damage to life, limb or health. . .
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 . .
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 . .
SummarisedLondon Graving Dock Co Ltd v Horton HL 1951
An experienced welder had for a month been carrying out work on a ship as an employee of sub-contractors engaged by ship-repairers in occupation of the ship. He was injured, without negligence on his part, owing to the inadequacy of certain staging, . .
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 . .
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, . .
CitedNational Westminster Bank plc v Spectrum Plus Limited and others HL 30-Jun-2005
Former HL decision in Siebe Gorman overruled
The company had become insolvent. The bank had a debenture and claimed that its charge over the book debts had become a fixed charge. The preferential creditors said that the charge was a floating charge and that they took priority.
Held: The . .
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 . .
CitedFrench and others v Chief Constable of Sussex Police CA 28-Mar-2006
The claimants sought damages for psychiatric injury. They were police officers who had been subject to unsuccessful proceedings following a shooting of a member of the public by their force.
Held: The claim failed: ‘these claimants have no . .
CitedJain and Another v Trent Strategic Health Authority CA 22-Nov-2007
The claimant argued that the defendant owed him a duty of care as proprietor of a registered nursing home in cancelling the registration of the home under the 1984 Act. The authority appealed a finding that it owed such a duty.
Held: The . .
CitedLeakey v The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty CA 31-Jul-1979
Natural causes were responsible for soil collapsing onto neighbouring houses in Bridgwater.
Held: An occupier of land owes a general duty of care to a neighbouring occupier in relation to a hazard occurring on his land, whether such hazard is . .
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 . .
ExplainedBolton 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 . .
CitedWhippey v Jones CA 8-Apr-2009
The claimant was running along a river embankment. A large dog owned by the appellant, taking it for a walk, was off the leash. It ran out at the claimant who broke his ankle falling into the river. The defendant appealed against a finding that he . .
CitedSmith v Scott ChD 1973
It is not open to the court to reshape the law relating to the rights and liabilities of landowners by applying the principle of Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562 and thus saying that a landowner owed a duty of care to his neighbour when selecting . .
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. . .
CitedGlaister and Others v Appelby-In-Westmorland Town Council CA 9-Dec-2009
The claimant was injured when at a horse fair. A loose horse kicked him causing injury. They claimed in negligence against the council for licensing the fair without ensuring that public liability insurance. The Council now appealed agaiinst a . .
CitedAlcock and Others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police QBD 31-Jul-1990
Overcrowding at a football match lead to the deaths of 95 people. The defendant’s employees had charge of safety at the match, and admitted negligence vis-a-vis those who had died and been injured. The plaintiffs sought damages, some of them for . .
CitedTaylor v A Novo (UK) Ltd CA 18-Mar-2013
The deceased had suffered a head injury at work from the defendant’s admitted negligence. She had been making a good recovery but then collapsed and died at home from pulmonary emboli, and thrombosis which were a consequence of the injury. The . .
CitedAlcock and Others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police HL 28-Nov-1991
The plaintiffs sought damages for nervous shock. They had watched on television, as their relatives and friends, 96 in all, died at a football match, for the safety of which the defendants were responsible. The defendant police service had not . .
CitedStannard (T/A Wyvern Tyres) v Gore CA 4-Oct-2012
The defendant, now appellant, ran a business involving the storage of tyres. The claimant neighbour’s own business next door was severely damaged in a fire of the tyres escaping onto his property. The court had found him liable in strict liability . .
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 . .
CitedChaudry 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, . .
CitedRegina v The Secretary of State for the Environment, ex Parte Ostler CA 16-Mar-1976
Statutory Challenge must be timely
The applicant had not taken objection to a proposed road scheme believing wrongly that it would not affect his business. Other objectors had withdrawn because of secret re-assurances given to them by the respondent.
Held: The court was asked, . .
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 . .
CitedHowmet Ltd v Economy Devices Ltd and Others CA 31-Aug-2016
Appeal by the owners of a factory which suffered fire damage against a judgment dismissing their action. The owners claimed damages against the manufacturers of a device which, they said, should have prevented the fire from occurring. This takes us . .
CitedWooldridge v Sumner and Another CA 4-Jun-1962
The plaintiff photographer was injured when attending a show jumping competition at the White City Stadium. A horse caught him as it passed.
Held: The defendant’s appeal against the finding of negligence succeeded: ‘a competitor or player . .
CitedPaul and Another v The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust QBD 4-Jun-2020
Nervous shock – liability to third parties
The claimants witnessed the death of their father from a heart attack. They said that the defendant’s negligent treatment allowed the attack to take place. Difficult point of law about the circumstances in which a defendant who owes a duty of care . .
CitedJames-Bowen and Others v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis SC 25-Jul-2018
The Court was asked whether the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (‘the Commissioner’) owes a duty to her officers, in the conduct of proceedings against her based on their alleged misconduct, to take reasonable care to protect them from . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Consumer

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.180110

Sinclair v Joyner: QBD 23 Jun 2015

The claimant cyclist sought damages from the defendant motorist after a collision in which she was severely injured. They approached each other on a narrow lane. The claimant said that the defendant did not pull over as much as she should, and the defendant said that the claimant had lost contol of the bike.
Held: The claim succeeded subject to a deduction of 25% for the claimant’s own contributory negligence. The defendant had failed properly to assess and act upon what should have been a clear hazard, and ‘Motorists have to anticipate hazards in the road, particularly from vulnerable road users, and to be ready to react to them. In my judgment the Defendant cannot be relieved of that duty of care by seeking to blame the Claimant, who was obviously in difficulty, for deviating into her side of the road and colliding with the rear offside tyre, after the front of the car had gone past her. The fact that a collision occurred demonstrates that there was not sufficient room for her to pass the Claimant safely, and that the Defendant’s assumption to the contrary was in error. She ought to have appreciated that her car was too close to the centre of the road for her to have passed this cyclist safely.’
As to the claimant’s failure to wear a cycle helmet: ‘no court has yet decided that failing to wear a helmet actually amounts to contributory negligence, although they have come close (see Smith v Finch [2009] EWHC 53 (QB)). In the present case the Claimant was an adult enjoying a bicycle ride in the countryside on a sunny day. There was no medical evidence adduced to show that failing to wear a helmet made the Claimant’s injuries worse, and the subject was not addressed in submissions. I therefore reject that allegation of contributory negligence in this case.’

Cox J
[2015] EWHC 1800 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedLiddell v Middleton CA 1996
The Court was concerned with a traditional road traffic accident in which a pedestrian was injured by a moving car. A question arose as to the admissibility of an expert.
Held: Stuart-Smith LJ stated of the test of admissibility laid down in . .
CitedLunt v Khelifa CA 22-May-2002
The claimant pedestrian had been injured when hit by a car driven by the defendant as she stepped into the roadway. Both parties appealed against the assessment of contributory negligence. The claimant had a blood alcohol level three times that . .
CitedAhanonu v South East London and Kent Bus Company Ltd CA 23-Jan-2008
Laws LJ said that the duty to take reasonable care can sometimes look more like a ‘guarantee of the Claimant’s safety’ when evaluated by reference to ‘ . . fine considerations elicited in the leisure of the court room, perhaps with the liberal use . .
CitedStewart v Glaze QBD 7-Apr-2009
Coulson J considered the place of expert evidence in cases involving road traffic accidents, saying: ‘it is the primary factual evidence which is of the greatest importance in a case of this kind. The expert evidence comprises a useful way in which . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.549418

X (Minors) v Bedfordshire County Council; M (A Minor) and Another v Newham London Borough Council; Etc: HL 29 Jun 1995

Liability in Damages on Statute Breach to be Clear

Damages were to be awarded against a Local Authority for breach of statutory duty in a care case only if the statute was clear that damages were capable of being awarded. in the ordinary case a breach of statutory duty does not, by itself, give rise to any private law cause of action. However a private law cause of action will arise if it can be shown, as a matter of construction of the statute, that the statutory duty was imposed for the protection of a limited class of the public and that Parliament intended to confer on members of that class a private right of action for breach of statutory duty. If the statute provides no other remedy for its breach and the Parliamentary intention to protect a limited class is shown, that indicates that there may be a private right of action since otherwise there is no method of securing the protection the statute was intended to confer. If the statute does provide some other means of enforcing the duty that will normally indicate that the statutory right was intended to be enforceable by those means and not by private right of action. However, the mere existence of some other statutory remedy is not necessarily decisive. If it comes to the attention of a headmaster that a pupil is under-performing, he does owe a duty to take such steps, as a reasonable teacher would consider appropriate to try to deal with such under-performance. The House referred to ‘the rule of public policy which has first claim on the loyalty of the law; that wrongs should be remedied’

Lord Browne-Wilkinson, Sir Thomas Bingham MR
Independent 30-Jun-1995, Times 30-Jun-1995, [1995] 2 AC 633, [1995] UKHL 9, [1995] 2 FLR 276, [1995] 3 All ER 353, [1995] 3 WLR 152, [1995] 3 FCR 337, (1995) 7 Admin LR 705, 94 LGR 313, [1995] Fam Law 537, [1995] 3 FCR 337
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromM and Another v Newham London Borough Council and Others; X (Minors) v Bedfordshire County Council CA 24-Feb-1994
A local authority was not liable in damages for breach of a statutory duty in Social Services. The policy which has first claim on the loyalty of the law is that wrongs should be remedied. The court would not go so far as to hold that the education . .

