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Flashcards in Negligent Acts Cases Deck (23)
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Case info:

 The Clm suffered damages and trauma having drank a bottle of beer soda that contained a
dead snail in it.
 However, she did not buy the bottle and hence is not able to claim for breach of contract.
 So the Clm decided to sue the manufacturer of the beer.

House of Lords held:

 The manufacturer owed a duty of care to the end consumer of its product
 Was in breach of the contract by allowing a snail to enter the bottle
 It could’ve foreseen the damages if the manufacturer was negligent, which was suffered by
 Mrs Donoghue who had suffered damages as a result entitled to compensation


Hill vs Chief Constable of West Yorkshire


 Clm’s daughter got killed by the Yorkshire Ripper.
 She sued the police for negligently failing to catch the killer before her daughter got killed

House of Lords held:

 Even though the damage was reasonably foreseeable, there was insufficient proximity
between the police and the daughter as the police did not know who was the next victim
 There was also public policy consideration (not fair, just and reasonable), in which imposing
such a duty of care would lead constrain police activity in general.


Weller v Food & Mouth Disease Research Institute


 The Def had negligently let a virus outbreak to occur which resulted in death of most of the
cattle in the area.
 Successful claim was brought by the farmers who lost their cattle (consequential economic
 But Clm (a local auctioneer) wanted to claim for tort of neglignence as well for loss of
income due to the lack of cattle to be auctioned.


 Since the Clm did not suffer any damage in property or to himself, due to public policy
reasons, his claim shall fail.
 Clm only suffered loss of income which is just pure economic loss
 To allow such claim to be successful, will create a floodgate of claims ranging from the milk
producers to retailers (those affected) etc.


Spartan Steel & Alloys Ltd V Martin & Co


 Martin & Co had negligently cut an electric cable which led to power loss for the Clm’s
 Clm was burning metals at that time and suffered damages as the metals could no longer be
 Clm sued for:
o Damages of metal in furnace
o Loss of income due to the damaged metal
o Loss of profit on the production of 4 further metals that the Clm said could not be
processed due to the power cut


 The Clm could only claim for the first 2 claims, because the first were damages made to the
metals that was in the furnace (property loss)
 The second was successful because they were consequential economic loss due to the
damage made to the metals in the furnace (caused by the property loss)
 However, the 3rd failed because they were pure economic loss (policy reasons). It was not
directly consequential upon any damage done to the CLMs property.


Muirhead vs Industrial Tank Specialist


1. CLM suffered losses as all lobsters died in his tank due to faulty pumps manufactured by def.
2. CLM succesfully sued retailer for breach of contract, but retailer Liquidated
3. CLM claimed for : i) Loss of Lobster, ii) Loss of profit from lobster, iii) Expenditure in attempting to fix pump, iv) Cost of pump


1. CLM can only claim for first 2 claims but unable to claim for last 2.
2. First is Loss of Property , second is Consequential Economic Loss.
3. 3rd and 4th cannot be recovered as they are pure economic loss.
4. Negligence is not the making of pump, but rather the negligence of the pump itself which led to lobsters dying. 5. Damages when repairing pump were not suffered as it is only Money


Murphy v Brentwood Borough Council

1. CLM bought house built on inadequate foundations, and when selling lost £30k market value due to cracks in house 2. Builder gone into liquidation so couldn't be sued, so she sued council in negligence due to building inspectors approving work.


1. CLM action failed because he only suffered pure economic loss, subject of negligence is house itself! 2. Althought house was defective, no damage done to CLM property in the house, and no personal injury was caused. 3. Only suffered pure economic loss due to fact he sold house under market value. 4. Tort of a latent (hidden) defect which suddenly materialised and caused personal or property damage would make them responsible, but no DUTY OF CARE for apparent (discovered) defects which simply cost money to repair.


Ross v Caunters


1. Solicitor drafted a will and permitted spouse of beneficiary to witness it, without warning beneficiary would lose his inhearitence.
2. Caused benefieiry to not inherit


1. Solicitor owed duty of care to CLM because he know CLM will lose his inheritance if incorrectly drafted. 2. His expertise was also relied upon in this case.
3.He breached the duty of care by acting carelessly, so he was liable to the CLM even though loss was PURELY economic


White v Jones

1. Man fell out with daughters and remove them from will, then requested solicitor to draw up new one with them back in
2. Died before new will was drafted due to u necessary delays by Solicitor


1. Solicitor owed duty of care to daughters because he know they will lose his inheritance if he did not 2. he breached his duty of care hence was liable for their financial loss


Gotham v Standard Life assaurance

1. Def mis-sold a pension scheme to Mr Gorham, who is now dead, and was under BT pension scheme. Mr gorham made it clear pension was for his family 2. The BT pension scheme gave better protection to Gorham and family but salesman didn't advice him so. 3. Upon his death , family unable to recover pension benefit offered by BT had mr Gorham been a member.


