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Flashcards in Duty of Care Deck (69)
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Donoghue v Stevenson

You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee as likely to injure your neighbor. Neighbors are those who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation when directing my mind to that act or omission.


Anns v Merton test

1. Were C and D in a sufficient relationship of proximity or neighborhood so that in D's reasonable contemplation his carelessness might cause damage to C?

2. Were there any other considerations which ought to negative, reduce or limit the duty?


Caparo test

1. Was the harm suffered by C foreseeable?
2. Were the parties sufficiently proximate?
3. Would the imposition of a duty of care be fair, just and reasonable?

These are three facets of the same question rather than distinct stages in the test!



The requirement of "proximity" may refer to the relationship between D and the source of harm in the sense that D must have had a measure of control over the potentially dangerous situation such that there was a direct and immediate connection between D's role and C's injury.


Mare Rich

Where the balance of rights and duties between C and D are regulated by international law the courts must have regard to this when deciding whether to impose a duty of care.


Perrett v Collins

Where C suffers injury of a high order (here personal injury vs property damage in Rich) the courts will be more ready to find a duty of care.



If recognizing a DoC would open the floodgates, e.g. By conferring an unwarranted entitlement on the world at large, imposing a DoC would not be fair, just and reasonable.


McKay v Essex AHA

To recognize a claim for wrongful life just because C is disabled would devalue the worth of many people in society.


McFarlane v Tayside Health Board

It is not fair, just and reasonable to consider a child "damage" as this offends the sanctity of human life.


CBS Songs

If imposing liability would subvert a statutory regime or other existing common law rules covering the same ground courts should be reluctant to do so.


Spring v Guardian Assurance Plc

Employers have a duty to provide a fair and accurate employee reference and take reasonable steps to ascertain the factual basis of their assertions.


Parkinson v St James University Hospital

It is fair, just and reasonable that a surgeon be held responsible for the terrible physical outcomes of his negligence.


Bourhill v Young

C cannot build on a wrong to someone else because the DoC must be owed by D TO THE PARTICULAR CLAIMANT.


Burton v Islington

D need not be able to identify C specifically; C need not even be in existence when the tort was committed as long as the DoC would be owed to her had she been.


Kirkham v CC Greater Manchester

Where C is under the care or control of D and cannot protect himself (eg mentally disturbed person in police custody) D owes a duty to act.


Davis v Stena Line

Where D gains benefits from his relationship with C he may have a duty of positive action to save C (eg carriers have a duty to save a man overboard).


Home Office v Dorset Yacht

Where D has a r/s of supervision of control with the person causing C harm he may owe a duty to C to exercise that supervisory control.


Lewis v Carmathenshire CC

The HOME OFFICE V DORSET YACHT principle applies to schools and schoolchildren in their care.


Barrett v MoD

If C is a full adult of sound mind the extent of D's duty to protect C must be tempered by considerations of self-responsibility.


Smith v Littlewoods

D's duty as property owner to remove hazards on his land for the safety of his neighbors or visitors does not extend to guarding against willful human conduct if this would impose an unreasonable burden, save in very special circumstances.


Capital and Counties PSC

The fire service is not liable for turning up late to a fire but it will be liable if it does turn up and makes things worse


Hill v CC of West Yorkshire

The police do not owe a duty of care to a particular victim of crime to apprehend the criminal before he victimizes C.

Imposing such a duty on the police would run the risk of defensive policing which would affect their ability to serve the public good


Kent v Griffiths

If an ambulance service accepts a call from C specifically and negligently fails to turn up at the target time it may be liable, since unlike police/fire service upon accepting the emergency call the service takes up a duty to C specifically.


Reeves v MPC

A public service may incur liability for failing to save an identifiable person whose protection from personal injury it can be said to have assumed.


Hedley Byrne (2)

If D undertakes to see to it and C relies upon that undertaking, D might be liable for negligent misstatement causing pure economic loss IF he has not given a disclaimer.

It is relevant whether D is giving advice gratuituously or is acting for indirect reward.


Henderson v Merrett Syndicates

If D holds himself out as possessing a particular expertise and C places implicit reliance upon that expertise an assumption of responsibility imposing a DoC may be found.


Smith v Bush

Liability may arise if D knew or ought to have known that P would rely in the statement he gives and P's reliance was reasonable.


Williams v Natural Life Health Foods

C's reliance must have been reasonable for an assumption of responsibility to arise.


Chaudry v Prabhakar

A Gratuituous agent may owe a DoC where the circumstances make it clear that considered advice is being sought.


White v Jones (which case extended the decision beyond its facts?)

A solicitor who knows that the economic will-being of the testator's beneficiaries is dependent on his careful conduct of the testator's affairs owes them a duty of reasonable care.

(Extended outside of the solicitor-will context in Borhm, the pension plan case)