Cited by:
CitedA v The London Borough of Lambeth Admn 25-May-2001
The applicant was mother of three children, two of whom were autistic. She sought re-housing from the defendant. It was claimed that s17 imposed a specific duty on the authority, having identified a child’s needs, in this case for re-housing, to . .
CitedO’Rourke v Mayor etc of the London Borough of Camden HL 12-Jun-1997
The claimant had been released from prison and sought to be housed as a homeless person. He said that his imprisonment brought him within the category of having special need. He also claimed damages for the breach.
Held: The Act was intended . .
CitedLord Ashcroft v Attorney General and Department for International Development QBD 31-May-2002
The claimant was the subject of confidential reports prepared by the defendants which were leaked to newspapers causing him damage. He sought leave to amend his claim to add claims for breach of the Data Protection Act and for public misfeasance. . .
CitedZiemniak v ETPM Deep Sea Ltd CA 7-May-2003
A seaman was injured taking part in a safety drill aboard ship. The defendant had been found not to be negligent, but the claimant alleged breach of statutory duty under the Regulations.
Held: Groves v Wimborne clearly established that . .
AppliedLiennard v Slough Borough Council QBD 15-Mar-2002
The claimant sought damages from the respondents who had been responsible for his education, for having failed to diagnose his learning difficulties. The school had recognised that he was underachieving, but diagnosis as to the reason was not easy. . .
ApprovedPhelps v Hillingdon London Borough Council; Anderton v Clwyd County Council; Gower v Bromley London Borough Council; Jarvis v Hampshire County Council HL 28-Jul-2000
The plaintiffs each complained of negligent decisions in his or her education made by the defendant local authorities. In three of them the Court of Appeal had struck out the plaintiff’s claim and in only one had it been allowed to proceed.
CitedCullen v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (Northern Ireland) HL 10-Jul-2003
The claimant had been arrested. He had been refused access to a solicitor whilst detaiined, but, in breach of statutory duty, he had not been given reasons as to why access was denied. He sought damages for that failure.
Held: If damages were . .
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 . .
CitedJD, MAK and RK, RK and Another v East Berkshire Community Health, Dewsbury Health Care NHS Trust and Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Oldham NHS Trust and Dr Blumenthal CA 31-Jul-2003
Damages were sought by parents for psychological harm against health authorities for the wrongful diagnosis of differing forms of child abuse. They appealed dismissal of their awards on the grounds that it was not ‘fair just and reasonable’ to . .
CitedBarrett v London Borough of Enfield CA 25-Mar-1997
A Local Authority is only vicariously liable for the negligence of a social worker to a child in care. . .
CitedChagos Islanders v The Attorney General, Her Majesty’s British Indian Ocean Territory Commissioner QBD 9-Oct-2003
The Chagos Islands had been a British dependent territory since 1814. The British government repatriated the islanders in the 1960s, and the Ilois now sought damages for their wrongful displacement, misfeasance, deceit, negligence and to establish a . .
CitedCommissioners of Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc ComC 3-Feb-2004
The claimant had obtained orders against two companies who banked with the respondent. Asset freezing orders were served on the bank, but within a short time the customer used the bank’s Faxpay national service to transfer substantial sums outside . .
CitedA and Another v Essex County Council CA 17-Dec-2003
The claimant sought damages. The respondent had acted as an adoption agency but had failed to disclose all relevant information about the child.
Held: Any such duty extended only during the period where the child was with the prospective . .
CitedBinod Sutradhar v Natural Environment Research Council CA 20-Feb-2004
The defendant council had carried out research into a water supply in India in the 1980s. The claimant drank the water, and claimed damages for having consumed arsenic in it.
Held: There is a close link between the tests in law for proximity . .
CitedThree Rivers District Council and Others v Governor and Company of The Bank of England HL 18-May-2000
The applicants alleged misfeasance against the Bank of England in respect of the regulation of a bank.
Held: The Bank could not be sued in negligence, but the tort of misfeasance required clear evidence of misdeeds. The action was now properly . .
CitedAB and others v Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust QBD 26-Mar-2004
Representative claims were made against the respondents, hospitals, pathologists etc with regard to the removal of organs from deceased children without the informed consent of the parents. They claimed under the tort of wrongful interference.
CitedGorringe v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council HL 1-Apr-2004
Statutory Duty Not Extended by Common Law
The claimant sought damages after a road accident. The driver came over the crest of a hill and hit a bus. The road was not marked with any warning as to the need to slow down.
Held: The claim failed. The duty could not be extended to include . .
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 . .
CitedQuark Fishing Ltd, Regina (on the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Admn 22-Jul-2003
The respondent had failed to renew the claimant’s license to fish in the South Atlantic for Patagonian Toothfish. The refusal had been found to be unlawful. The claimant now sought damages.
Held: English law does not generally provide a remedy . .
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 . .
CitedAdams v Bracknell Forest Borough Council HL 17-Jun-2004
A attended the defendant’s schools between 1977 and 1988. He had always experienced difficulties with reading and writing and as an adult found those difficulties to be an impediment in his employment. He believed them to be the cause of the . .
CitedPhelps v Hillingdon London Borough Council QBD 10-Oct-1997
An educational psychologist has a professional duty of care to a child when asked to assess for that child for dyslexia, even though the report may be for the local authority. . .
DistinguishedPhelps v Mayor and Burgesses London Borough of Hillingdon CA 4-Nov-1998
The plaintiff claimed damages for the negligent failure of an educational psychologist employed by a local authority to identify that the plaintiff was dyslexic.
Held: An educational psychologist has no duty of care to a child, as opposed to . .
CitedTaylor 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 . .
CitedBarrett v London Borough of Enfield HL 17-Jun-1999
The claimant had spent his childhood in foster care, and now claimed damages against a local authority for decisions made and not made during that period. The judge’s decision to strike out the claim had been upheld by the Court of Appeal.
CitedCarty v London Borough of Croydon CA 27-Jan-2005
The claimant sought damages in negligence from education officers employed by the respondent. He appealed refusal of his claim. A statement of special education needs had been made which he said did not address his learning difficulties. The . .
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 . .
CitedDS RL v Gloucestershire County Council and London Borough of Tower Hamlets and London Borough of Havering CA 14-Mar-2000
The court considered and restated the criteria for liability set out in X (Minors). . .
CitedRegina v Lam and Others (T/a ‘Namesakes of Torbay’) and Borough of Torbay CA 30-Jul-1997
The claimant sought damages after the planning authority allowed the first defendant to conduct a manufacturing business in the course of which spraying activities took place which caused them personal injuries and loss of business.
Held: The . .
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 . .
CitedHM Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc HL 21-Jun-2006
The claimant had served an asset freezing order on the bank in respect of one of its customers. The bank paid out on a cheque inadvertently as to the order. The Commissioners claimed against the bank in negligence. The bank denied any duty of care. . .
CitedHolland v Lampen-Wolfe HL 20-Jul-2000
The US established a base at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, and provided educational services through its staff to staff families. The claimant a teacher employed at the base alleged that a report on her was defamatory. The defendant relied on state . .
CitedGeneral Medical Council v Professor Sir Roy Meadow, Attorney General CA 26-Oct-2006
The GMC appealed against the dismissal of its proceedings for professional misconduct against the respondent doctor, whose expert evidence to a criminal court was the subject of complaint. The doctor said that the evidence given by him was . .
CitedNeil Martin Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners 28-Sep-2006
The claimant sought damages from the revenue for their failure properly to process his claim for a sub-contractor’s certificate which had led to losses.
Held: The revenue owed no common law duty of care to the claimant and nor were damages . .
CitedSomerville v Scottish Ministers HL 24-Oct-2007
The claimants complained of their segregation while in prison. Several preliminary questions were to be decided: whether damages might be payable for breach of a Convention Right; wheher the act of a prison governor was the act of the executive; . .
CitedJain and Another v Trent Strategic Health Authority CA 22-Nov-2007
The claimant argued that the defendant owed him a duty of care as proprietor of a registered nursing home in cancelling the registration of the home under the 1984 Act. The authority appealed a finding that it owed such a duty.
Held: The . .
Appeal fromZ And Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 10-May-2001
Four children complained that, for years before they were taken into care by the local authority, its social services department was well aware that they were living in filthy conditions and suffering ‘appalling’ neglect in the home of their . .
CitedPierce v Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council QBD 13-Dec-2007
The claimant sought damages, saying that the local authority had failed to protect him when he was a child against abuse by his parents.
Held: The claimant had been known to the authority since he was a young child, and they owed him a duty of . .
CitedHilda Amoo-Gottfried v Legal Aid Board (No 1 Regional Committee) CA 1-Dec-2000
The claimant appealed an order dismissing her claim for misfeasance in public office by the defendant, for the way in which they had mishandled her membership of duty solicitor rota schemes.
Held: The court discussed the requirements for . .
CitedK v Central and North West London Mental Health NHS Trust and Another QBD 30-May-2008
k_centralQBD2008
The claimant appealed against an order striking out his claim in negligence. He had leaped from a window in a suicide attempt. The accommodation was provided by the defendant whilst caring for him under the 1983 Act.
Held: The case should be . .
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 . .
CitedPurdy, Regina (on the Application of) v Director of Public Prosecutions and Another QBD 29-Oct-2008
The applicant suffered mutiple sclerosis and considered that she might wish to go abroad to end her life. She asked the court to make more clear the guidance provided by the Director as to whether her partner might be prosecuted under section 2(1) . .
CitedPurdy, Regina (on the Application of) v Director of Public Prosecutions and Another Admn 29-Oct-2008
The applicant said that the defendant had unlawfully failed to provide detailed guidance under section 10 of the 1985 Act, on the circumstances under which a prosecution might lie of a person performing acts which might assist another to commit . .
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 . .
CitedPurdy, Regina (on the Application of) v Director of Public Prosecutions and others CA 19-Feb-2009
The claimant suffered a debilitating terminal disease. She anticipated going to commit suicide at a clinic in Switzerland, and wanted first a clear policy so that her husband who might accompany her would know whether he might be prosecuted under . .
CitedMitchell and Another v Glasgow City Council HL 18-Feb-2009
(Scotland) The pursuers were the widow and daughter of a tenant of the respondent who had been violently killed by his neighbour. They said that the respondent, knowing of the neighbour’s violent behaviours had a duty of care to the deceased and . .
CitedFarraj and Another v King’s Healthcare NHS Trust (KCH) and Another CA 13-Nov-2009
The claimant parents each carried a gene making any child they bore liable to suffer a serious condition. On a pregnancy the mother’s blood was sent for testing to the defendants who sent it on to the second defendants. The condition was missed, . .
CitedConnor v Surrey County Council CA 18-Mar-2010
The claimant teacher said that she suffered personal injury from stress after the board of governors improperly failed to protect her from from false complaints. The Council now appealed against an award of substantial damages.
Held: The . .
CitedPoulton v Ministry of Justice CA 22-Apr-2010
The claimant was trustee in bankruptcy but the court failed to register the bankruptcy petition at the Land Registry as a pending action. The bankrupt was therefore able to sell her land, and the trustee did not recover the proceeds. The trustee . .
CitedA E Beckett and Sons (Lyndons) Ltd and Others v Midlands Electricity Plc QBD 2000
The claimants alleged that they had suffered loss as a result of the defendants’ breach of regulation 25(1) of the 1988 Regulations. . .
CitedMorrison Sports Ltd and Others v Scottish Power SC 28-Jul-2010
A fire caused substantial damage to buildings. It arose from a ‘shim’ placed in a fuse box which then overheated. The parties disputed whose employee had inserted the shim. The Act under which the Regulations had been made was repealed and replaced . .
CitedTodd v Adams and Chope (Trading as Trelawney Fishing Co) (The ‘Margaretha Maria’) CA 2002
Where the correctness of a finding of primary fact or of inference is in issue (on appeal), it cannot be a matter of simple discretion how an appellate court approaches the matter. Once the appellant has shown a real prospect (justifying permission . .
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 . .
CitedSamuels v Coole and Haddock (a Firm) CA 22-May-1997
The defendant solicitors had acted for defendants in an action brought by the plaintiff. They swore and filed an affidavit in support of an application to strike out elements of the action. The affidavit spoke as to abusive and threatening calls and . .
CitedOlutu v Home Office CA 29-Nov-1996
The claimant said that she had been detained in excess of the period allowed under the 1987 Regulations, and that that detention was unlawful. She now appealed against the striking out of her claim.
Held: Her action failed. The availablility . .
CitedCampbell v Gordon SC 6-Jul-2016
The employee was injured at work, but in a way excluded from the employers insurance cover. He now sought to make the sole company director liable, hoping in term to take action against the director’s insurance brokers for negligence, the director . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government, Negligence, Education

