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Flashcards in Standard of Care Deck (11):
1

Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks

D must behave as a reasonable man would in all the circumstances.

2

Hall v Brooklands Auto Racing

- Who is the reasonable man?
- The man on the Clapham omnibus.
- The standard is objective.

3

Glasgow Corporation v Muir

- Ignore the personal characteristics of the defendant.
- Impersonal test.

4

Etheridge v East Sussex County Council

- Although you ignore the personal characteristics, the standard is not absolute. D does not have to do everything possible to prevent harm, just reach the standard of a reasonable person.
- This means you don't have to ensure harm never comes to anyone, just not be negligent - act CAREFULLY!

5

THE PROFESSIONAL STANDARD

Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee

- What would the reasonable professional have done rather than the man on the Clapham omnibus?
- Solicitor should attain standard of reasonably competent solicitor, doctor of reasonably competent doctor etc.
- May be room for variation in some professions e.g. GP not expected to reach same standard as consultant.

6

THE LOWER STANDARD

Nettleship v Weston

Wilsher v Essex

- General rule: courts reluctant to accept lower standard than that of reasonable man.

- Nettleship - learner driver required to drive to the standard of the reasonably competent driver.

Wilsher - junior doctor judged by standard of the reasonable doctor in that field of medicine, regardless of own inexperience.

7

EXCEPTION - Children

Mullins v Richards

- D and C both 15 y/o school girls.
- Play fight, piece of plastic ruler broke off and hit one in the eye.
- Correct test is whether a reasonable and careful 15 year old would have foreseen the risk of injury.
- 2 schoolgirls on the facts could not reasonably have foreseen risk of injury here.
- D had not fallen below standard of reasonable 15 y/o.

8

Orchard v Lee

- Two 13 y/o boys playing tag in school playground - one collided with and injured C.
- Where 13 y/o child was playing in play area, not breaking any rules and not acting to significant degree beyond norms of the game, would not be liable.

9

PROBLEM CATEGORIES

1. SPORTS CASES

Condon v Basi

Watson v Gray

Condon
- Higher degree of care required of first division footballer than that of local league player.

Watson
- Professional footballer judged by standard of care of reasonably competent footballer. Professional footballer would avoid challenges known to carry significant risk of injury.

10

2. CHOICE OF STANDARD

- Ask: who would usually perform the relevant task/act?
- The reasonable professional or the reasonable man?
- Choose the standard based on this.

Wells v Cooper

Philips v William Whiteley

Wells
- C suffered injury when door handle came off in his hand. D was householder who carried out work on his property.
- Changing door handle does not require specialist skill so D required to reach standard of reasonably competent amateur carpenter, not higher standard of professional carpenter.

Philips:
- Jeweller who undertook ear piercing required to possess skill or reasonable jeweller, not surgeon.

11

3. DISABILITY/ILLNESS

- Do courts consider D's illness/disability in determining the standard of care?

- Roberts v Ramsbottom
- Mansfield v Weetabix Ltd

Roberts:
- D was elderly man who had stroke before driving into town.
- Aware consciousness was impaired but did not realise he had had stroke.
- Collided with stationary van then hit and injured C as she emerged from stationary vehicle.
- D was negligent - to be judged by standard of reasonable competent driver.

Mansfield:
- Lorry driver crashed vehicle into C's shop after suffering hypoglycaemic attack.
- No evidence to suggest BEFORE crash driver knew ability to drive was impaired.
- Crash and attack happened simultaneously.
- Could not take evasive action, so D was to be judged in comparison with reasonably competent driver who is unaware he is suffering a condition which impairs ability to drive.
- No liability.