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.84521

Williams v Williams (The Estate of): CA 30 Apr 2013

A child aged three had been injured as a passenger in her mother’s car when it was hit by another negligently driven vehicle. The mother appealed against a finding that she was 25% contributorily negligent in that the child seat used had been inappropriate.
Held: The appeal failed. The judge had approached the matter correctly. He had doubted the choice of restraint, but causation issues cannot be considered in a vacuum, and the actual circumstances matter, and ‘the judge directed himself properly as to the issue he had to decide which revolved around this particular child in this particular car in which there were two alternative child seats available. He was right to reject an enquiry into what would have happened to the hypothetical child.’

Arden, Elias, Black LJJ
[2013] EWCA Civ 455
Bailii
Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedFroom v Butcher CA 21-Jul-1975
The court asked what reduction if any should be made to a plaintiff’s damages where injuries were caused not only by the defendant’s negligent driving but also by the failure of the plaintiff to wear a seat belt. It had been submitted that, since . .
CitedJones (A Minor) v Wilkins (Wynn and Another, Third Parties) CA 6-Feb-2001
Where a child had not been properly restrained by a seat belt, the damages should be reduced but not by a great percentage. Here, although the child was partially restrained by sharing her mother’s lap belt, in fact this had made the injuries worse. . .
CitedCapps v Miller CA 30-Nov-1988
The plaintiff was injured riding with the defendant on a motor-cycle. The defendant drove negligently, and crashed. The plaintiff’s crash hemet came off and he sustained severe head injuries. He had not fastened it. The defendant appealed an . .
CitedPerry and Another v Harris (A Minor) CA 31-Jul-2008
The defendant had organised a children’s party. The claimant (11) was injured when a bigger boy was allowed to use the bouncy castle at the same time. The defendants appealed the award of damages.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The relevant . .
CitedStanton v Collinson CA 24-Feb-2010
The defendant driver appealed against a refusal to reduce the claimant’s damages for contributory negligence. The claimant sat in the front seat and was severely injured in the accident, but had not been wearing a seat belt.
Held: ‘there is a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Negligence

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.478065

Freeman v Higher Park Farm: CA 30 Oct 2008

The claimant fell from a horse hired to her by the defendant. She claimed for her injuries, and appealed rejection of her claim in strict liability under the 1971 Act. The horse was known to be lively and occasionally to buck, but the claimant was a very experienced rider. A horse was a domesticated animal within the 1971 Act, and therefore the claimant had to show the presence of characteristics which would not normally be present, and that these were known to the defendant.
Held: The judge should have asked whether the injury likely to result from a fall was severe. It will be. However the claimant had not established that a propensity to buck was abnormal in a horse, and therefore her claim failed. The claimant was informed of the characteristic, and went ahead nonetheless and was therefore a volunteer and could not claim in negligence.

Tuckey LJ, Smith LJ, Etherton LJ
[2008] EWCA Civ 1185, [2009] PIQR P6
Bailii
Animals Act 1971 2(2)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedMirvahedy v Henley and another HL 20-Mar-2003
The defendants’ horses escaped from the field, and were involved in an accident with the claimant’s car.
Held: The defendants were liable under section 2(2). To bolt was a characteristic of horses which was normal ‘in the particular . .
CitedClark v Bowlt CA 26-Jun-2006
A claim was made for personal injury suffered riding a horse.
Held: The court doubted whether a propensity occasionally to move otherwise than as directed can be described as a characteristic of a horse, for the purposes of s. 2(2)(b), but, if . .
CitedWelsh v Stokes and Another CA 27-Jul-2007
The claimant sued a riding stables after she was badly injured on being thrown from the horse provided. Her claim in negligence failed, but she succeeded under strict liabiilty under the 1971 Act, after the judge relied upon hearsay evidence.
CitedCummings v Grainger CA 1977
An untrained Alsatian dog was turned loose in a scrap-yard to deter intruders. The dog seriously injured the plaintiff who had entered the yard.
Held: The requirements of section 2(2) were satisfied but the defendant was entitled to rely upon . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Animals, Negligence

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.277358

Czarnikow (C ) Ltd v Koufos; The Heron II: HL 17 Oct 1967

The vessel had arrived late at Basrah in breach of the terms of the charterparty. The House was asked as to the measure of damages. The charterers had intended to sell the cargo of sugar promptly upon arrival, and now claimed for the fall in the market price of the sugar during the period of delay. The owners did not know what the charterers intended to do with the sugar. But they did know that there was a market in sugar at Basrah and, if they had thought about it, must have realised that, at the least, it was ‘not unlikely’ that the sugar would be sold in the market at its market price on arrival.
Held: The House explained the rule in Hadley v Baxendale: ‘I do not think that it was intended that there were to be two rules or that two different standards or tests were to be applied.’ and ‘The crucial question is whether, on the information available to the defendant when the contract was made, he should, or the reasonable man in his position would, have realised that such loss was sufficiently likely to result from the breach of contract to make it proper to hold that the loss flowed naturally from the breach or that loss of that kind should have been within his contemplation.’
Lord Upjohn: ‘If parties enter into the contract with knowledge of some special circumstances, and it is reasonable to infer a particular loss as a result of those circumstances that is something which both must contemplate as a result of a breach. It is quite unnecessary that it should be a term of the contract’.

Lord Reid, Lord Upjohn, Lord Morris of Both-y-Gest, Lord Hodson, Lord Pearce
[1967] 3 All ER 686, [1969] 1 AC 350, [1967] 3 WLR 1491, [1967] UKHL 4
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedHadley v Baxendale Exc 23-Feb-1854
Contract Damages; What follows the Breach Naturaly
The plaintiffs had sent a part of their milling machinery for repair. The defendants contracted to carry it, but delayed in breach of contract. The plaintiffs claimed damages for the earnings lost through the delay. The defendants appealed, saying . .

Cited by:
CitedG and K Ladenbau (UK) Ltd v Crawley and De Reya QBD 25-Apr-1977
The defendant solicitors acted for the plaintiff in the purchase of land, but failed to undertake a commons search which would have revealed an entry which would prevent the client pursuing his development. The defect was discovered only when . .
CitedJackson and Another v Royal Bank of Scotland HL 27-Jan-2005
The claimants sought damages, alleging that a breach of contract by the defendant had resulted in their being unable to earn further profits elsewhere. The defendant said the damages claimed were too remote. The bank had, by error, disclosed to one . .
CitedHone v Six Continents Retail Ltd CA 29-Jun-2005
The employer appealed a finding that it was liable in damages for negligence to the claimant, and employee who suffered psychiatric injury cause by stress at work. He said he had been left to work very excessive hours, between 89 and 92 hours a . .
CitedWiseman v Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd QBD 29-Jun-2006
The claimant said that he was refused permission to board a flight by the defendants representative without paying a bribe, and was publicly humiliated for not doing so.
Held: Whilst the claimant could recover for his own additional expenses, . .
CitedThe ‘Pegase’ 1981
The court considered the measure of damages for breach of contract in the light of the cases in the Heron II and Victoria Laundry: ‘the principle in Hadley v Baxendale is now no longer stated in terms of two rules, but rather in terms of a single . .
CitedTransfield Shipping Inc of Panama v Mercator Shipping Inc of Monrovia ComC 1-Dec-2006
The owners made substantial losses after the charterers breached the contract by failing to redliver the ship on time as agreed.
Held: On the facts found the Owners’ primary claim is not too remote. To the knowledge of the Charterers, it was . .
CitedTransfield Shipping Inc v Mercator Shipping Inc (The Achilleas) HL 9-Jul-2008
The parties contracted to charter the Achileas. The charterer gave notice to terminate the hire, and the owner found a new charterer. Until the termination the charterers sub-chartered. That charter was not completed, delaying the ship for the . .
CitedBorealis Ab v Geogas Trading Sa ComC 9-Nov-2010
The parties had contracted for sale and purchase of butane for processing. It was said to have been contaminated. The parties now disputed the effect on damages for breach including on causation, remoteness, mitigation and quantum.
Held: The . .
CitedKpohraror v Woolwich Building Society CA 1996
The Society, acting as a bank, had at first failed to pay its customer’s cheque for andpound;4,550, even though there were sufficient funds. The bank said that it had been reported lost. The customer sought damages to his business reputation.
Contract, Damages, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.180940

Boylin v The Christie NHS Foundation: QBD 17 Oct 2014

The claimant a senior employee manager complained of harassment and common law negligence causing her injury.
Held: The claim failed. Behaviour of the level required to found a claim under the 1997 Act was established, but only on one occaion and therefore no course of conduct was shown.
As to the allegation of negligence, the Board had reacted promptly and effecively on learning of the complaint. They were not negligent.
Nor in fact could the claimant demonstrate that the incident established was sufficient to explain the injury complained of: ‘ I should also add that, even if I had concluded that Christine Pilgrem’s conduct on 10 November 2010 had caused, or materially contributed, to Tracy Boylin’s medical condition, I would not have found that such a result was reasonably foreseeable. The conduct was a significant breach of duty, but in the overall context was an isolated incident of relatively short duration which could not reasonably be expected to cause, or materially contribute to, a significant psychiatric illness.’

Kenneth Parker J
[2014] EWHC 3363 (QB)
Bailii
Protection from Harassment Act 1997 1(1)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSutherland v Hatton; Barber v Somerset County Council and similar CA 5-Feb-2002
Defendant employers appealed findings of liability for personal injuries consisting of an employee’s psychiatric illness caused by stress at work.
Held: Employers have a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of their employees. There are . .
CitedBarber v Somerset County Council HL 1-Apr-2004
A teacher sought damages from his employer after suffering a work related stress breakdown.
Held: The definition of the work expected of him did not justify the demand placed upon him. The employer could have checked up on him during his . .
CitedVeakins v Kier Islington Ltd CA 2-Dec-2009
The claimant alleged that her manager at work had harassed her. The court, applying Conn, had found that none of the acts complained of were sufficiently serious to amount to criminal conduct, and had rejected the claim.
Held: The claimant’s . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Negligence

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.537744

Woodland 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 lessons. She said that the duty of care was non-delegable.
Held: Her appeal succeeded. For a duty to be non-delegable, and in the absence of vicarious liability, the duty had to be one where the defendant had some characteristic making them vulnerable and which required the defendant to retained control over the claimant in order to perform the function for which it had taken resonsibility. The case was remitted to the High Court to decide whether such a duty was owed here and if so whether the defendants were in breach of it.

Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Toulson
[2013] UKSC 66, [2013] 3 WLR 1227, [2013] WLR(D) 403, UKSC 2012/0093, [2014] 1 AC 537, [2014] ELR 67, [2014] 1 All ER 482
Bailii, WLRD, Bailii Summary, SC Summary, SC
England and Wales
Citing:
At QBDWoodland 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 . .
At CAWoodland 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. . .
CitedPickard v Smith 1861
Refreshment rooms and a coal-cellar at a railway station were let by the company to one S, the opening for putting coals into the cellar being on the arrival platform. A train coming in whilst the servants of a cod-merchant mere shooting coals into . .
CitedPenny v Wimbledon Urban District Council 1898
The court considered the residual duties of a local authority when hiring an independent company to repair a highway. . .
CitedHolliday 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 . .
CitedHoneywill v Larkin CA 1934
The plaintiffs wanted photographs inside a cinema on which they had worked, and asked the defendants to take them. The photographer used a chemical flashlight using magnesium which gave off intense heat. The negligent photographer caused a fire. The . .
CitedSalsbury v Woodland CA 1970
The defendant had instructed independent contractors to remove a large tree in his garden. When they did so, the plaintiff was injured when the car he was in was fouled in a wire brought down by the tree. The defendant householder appealed against a . .
CitedLewis v British Columbia 11-Dec-1997
(Supreme Court of Canada) Torts – Negligence – Highways – Crown liability – Provincial ministry engaging independent contractor to remove rocks from cliff face – Contractor performing work negligently, leaving rocks protruding from cliff face – . .
CitedThe Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v Various Claimants and The Institute of The Brothers of The Christian Schools and Others SC 21-Nov-2012
Law of vicarious liability is on the move
Former children at the children’s homes had sought damages for sexual and physical abuse. The court heard arguments as to the vicarious liability of the Society for abuse caused by a parish priest visiting the school. The Court of Appeal had found . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .
CitedRylands v Fletcher CEC 1865
Mr Fletcher’s Lancashire coal mine was flooded by the water from Mr Rylands’ mill reservoir in 1860-61.
Held: Mr Rylands was responsible. Blackburn J said: ‘We think that the true rule of law is, that the person who for his own purposes brings . .
CitedRylands v Fletcher HL 1868
The defendant had constructed a reservoir to supply water to his mill. Water escaped into nearby disused mineshafts, and in turn flooded the plaintiff’s mine. The defendant appealed a finding that he was liable in damages.
Held: The defendant . .
CitedDalton v Henry Angus and Co HL 14-Jun-1881
The court explained the doctrine of lost modern grant. Where there has been more than 20 years’ uninterrupted enjoyment of an easement, and that enjoyment has the necessary qualities to fulfil the requirements of prescription, then unless, for some . .
CitedHughes v Percival 1883
The parties were neighbouring householders with a party wall. A builder working in the defendant’s house negligently cut into the party wall, causing the partial collapse of both the defendant’s house and the Plaintiff’s house next-door.
Held: . .
CitedWilsons and Clyde Coal Co Ltd v English HL 19-Jul-1937
The employer had entrusted the task of organising a safe system of work to an employee as a result of whose negligence another employee was injured. The employer could not have been held liable for its own negligence, since it had taken all . .
CitedLochgelly Iron and Coal Co v McMullan HL 10-Jul-1933
Lord Wright coined the term ‘statutory negligence’. He affirmed the need for ‘damage’ as an essential element of actionable negligence, saying: ‘In strict legal analysis, negligence means more than heedless or careless conduct, whether in omission . .
CitedMorris v CW Martin Ltd CA 1966
Diplock LJ said: ‘The legal relationship of bailor and bailee of a chattel can exist independently of any contract.’ Where goods are lost or damaged, the burden is on the bailee (or sub-bailee) to ‘show – that the loss or damage caused without any . .
CitedDorset Yacht Co Ltd v Home Office HL 6-May-1970
A yacht was damaged by boys who had escaped from the supervision of prison officers in a nearby Borstal institution. The boat owners sued the Home Office alleging negligence by the prison officers.
Held: Any duty of a borstal officer to use . .
CitedPhoto Production Ltd v Securicor Transport Ltd HL 14-Feb-1980
Interpretation of Exclusion Clauses
The plaintiffs had contracted with the defendants for the provision of a night patrol service for their factory. The perils the parties had in mind were fire and theft. A patrol man deliberately lit a fire which burned down the factory. It was an . .
CitedWhite and Another v Jones and Another HL 16-Feb-1995
Will Drafter liable in Negligence to Beneficiary
A solicitor drawing a will may be liable in negligence to a potential beneficiary, having unduly delayed in the drawing of the will. The Hedley Byrne principle was ‘founded upon an assumption of responsibility.’ Obligations may occasionally arise . .
CitedMcDermid v Nash Dredging and Reclamation Co Ltd HL 2-Jul-1986
The Court explained the duty of an employer towards his employees as regards their safety: ‘an employer owes to his employee a duty to exercise reasonable care to ensure that the system of work provided for him is a safe one. Secondly, a provision . .
CitedBamford v Turnley 5-Nov-1860
An action lies for a nuisance to the house or land of a person, whenever, taking all the circumstances into consideration, including the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s enjoyment before the act complained of, the annoyance is sufficiently great . .
CitedBamford v Turnley 2-Jul-1862
The defendant burned bricks on his land, causing a nuisance to his neighbours.
Held: It was no answer to an action for damages that he selected a proper place within his land for an activity which would interfere with a neighbour’s enjoyment . .
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 . .
CitedGlasgow Corporation v Taylor HL 18-Nov-1921
A father brought an action for damages for the death of his son who had eaten poisonous berries growing in one of the defenders’ public parks. The plants were easily accessible from a children’s play area and it was said that the defender had a duty . .
CitedM’Kibbin v Glasgow Corporation 1920
The pursuer, a woman with limited vision was injured falling into a hole for which the defender had responsibility. The defender replied that the hole was protected by a water hydrant.
Held: The claim failed. There was evidence that the . .
CitedAlmeroth 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 . .
CitedPritchard v Post Office CA 1950
Servants of the Post Office had protected a hole where they were working by surrounding it with their usual light fence but the plaintiff, a blind woman, stumbled through the fence and was injured.
Held: The plaintiff’s appeal failed. In this . .
CitedMyton v Woods CA 1980
A claim was made against a local education authority for the negligence of a taxi firm employed by the authority to drive children to and from school.
Held: The claim failed. The authority had no statutory duty to transport children, but only . .

Cited by:
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 . .
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 . .
CitedNA v Nottinghamshire County Council QBD 2-Dec-2014
The claimant said that as a child the defendant had failed in its duty to protect her from her abusive mother and later from foster parents.
Held: Males J, dealt with the issues of liability and limitation, leaving issues concerning causation . .
CitedArmes v Nottinghamshire County Council SC 18-Oct-2017
The claimant had been abused as a child by foster parents with whom she had been placed by the respondent authority. The court was now asked, the Council not having been negligent, were they in any event liable having a non-delegable duty of care . .
CitedNA v Nottinghamshire County Council CA 12-Nov-2015
Appeal against finding that a local authority was not responsible for the sexual abuse of the appellant whilst with foster carers as a child.
Held: As to whether the duty as non-delegable, such a duty must relate to a function which the local . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.516927

Marc 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 society was not liable in negligence to the owner of a cargo, where it was alleged that damage flowed from a negligent ship survey. A duty of care is imposed only where it was just and reasonable to do so. It was indirect damage, and economic loss. There was no contact between the cargo owners and the classification society. It was not even suggested that the cargo owners knew of the survey, they simply relied on the owners to keep the vessel seaworthy and to look after the cargo.
In relation to a novel category of negligence, the imposition of liability must satisfy a three stage test of foreseeability, proximity and fairness. Lord Steyn said that in the field of negligence, the common law: ‘develops incrementally on the basis of a consideration of analogous cases where a duty has been recognised or desired.’

Lord Steyn, Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle, Lord Browne-Wilkinson, Lord Lloyd of Berwick
Gazette 06-Sep-1995, Independent 18-Aug-1995, Times 07-Jul-1995, [1995] 3 All ER 307, [1995] UKHL 4, [1996] 1 AC 211, [1995] CLC 934, [1995] 2 LLR 299, [1996] ECC 120, [1995] 3 WLR 227, [1995] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 299
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromMarc Rich and Co Ag and Others v Bishop Rock Marine Co Ltd and Others; The Nicholas H CA 3-Feb-1994
The duty of care does not vary with the nature of damage, as to whether it is physical or financial. The relationship of the parties is to be taken into account in assessing the extent of damage.
Saville LJ said: ‘the three so-called . .
CitedRiverstone Meat Co Pty Ltd v Lancashire Shipping Co Ltd HL 1961
Cargo was damaged in the course of a voyage by the failure of a fitter employed by ship repairers to secure the inspection cover on a storm valve. The cargo owner sued the shipowner in contract, and recovered.
Held: It was no defence that the . .
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 . .
CitedMobil Oil Hong Kong Ltd v Hong Kong United Docklands Ltd. (the ‘Hua Lien’) 1991
. .
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, . .

Cited by:
CitedBinod Sutradhar v Natural Environment Research Council CA 20-Feb-2004
The defendant council had carried out research into a water supply in India in the 1980s. The claimant drank the water, and claimed damages for having consumed arsenic in it.
Held: There is a close link between the tests in law for proximity . .
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 . .
CitedRegina v Lam and Others (T/a ‘Namesakes of Torbay’) and Borough of Torbay CA 30-Jul-1997
The claimant sought damages after the planning authority allowed the first defendant to conduct a manufacturing business in the course of which spraying activities took place which caused them personal injuries and loss of business.
Held: The . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedRobinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police SC 8-Feb-2018
Limits to Police Exemption from Liability
The claimant, an elderly lady was bowled over and injured when police were chasing a suspect through the streets. As they arrested him they fell over on top of her. She appealed against refusal of her claim in negligence.
Held: Her appeal . .
CitedPerrett v Collins, Underwood PFA (Ulair) Limited (T/a Popular Flying Association) CA 22-May-1998
The plaintiff was a passenger in an aircraft which crashed, and there was a preliminary issue as to the liability to him of those who certified that the aircraft was fit to fly. The propeller was mismatched to the gearbox.
Held: A certifying . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Transport, Professional Negligence, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.83395

Sutherland v Hatton; Barber v Somerset County Council and similar: CA 5 Feb 2002

Defendant employers appealed findings of liability for personal injuries consisting of an employee’s psychiatric illness caused by stress at work.
Held: Employers have a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of their employees. There are no special controls on claims for psychiatric (or physical) injury or illness arising from the stress of doing work an employee has to do.
Hale LJ said: ‘If the standard of care expected of employers is set too high or the threshold of liability too low, there may also be unforeseen and unwelcome effects upon the employment market. In particular, employers may be even more reluctant than they already are to take on people with a significant psychiatric history.’
. . and ‘There are no special control mechanisms applying to claims for psychiatric (or physical) illness or injury arising from the stress of doing the work the employee is required to do. The ordinary principles of employer’s liability apply.
The threshold question is whether this kind of harm to this particular employee was reasonably foreseeable: this has two components (a) an injury to health (as distinct from occupational stress) which (b) is attributable to stress at work (as distinct from other factors). Foreseeability depends upon what the employer knows (or ought reasonably to know) about the individual employee. Because of the nature of mental disorder, it is harder to foresee than physical injury, but may be easier to foresee in a known individual than in the population at large. An employer is usually entitled to assume that the employees can withstand the normal pressures of the job unless he knows of some particular problem or vulnerability.’
. . and ‘ because of the very nature of psychiatric injury, as a sufficiently serious departure from normal or average psychological functioning to be labelled a disorder, it is bound to be harder to foresee than is physical injury . . All of this points to there being a single test: whether a harmful reaction to the pressures of the workplace is reasonably foreseeable in the individual employee concerned. Such a reaction will have two components: (1) An injury to health; which (2) is attributable to stress at work. The answer to the foreseeability question will therefore depend upon the interrelationship between the particular characteristics of the employee concerned and the particular demands which the employer cast upon him.’

Lord Justice Brooke, Lady Justice Hale, And, Lord Justice Kay
Times 12-Feb-2002, Gazette 21-Mar-2002, [2002] EWCA Civ 76, [2002] 2 All ER 1, [2002] ICR 613, [2002] PIQR P221, [2002] Emp LR 288, [2002] IRLR 263, (2002) 68 BMLR 115
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedWilsons and Clyde Coal Co Ltd v English HL 19-Jul-1937
The employer had entrusted the task of organising a safe system of work to an employee as a result of whose negligence another employee was injured. The employer could not have been held liable for its own negligence, since it had taken all . .
CitedWalker v Northumberland County Council QBD 16-Nov-1994
The plaintiff was a manager within the social services department. He suffered a mental breakdown in 1986, and had four months off work. His employers had refused to provide the increased support he requested. He had returned to work, but again, did . .

Cited by:
CitedKeen v Tayside Contracts OHCS 26-Feb-2003
The claimant sought damages for post traumatic stress disorder. He was a road worker instructed to attend by the defendant immediately after a terrible accident.
Held: It was a classic case of nervous shock. He was not a rescuer, and nor had . .
CitedBonser v UK Coal Mining Ltd CA 9-Jun-2003
The employer appealed a finding that it was responsible in negligence to a staff member for stress related injury at work. The claimant had worked in the coal industry for 20 years, but she had then been made redundant. The defendants took her on as . .
CitedAB and others v Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust QBD 26-Mar-2004
Representative claims were made against the respondents, hospitals, pathologists etc with regard to the removal of organs from deceased children without the informed consent of the parents. They claimed under the tort of wrongful interference.
Appeal fromBarber v Somerset County Council HL 1-Apr-2004
A teacher sought damages from his employer after suffering a work related stress breakdown.
Held: The definition of the work expected of him did not justify the demand placed upon him. The employer could have checked up on him during his . .
DistinguishedDonachie v The Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police CA 7-Apr-2004
The claimant had been asked to work under cover. The surveillance equipment he was asked to use was faulty, requiring him to put himself at risk repeatedly to maintain it resulting in a stress disorder and a stroke.
Held: There was a direct . .
CitedDonachie v The Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police CA 7-Apr-2004
The claimant had been asked to work under cover. The surveillance equipment he was asked to use was faulty, requiring him to put himself at risk repeatedly to maintain it resulting in a stress disorder and a stroke.
Held: There was a direct . .
CitedBanks v Ablex Ltd CA 24-Feb-2005
The claimant appealed denial of her claim for damages for psychological injury. She complained that her employer had failed to prevent her and other female employees being bullied by a co-worker, and they committed a breach of statutory duty in . .
CitedHartman v South Essex Mental Health and Community Care NHS Trust etc CA 19-Jan-2005
The court considered the liability of employers for stress injury to several employees.
Held: Though the principles of awarding damages for stress related psychiatric injury are the same as those for physical injury, the issues have still . .
CitedValidi v Fairstead House School Trust Ltd CA 9-Jun-2005
The claimant sought damages for work related stress. The court in dismissing the appeal regretted that so much had been spent on the case. The principles have now been settled, and the parties should test a case against those principles, and go for . .
CitedRothwell v Chemical and Insulating Co Ltd and Another CA 26-Jan-2006
Each claimant sought damages after being exposed to asbestos dust. The defendants resisted saying that the injury alleged, the development of pleural plaques, was yet insufficient as damage to found a claim.
Held: (Smith LJ dissenting) The . .
CitedFrench and others v Chief Constable of Sussex Police CA 28-Mar-2006
The claimants sought damages for psychiatric injury. They were police officers who had been subject to unsuccessful proceedings following a shooting of a member of the public by their force.
Held: The claim failed: ‘these claimants have no . .
CitedBarker v Corus (UK) Plc HL 3-May-2006
The claimants sought damages after contracting meselothemia working for the defendants. The defendants argued that the claimants had possibly contracted the disease at any one or more different places. The Fairchild case set up an exception to the . .
CitedD v Intel Corporation (UK) Ltd QBD 23-May-2006
The claimant sought damages for stress incurred at work. She had suffered post natal depression and received counselling through her work and recovered. She suffered a second bout of depression after the birth of another child, but again was thought . .
CitedHone v Six Continents Retail Ltd CA 29-Jun-2005
The employer appealed a finding that it was liable in damages for negligence to the claimant, and employee who suffered psychiatric injury cause by stress at work. He said he had been left to work very excessive hours, between 89 and 92 hours a . .
CitedHelen Green v DB Group Services (UK) Ltd QBD 1-Aug-2006
The claimant sought damages from her former employers, asserting that workplace bullying and harassment had caused injury to her health. She had had a long term history of depression after being abused as a child, and the evidence was conflicting, . .
CitedClark v The Chief Constable of Essex Police QBD 18-Sep-2006
The officer had retired on ill health grounds, and now sought damages from his chief constable saying that the duties imposed on him had been excessive, and had caused his injury by negligence, and that he had been bullied by co-workers and 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 . .
CitedRobertson (Ap) v The Scottish Ministers SCS 22-Nov-2007
The claimant sought damages saying that she had been bullied and harassed at her work as a prison officer. . .
CitedDickins v O2 Plc CA 16-Oct-2008
The employer appealed against a finding that it was responsible for the personal injury of the claimant in the form of psychiatric injury resulting from stress suffered working for them. She had told her employers that she was at the end of her . .
CitedIntel Corporation (UK) Ltd v Daw CA 7-Feb-2007
The company appealed against an award of damages to the defendant for personal injury in the form of stress induced mental illness.
Held: The reference to counselling services in Hatton did not make such services a panacea by which employers . .
CitedFlood v The University Court of the University of Glasgow OHCS 8-Jul-2008
The pursuer, a college lecturer claimed damages for stress related injury suffered as a result of overwork. She had communicated with her managers many times about the overload. Other staff had resigned for similar reasons.
Held: The pursuer . .
CitedVeakins v Kier Islington Ltd CA 2-Dec-2009
The claimant alleged that her manager at work had harassed her. The court, applying Conn, had found that none of the acts complained of were sufficiently serious to amount to criminal conduct, and had rejected the claim.
Held: The claimant’s . .
CitedRayment v Ministry of Defence QBD 18-Feb-2010
The claimant sought damages alleging harassment by officers employed by the defendant. An internal investigation had revealed considerable poor behaviour by the senior officers, and that was followed by hostile behaviour. The defendant had put up . .
CitedConnor v Surrey County Council CA 18-Mar-2010
The claimant teacher said that she suffered personal injury from stress after the board of governors improperly failed to protect her from from false complaints. The Council now appealed against an award of substantial damages.
Held: The . .
CitedBoylin v The Christie NHS Foundation QBD 17-Oct-2014
The claimant a senior employee manager complained of harassment and common law negligence causing her injury.
Held: The claim failed. Behaviour of the level required to found a claim under the 1997 Act was established, but only on one occaion . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Health and Safety, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.167557

Smart 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 discovered. The plea was re-opened and the charge dismissed by consent. The claimant now appealed after rejection of his claim on the basis that the defendant had witness immunity from negligence, saying that alterations to the records amounted to deceit, and seeking permission to amend his pleadings accordingly. The respondent said that the late amendment should not be allowed.
Held: The appeal and the amendment was allowed, Abn arguable claim in decit had been raised, and: ‘It must be recognised that as a result of interference with the exhibit number the real bullet was falsely attributed to this appellant. The effect of interference with the exhibit numbers, whether it was designed originally to conceal confusion or ‘mix up’ or not, was the same as planting the real bullet in the appellant’s premises. It is alarming that the course of justice appears to have been perverted by the alteration of exhibit numbers and the failure to disclose that that had occurred or any reason why it occurred. I suggest any court would be most reluctant to allow immunity to be deployed in a way which prevents these matters being litigated. All the more so when the suggestion that the matter be rectified in the Magistrates’ Court removed any right of statutory redress.’

Moses, Rimer, Aikens LJJ
[2013] EWCA Civ 783
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSwain Mason and Others v Mills and Reeve (A Firm) CA 20-Jan-2011
The defendant firm appealed against leave given to the claimants to amend their Particulars of Claim . .
CitedWorldwide Corporation Limited v GPT Limited and GPT (Middle East) Limited CA 2-Dec-1998
Reasons for dismissal of application for leave to appeal – refusals of leave to amend particulars. The court must take into account the public interest in the efficient administration of justice which may be damaged by the disruption and delay . .
CitedBrown and Others v InnovatorOne Plc and Others ComC 19-Jun-2009
The claimants served proceedings by fax. The defendants denied that it was effective saying that they had not confirmed that they were instructed to accept service or that as required by the rules they had confirmed that they would accept service by . .
CitedEvans 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 . .
CitedTaylor 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 . .
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 . .

Cited by:
CitedSingh v Moorlands Primary School and Another CA 25-Jul-2013
The claimant was a non-white head teacher, alleging that her school governors and local authority had undermined and had ‘deliberately endorsed a targeted campaign of discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation’ against her as an Asian . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Police, Torts – Other, Litigation Practice

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.512054

Cavalier 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.
Held: The wife was not a party to the contract, and the absence of any duty in respect of the letting an unfurnished house prevented her from relying on any cause of action for negligence. As to Langridge -v- Levy and George v Skivington: ‘In both these latter cases the defendant represented that the article sold was fit and proper for the purposes for which it was contemplated that it should be used and the party injured was ignorant of its unfitness for these purposes’

Lord Loreburn LC
[1906] AC 428, [1906] UKHL 1
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedLangridge v Levy ExP 1836
A man sold a gun which he knew to be dangerous for the use of the purchaser’s son. The gun exploded in the son’s hands.
Held: The son had a right of action in tort against the gunmaker, but, Parke B said: ‘We should pause before we made a . .
CitedGeorge 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 . .

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 . .
CitedStevens (Through her Mother and Litigation Friend) v County Borough of Blaenau Gwent CA 17-Jun-2004
The mother of the claimant had complained to the local authority landlord about the absence of locks on her windows. The council replied that such locks could themselves be a hazard, and did not install a lock. The claimant climbed through and fell . .
CitedJackson v J H Watson Property Investment Ltd QBD 7-Jan-2008
The tenant claimant held under a 125 year lease of the defendant. A fault in a light well led to water ingress and damage. The fault was in the landlord’s land but not the flat. The tenant alleged a nuisance by the landlords. The landlord replied . .
CitedSykes v Harry and Trustee of Estate of Harry, a Bankrupt CA 1-Feb-2001
The tenant appealed dismissal of his claim for damages. He had suffered serious injury after inhaling carbon monoxide fumes from a defective gas fire. The fire had not been maintained and a fall of soot eventually prevented the escape of fumes.
Negligence, Landlord and Tenant, Personal Injury

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.197992

Stonecrest Marble Ltd v Shepherds Bush Housing Association Ltd: ChD 23 Sep 2021

‘the circumstances in which a landlord may incur any liability to a tenant, whether in the tort of nuisance or in negligence, as a result of its failure to inspect, cleanse or repair any parts of the building remaining under its control, or under an express term in the lease for breach of quiet enjoyment, for damage caused by water ingress from the retained premises which renders the demise materially unusable.’

HHJ Richard Williams
[2021] EWHC 2621 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales

Landlord and Tenant, Negligence

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.668326

Home Office v Mohammed and Others: CA 29 Mar 2011

The claimants sought damages saying that after a decision had been made that they should receive indefinite leave to remain in 2001 (latest), the leave was not issued until 2007 (earliest) thus causing them severe losses. The defendant now appealed against a refusal to strike out the claims in negligence, and under article 8.
Held: The HS’s appeal on negligence succeeded, but not that under Article 8 liability.

Sedley, Thomas, Hooper LJJ
[2011] EWCA Civ 351
Bailii
Human Rights Act 1998
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedStovin v Wise, Norfolk County Council (Third Party) HL 24-Jul-1996
Statutory Duty Does Not Create Common Law Duty
The mere existence of statutory power to remedy a defect cannot of itself create a duty of care to do so. A highway authority need not have a duty of care to highway users because of its duty to maintain the highway. The two stage test ‘involves . .
CitedW v Home Office CA 19-Feb-1997
W had been held in immigration detention because of a crass administrative mistake about his ability to establish his country of origin.
Held: An immigration officer who was using his statutory powers is not liable for negligent or false . .
CitedBarrett v London Borough of Enfield HL 17-Jun-1999
The claimant had spent his childhood in foster care, and now claimed damages against a local authority for decisions made and not made during that period. The judge’s decision to strike out the claim had been upheld by the Court of Appeal.
CitedRowley and others v Secretary of State for Department of Work and Pensions CA 19-Jun-2007
The claimants sought damages for alleged negligence of the defendant in the administration of the Child Support system.
Held: The defendant in administering the statutory system owed no direct duty of care to those affected: ‘a common law duty . .
CitedPhelps v Hillingdon London Borough Council; Anderton v Clwyd County Council; Gower v Bromley London Borough Council; Jarvis v Hampshire County Council HL 28-Jul-2000
The plaintiffs each complained of negligent decisions in his or her education made by the defendant local authorities. In three of them the Court of Appeal had struck out the plaintiff’s claim and in only one had it been allowed to proceed.
CitedGorringe v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council HL 1-Apr-2004
Statutory Duty Not Extended by Common Law
The claimant sought damages after a road accident. The driver came over the crest of a hill and hit a bus. The road was not marked with any warning as to the need to slow down.
Held: The claim failed. The duty could not be extended to include . .
CitedA and Kanidagli, Regina (on the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Home Department Admn 6-Jul-2004
The claimants, having been granted leave to remain in the UK, sought damages saying that maladministration by the defendant had led to serious delays in their receiving statutory welfare benefits.
Held: It was fair, just and reasonable that an . .
CitedAnufrijeva and Another v London Borough of Southwark CA 16-Oct-2003
The various claimants sought damages for established breaches of their human rights involving breaches of statutory duty by way of maladministration. Does the state have a duty to provide support so as to avoid a threat to the family life of the . .
CitedJain and Another v Trent Strategic Health Authority CA 22-Nov-2007
The claimant argued that the defendant owed him a duty of care as proprietor of a registered nursing home in cancelling the registration of the home under the 1984 Act. The authority appealed a finding that it owed such a duty.
Held: The . .
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.

Immigration, Human Rights, Negligence

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.431248

Sidaway v Board of Governors of the Bethlem Royal Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital: HL 21 Feb 1985

The plaintiff alleged negligence in the failure by a surgeon to disclose or explain to her the risks inherent in the operation which he had advised.
Held: The appeal failed. A mentally competent patient has an absolute right to refuse to consent to medical treatment for any reason, rational or irrational, or for no reason at all, even where that decision may lead to his or her own death.
However, where a patient does not ask as to the risks, Lord Diplock said: ‘we are concerned here with volunteering unsought information about risks of the proposed treatment failing to achieve the result sought or making the patient’s physical or mental condition worse rather than better. The only effect that mention of risks can have on the patient’s mind, if it has any at all, can be in the direction of deterring the patient from undergoing the treatment which in the expert opinion of the doctor it is in the patient’s interest to undergo. To decide what risks the existence of which a patient should be voluntarily warned and the terms in which such warning, if any, should be given, having regard to the effect that the warning may have, is as much an exercise of professional skill and judgment as any other part of the doctor’s comprehensive duty of care to the individual patient, and expert medical evidence on this matter should be treated in just the same way. The Bolam test should be applied.’ and ‘a doctor’s duty of care, whether he be general practitioner or consulting surgeon or physician is owed to that patient and none other, idiosyncrasies and all.’ .’
Lord Scarman said: ‘Damage is the gist of the action of negligence’

Lord Templeman, Lord Diplock, Lord Scarman, Lord Keith
[1985] 1 All ER 643, [1985] 2 WLR 480, [1985] AC 871, [1985] UKHL 1
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBolam 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 . .
CitedMaynard v West Midlands Regional Health Authority HL 1985
The test of professional negligence is the standard of the ordinary skilled man exercising and professing to have that special skill. Lord Scarman said: ‘a doctor who professes to exercise a special skill must exercise the ordinary skill must . .
CitedWhitehouse 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 . .

Cited by:
CitedAiredale NHS Trust v Bland CA 9-Dec-1992
The official Solicitor appealed against a decision that doctors could withdraw medical treatment including artificial nutrition, from a patient in persistent vegetative state.
Held: The doctors sought permission to act in accordance with . .
CitedAiredale NHS Trust v Bland HL 4-Feb-1993
Procedures on Withdrawal of Life Support Treatment
The patient had been severely injured in the Hillsborough disaster, and had come to be in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). The doctors sought permission to withdraw medical treatment. The Official Solicitor appealed against an order of the Court . .
CitedGillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority and Department of Health and Social Security HL 17-Oct-1985
Lawfulness of Contraceptive advice for Girls
The claimant had young daughters. She challenged advice given to doctors by the second respondent allowing them to give contraceptive advice to girls under 16, and the right of the first defendant to act upon that advice. She objected that the . .
CitedIn re MB (Medical Treatment) CA 26-Mar-1997
The patient was due to deliver a child. A delivery by cesarean section was necessary, but the mother had a great fear of needles, and despite consenting to the operation, refused the necessary consent to anesthesia in any workable form.
Held: . .
CitedAB and others v Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust QBD 26-Mar-2004
Representative claims were made against the respondents, hospitals, pathologists etc with regard to the removal of organs from deceased children without the informed consent of the parents. They claimed under the tort of wrongful interference.
FollowedIn re T (Adult: Refusal of Treatment) CA 1992
A patient’s right to veto medical treatment is absolute: ‘This right of choice is not limited to decisions which others might regard as sensible. It exists notwithstanding that the reasons for making the choice are rational, irrational, unknown or . .
CitedPearce and Pearce v United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust CA 20-May-1998
A doctor advised a mother to delay childbirth, but the child was then stillborn. She complained that he should have advised her of the risk of the baby being stillborn.
Held: ‘In a case where it is being alleged that a plaintiff has been . .
CitedChester v Afshar HL 14-Oct-2004
The claimant suffered back pain for which she required neurosurgery. The operation was associated with a 1-2% risk of the cauda equina syndrome, of which she was not warned. She went ahead with the surgery, and suffered that complication. The . .
CitedGregg v Scott HL 27-Jan-2005
The patient saw his doctor and complained about a lump under his arm. The doctor failed to diagnose cancer. It was nine months before treatment was begun. The claimant sought damages for the reduction in his prospects of disease-free survival for . .
CitedMoy v Pettman Smith (a firm) and another HL 3-Feb-2005
Damages were claimed against a barrister for advice on a settlement given at the door of the court. After substantial litigation, made considerably more difficult by the negligence of the solicitors, the barrister had not advised the claimant at the . .
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 . .
CitedPowell and Another v Boldaz and others CA 1-Jul-1997
The plaintiff’s son aged 10 died of Addison’s Disease which had not been diagnosed. An action against the Health Authority was settled. The parents then brought an action against 5 doctors in their local GP Practice in relation to matters that had . .
CitedF v West Berkshire Health Authority HL 17-Jul-1990
The parties considered the propriety of a sterilisation of a woman who was, through mental incapacity, unable to give her consent.
Held: The appeal succeeded, and the operation would be lawful if the doctor considered it to be in the best . .
CitedMcFaddens (A Firm) v Platford TCC 30-Jan-2009
The claimant firm of solicitors had been found negligent, and now sought a contribution to the damages awarded from the barrister defendant. They had not managed properly issues as to their clients competence to handle the proceedings.
Held: . .
AppliedMontgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board SCS 30-Jul-2010
Outer House – The pursuer sought damages for personal injuries to her son at his birth, alleging negligence by the medical staff at the defender hospital. She said that she had been advised a cesarian birth for her child, but the doctors had not . .
CitedNM v Lanarkshire Health Board SCS 23-Jan-2013
Inner House – The pursuer and reclaimer sought reparation for son after grave injury sustained at his birth in a maternity hospital run by the defenders and respondents. She attributes that injury to negligence in a consultant obstetrician. . .
CriticisedMontgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board SC 11-Mar-2015
Change in Doctors’ Information Obligations
The pursuer claimed that her obstetrician had been negligent, after her son suffered severe injury at birth. The baby faced a birth with shoulder dystocia – the inability of the shoulders to pass through the pelvis. The consultant considered that a . .
CitedNicklinson and Another, Regina (on The Application of) SC 25-Jun-2014
Criminality of Assisting Suicide not Infringing
The court was asked: ‘whether the present state of the law of England and Wales relating to assisting suicide infringes the European Convention on Human Rights, and whether the code published by the Director of Public Prosecutions relating to . .
CitedFreeman v Home Office (No 2) CA 1984
A prisoner brought an action in battery against a prison doctor for administering drugs to him by injection. He argued that he was incapable of consenting to the procedure because he was in the defendant’s custody. . He failed at trial.
Held: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Health, Torts – Other, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.180380

Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased): HL 11 Feb 1999

The deceased was a prisoner known to be at risk of committing suicide. Whilst in police custody he hanged himself in his prison cell. The Commissioner accepted that he was in breach of his duty of care to the deceased, but not that that breach was caustive of the death by suicide.
Held: Police and other officers of the state who take people into custody have a duty towards those so held of reasonable care. Where there was a known risk of self-harm or suicide, they had a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent such acts. It was not open to them to plead novus actus interveniens or volenti non fit injuria in defence of an action by the estate of a deceased. A duty to protect against obvious risks or self-inflicted harm exists only in cases in which there is no genuine and informed choice, such as the despair of prisoners which may lead them to inflict injury on themselves. ‘whatever views one may have about suicide in general, a 100 per cent. apportionment of responsibility to Mr. Lynch gives no weight at all to the policy of the law in imposing a duty of care upon the police. It is another different way of saying that the police should not have owed Mr. Lynch a duty of care. The law of torts is not just a matter of simple morality but contains many strands of policy, not all of them consistent with each other, which reflect the complexity of life. An apportionment of responsibility ‘as the court thinks just and equitable’ will sometimes require a balancing of different goals. ‘
Lord Hoffmann: ‘This philosophy [the individualist philosophy of the common law] expresses itself in the fact that duties to safeguard from harm deliberately caused by others are unusual and a duty to protect a person of full understanding from causing harm to himself is very rare indeed.’
Lord Hope of Craighead: ‘It is unusual for a person to be under a duty to take reasonable care to prevent another person doing something to his loss, injury or damage deliberately. On the whole people are entitled to act as they please, even if this will inevitably lead to their own death or injury.’

Lord Hoffmann, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hobhouse of Wood-borough
Times 16-Jul-1999, Gazette 11-Aug-1999, [1999] 3 WLR 363, [1999] UKHL 35, [2000] 1 AC 360, [1999] 3 All ER 897
House of Lords, Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromReeves (Joint Administratrix of the Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) v Commissioner of Police for Metropolis CA 10-Nov-1997
The fact that the deceased committed suicide whilst in custody does not necessarily absolve the police of blame if the deceased was a known suicide risk. . .
CitedImperial Chemical Industries Ltd v Shatwell HL 6-Jul-1964
The respondent was employed as a shot firer in a quarry, and was to test the electric wiring connecting explosive charges. Contrary to instructions that testing must be done from a shelter, the respondent and another shot firer carried out a test in . .
CitedEmpress Car Company (Abertillery) Ltd v National Rivers Authority HL 22-Jan-1998
A diesel tank was in a yard which drained into a river. It was surrounded by a bund to contain spillage, but that protection was over ridden by an extension pipe from the tank to a drum outside the bund. Someone opened a tap on that pipe so that . .
CitedKirkham v Anderton, The Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester police CA 20-Dec-1989
The claimant’s husband hanged himself in Risley Remand Centre after the police had failed to warn the prison authorities that he was (as the police knew) a suicide risk. He was suffering from clinical depression and had previously attempted suicide . .
CitedHutchinson v London and North Eastern Railway Co. CA 1942
Goddard LJ said: ‘It is only too common to find in cases where the plaintiff alleges that a defendant employer has been guilty of a breach of a statutory duty, that a plea of contributory negligence has been set up. In such a case I always directed . .
CitedStaveley Iron and Chemical Co Ltd v Jones HL 1956
The court must avoid treating every risky act by an employee due to familiarity with the work or some inattention resulting from noise or strain as contributory negligence: ‘ . . in Factory Act cases the purpose of imposing the absolute obligation . .
CitedHyde v Thameside Area Health Authority CA 1986
. .
CitedRegina v Collins; Pathfinder Mental Health Services NHS Trust and St Georges Health Care NHS Trust ex parte M S CA 3-Jul-1997
The hospital authorities applied ex parte and were granted a declaration which dispensed with the applicant’s consent to medical treatment.
Held: Her appeal was allowed. A declaration (especially one affecting an individual’s personal . .
CitedStansbiev Troman CA 1948
A decorator working alone in a house went out to buy wallpaper and left the front door unlocked. He was held liable for the loss caused by a thief who entered while he was away. For the purpose of attributing liability to the thief (e.g. in a . .
CitedForsikringsaktieselskapt Vesta v Butcher HL 1988
A contract of insurance and a facultative reinsurance, under which part of the original risk was reinsured, contained warranties in identical terms.
Held: The warranty in the reinsurance policy, which was governed by English law, should be . .
CitedYachuk v Oliver Blais Co Ltd PC 1949
(Canada) Petrol was sold to a child aged nine who was unaware of its dangerous properties, and suffered injury.
Held: A duty of care may be due toward someone unable to appreciate the risks to which he will be exposed by is own act. An . .
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 . .
CitedBritish Columbia Electric Railway Co Ltd v Loach HL 1916
Lord Sumner disapproved of the use of Latin tags in the law. . .
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 . .
CitedRegina v Deputy Governor of Parkhurst Prison, Ex parte Hague, Weldon v Home Office HL 24-Jul-1991
The prisoner challenged the decision to place him in segregation under Prison Rule 43. Under rule 43(1) the initial power to segregate was given to ‘the governor’. The case arose from the fact that the governor of one prison had purported to . .
CitedFreeman v Home Office (No 2) CA 1984
A prisoner brought an action in battery against a prison doctor for administering drugs to him by injection. He argued that he was incapable of consenting to the procedure because he was in the defendant’s custody. . He failed at trial.
Held: . .
CitedRegina v Deputy Governor of Parkhurst Prison, Ex parte Hague CA 5-Jun-1990
A decision to segregate a prisoner under rule 43 is to be made by the governor of the prison where he is held. Taylor LJ said: ‘Apart from the urgency of decisions under r 43, there may well be other public policy grounds for not giving reasons in . .
CitedRegina v Deputy Governor of Parkhurst Prison, Ex parte Hague, Weldon v Home Office QBD 1990
A prisoner challenged the decision that he should be segregated under rule 43.
Held: Ralph Gibson LJ said: ‘In this case Mr Sedley acknowledged that there could not be an unqualified obligation in all cases upon the governor to allow the right . .
CitedCleaver v Mutual Reserve Fund Life Association CA 1892
The deceased’s executors objected to his widow maintaining action on a trust created by an insurance policy in her favour under the Act. She had been convicted of his murder. The executors’ case was that ‘it is against public policy to allow a . .
CitedBeresford v Royal Insurance Co Ltd HL 1938
The forfeiture rule was to be applied in a case involving suicide. An insured may not recover under a policy of insurance in respect of loss intentionally caused by his own criminal or tortious act, however clearly the wording of the policy may . .
CitedWilliams v Birmingham Battery and Metal Co 1899
The burden of proof for establishing the defence of volenti non fit injuria lies on the defendant. . .
CitedScott v Shepherd 1773
Squib Thrower’s Liability through Negligence
An accusation of assault and trespass will lie where the defendant threw a squib which was then thrown about by others in self defence, but eventually exploded putting out the plaintiff’s eye. . .
CitedThe Empire Jamaica 1957
A collision was caused by a ‘blunder in seamanship of . . a somewhat serious and startling character’ by an uncertified second mate. The owners knew that the mate was not certificated and the collision would not have happened if he had not been . .
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 . .
CitedCutler v United Dairies CA 1933
A horse pulling one of the defendant’s vans was seen running loose without a driver. It left the roadway onto private land. The driver caught up and called for help. The plaintiff jumped into the field and was injured trying to restrain the horse. . .
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, . .
CitedStapley v Gypsum Mines Ltd HL 25-Jun-1953
Plaintiff to take own responsibility for damage
The question was whether the fault of the deceased’s fellow workman, they both having disobeyed their foreman’s instructions, was to be regarded as having contributed to the accident.
Held: A plaintiff must ‘share in the responsibility for the . .
CitedNettleship v Weston CA 30-Jun-1971
The plaintiff gave a friend’s wife driving lessons. An experienced driver himself, he checked her insurance first. The learner crashed into a lamp-post, and he was injured. She was convicted of careless driving, and he sought damages. The judge held . .
CitedDann v Hamilton 1939
The maxim volenti non fit injuria, which originates from Roman law, is a notorious source of confusion. The court doubted whether the maxim ever could apply to license in advance a subsequent act of negligence, for if the consent precedes the act of . .

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, 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 appeal . .
CitedAmin, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Oct-2003
Prisoner’s death – need for full public enquiry
The deceased had been a young Asian prisoner. He was placed in a cell overnight with a prisoner known to be racist, extremely violent and mentally unstable. He was killed. The family sought an inquiry into the death.
Held: There had been a . .
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 . .
CitedGorringe v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council HL 1-Apr-2004
Statutory Duty Not Extended by Common Law
The claimant sought damages after a road accident. The driver came over the crest of a hill and hit a bus. The road was not marked with any warning as to the need to slow down.
Held: The claim failed. The duty could not be extended to include . .
CitedD, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Inquest Intervening) CA 28-Feb-2006
The respondent appealed from orders made as to the conduct of an investigation into an attempted suicide in prison. The judge had severely criticised the appellant’s treatment of the case.
Held: The appeal failed. The court recited the . .
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 . .
CitedVellino v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police CA 31-Jul-2001
The police were not under any duty to protect someone who had been arrested from injuring himself in an attempt to escape. The claimant had a history of seeking to avoid capture by jumping from his flat window. On this occasion he injured himself in . .
CitedDorning v Personal Representative of Paul Rigby (Deceased) CA 13-Dec-2007
The claimant motorcyclist appealed dismissal of his claim for damages. Another motorcycle rider had failed to negotiate a bend, and hit a car in coming in the opposite direction. The claimant said that he crashed when he lost control in the debris. . .
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, . .
CitedCorr v IBC Vehicles Ltd HL 27-Feb-2008
The claimant’s husband had committed suicide. She sought damages for financial loss from his former employers under the 1976 Act. He had suffered a severe and debilitating injury working for them leading to his depression and suicide. The employers . .
CitedHurst, Regina (on the Application of) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v London Northern District Coroner HL 28-Mar-2007
The claimant’s son had been stabbed to death. She challenged the refusal of the coroner to continue with the inquest with a view to examining the responsibility of any of the police in having failed to protect him.
Held: The question amounted . .
CitedJL, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice; Regina (L (A Patient)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 26-Nov-2008
The prisoner was left with serious injury after attempting suicide in prison. He said that there was a human rights duty to hold an investigation into the circumstances leading up to this.
Held: There existed a similar duty to hold an enhanced . .
CitedMitchell and Another v Glasgow City Council HL 18-Feb-2009
(Scotland) The pursuers were the widow and daughter of a tenant of the respondent who had been violently killed by his neighbour. They said that the respondent, knowing of the neighbour’s violent behaviours had a duty of care to the deceased and . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.135115

Morris v West Hartlepool Steam Navigation: HL 1956

The ship had followed a practice of leaving the between deck hatch covers off in the absence of a guard rail around the hatchway. The plaintiff seaman fell into the hold. There was evidence that on this ship it was quite usual for men to be sent down to the between decks. The ship owners relied on evidence to suggest that there was a general practice in ships at sea not to erect guard rails in similar circumstances. The trial judge had found for the plaintiff. The Court of Appeal divided but allowed the appeal.
Held: (3-2 majority) The plaintiffs’ appeal succeeded, The ship owners had been shown to be in breach of their common law duty of care to the seamen.
Lord Morton of Henryton (dissenting) said: ‘My Lords, in the face of this evidence, I would find it difficult to hold that a guard-rail round the hatch was a thing which was ‘so obviously wanted’ that the owners and master of the Daltonhall, and inferentially the owners and masters of all the ships of a similar type on which these four experienced witnesses had sailed, were guilty of folly in failing to ensure that such a rail was erected.’
Lord Reid (majority) said: ‘It was argued that, whether the practice of leaving the hatches unprotected was good or bad, the respondents were entitled to rely on it because it had gone on a long time and no one had heard of an accident arising from it. I would agree that, if a practice has been generally followed for a long time in similar circumstances and there has been no mishap, a reasonable and prudent man might well be influenced by that, and it might be difficult to say that the practice was so obviously wrong that to rely on it was folly. But an employer seeking to rely on a practice which is admittedly a bad one must at least prove that it has been followed without mishap sufficiently widely in circumstances similar to those in his own case in all material respects. This part of this case has caused me considerable difficulty, but I do not think that it has been proved that the circumstances were similar where the practice prevailed . . If it ought to have been foreseen in this case, as I hold it ought, that men might be sent near this hatchway during the remainder of the voyage, I do not think that the respondents can rely on this practice as having absolved them from the duty to consider whether guard-rails ought to be put up.’
‘It is the duty of an employer in considering whether some precaution should be taken against the foreseeable risk to weigh on the one hand the magnitude of the risk, the likelihood of an accident happening and the possible seriousness of the consequences if an accident does happen, on the other hand, the difficulty of expense and any other disadvantage of taking the precaution.’
Lord Cohen said: ‘When the court finds a clearly established practice ‘in like circumstances’ the practice weighs heavily in the scale on the side of the defendant and the burden of establishing negligence which the plaintiff has to discharge is a heavy one.’

Lord Morton of Henryton, Lord Reid, Lord Cohen
[1956] AC 552
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedCarter v Ministry of Justice QBD 12-Feb-2010
The claimant, whilst a prisoner, had consulted the prison doctor about a lump in her breast. She complained that her negligence and delay left her with a worse prognosis.
Held: If the doctor had undertaken the standard procedures on such a . .
CitedGray v Stead CA 20-Jul-1999
The defendant fishing boat operator appealed against a finding of liability in negligence in not having provided a single chamber life-jacket to the plaintiff. He said that at the time of the accident in 1994, it was not standard to provide them. . .
CitedGrant v Brown, the Chief Constable of Grampian Police SCS 1-May-2001
. .
CitedHendrie v Scottish Ministers SCS 10-Jan-2002
. .
CitedMcClurg and Others v Royal Ulster Constabulary CANI 25-Jun-2009
. .
CitedBralsford v Conoco Ltd CA 14-Feb-1997
The employers appealed against a finding of negligence causing the plaintiff personal injury. The plaintiff lorry driver for the defendants, had his boot lace caught as he was on top of the tanker. He fell, but was left suspended. . .
CitedHomburg Houtimport BV v Agrosin Private Ltd (The Starsin) CA 23-Jan-2001
Cargo had been negligently stowed on a ship so that condensation caused damage during the subsequent voyage. The claimant only acquired a title to the cargo after the voyage had commenced. The defendants contended that no duty of care could be owed . .
CitedPapera Traders Co Limited and others v Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Limited, The Keihin Co Limited QBD 7-Feb-2002
A fire destroyed the ‘Eurasian Dream’ while in port. It was carrying cars, a fire in which got out of control. It was claimed that the ship managers had been negligent. The bill of lading contracts in the present case incorporated either the Hague . .
CitedSilverlink Trains Ltd v Collins-Williamson CA 31-Jul-2009
. .
CitedBrookes v South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Another CA 28-Apr-2005
Vibration tool injury. . .
CitedA and Others v National Blood Authority and Another QBD 26-Mar-2001
Liability under the Act for a defective product was established where the defect was known, even though the current state of knowledge did not make it possible to identify which of the products was affected. The Act was to be construed to be . .
CitedAB and others v British Coal Corporation and Coal Mining Contractor Defendants QBD 22-Jun-2004
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Personal Injury

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.416726