1. Although Financial Service act gave no right to 3rd Parties, the life assuarance industry was also subject to common law rules, hence Standard life owed a duty of care to Gorhams family
2. They knew family would suffer financial loss if they acted negligently.


Bolton v Stone

1. CLM walking when hit by a cricket ball which was hit out the ground
2. Issue was whether club had acted reasonably in ensuring they had minimized the risk of the game to others. 3. Ground surrounded by fence, the top of which was above level of pitch, 6 balls hit out in 28 years, none causing injury


1. Cricket club did owe a duty of care but had not breached it, because it had done everything you would expect a reasonable man to do to prevent an accident. 2. The club was not held liable in negligence


Hilder v Associated Portland Cement

1. DEF owned a factory with land in front where he allowed kidds to play football.
2. One day ball was kicked out onto road, hitting motorcylist causing death


1. Def owed duty of care to all road users and the children
2. The ball was played often ran into road, and likelihood of injury to occur was high.
3. DEF was in breach of duty for failing to take precautions that a reasonable man would have taken to reduce risk.
4. Hence DEF was liable to CLM in negligence for damages caused.


Watt V Herts County Council

Facts :
1. CLM fire fighter who was called to duty to save women who was trapped under lorry 2. Heavy lifting jack needed, but normal transporting lorry not available so ordinary fire engine used. 3. Jack slipped and crushed CLMs leg, CLM sued county council for negligence.


1. Under normal circumstances, fire officers actions would've been unreasonable 2. but this was not normal circumstances as women's life was in danger 3. Hence it was reasonable to take greater risks to in such an emergency hence DEF not in breach of duty of care and not liable in negligence. 4. This is public policy consideration because giving the case to CLM would deter service of fireman, the commercial end to make profit is different from human to save life and limb.


Latimer v AEC


1. Severe rain flooded DEFs factory, causing slippery floor so factory closed for few hours to put saw dust on floor. 2. Small portion of floors not covered due to shortage of saw dust, CLM slipped and fell on untreated floor and sued DEF in negligence.

1. Def not in breach of his contract because they did everything a reasonable man would've done to mitigate risk. 2. Only way for DEF to entirely eliminate risk was to shut factory down 3. Given areas uncovered were small and visible, this would have been a precaution excessive for risk in question, so their conduct was regarded as reasonable meaning no breach of duty of care.


Cole v Royal British Legion


1. Def was owner of of Village green, 2nd Def members of brutish legion who erected a maypole on village green where May Day Fete was held.
2. Maypole removed, and 2nd def filled hole with rocks, but 2 years later CLM fell into hole because hole became exposed 3. CLM sued 1st DEF for failing to inspect green for safety, and 2nd for failing to fill in hole adequately.


1. First DEF not liable as imposing duty of care wouldn't ensure safety, hole checked in morning could've been dug up by people or animal during day. 2. Second def had duty of care to fill hole, this didn't extend to ensuring hold would never become exposed in future 3. Evidence suggested second def had taken all reasonable steps to cover hole, so no breach
4. CLM had already done duty by making sure hole was safely covered so no obligation to ensure that hole was covered in subsequent years.


Hopps v Mott Mcdonald + MOD

1. CLM was engineer injured while carrying out emergency infrastructure work in Iraq where bomb detonated near unarmored vehicle CLM was in. 2. CLM sued for negligence of transporting him in unarmored vehicle.

1. Compensation act did apply, Court decided "desirable activity of reconstruction of a shattered infrastructure after aware, especially where failure to do that work would carry risk for safety of coalition forces and civilian contractors in Iraq as a whole" 2. CLM failed, hence case set precedent that Scope of act is clearly not limited to the provision of public amenities, sports and any other social activity.


Roe v Ministry of Health

1. CLM went to hospital for minor surgery but ended up paralysed.
2. Evidence showed anesthetic which had been given prior to operation was contaminated
3. This was due to hairline cracks in test tubes that stored it, which caused solution which it was immersed in to seep through.
4. CLM sued in negligence for failing to store the drug in a safe manner


1. Hospital did owe duty of care but were not in breach
2. Method to store drug initially was same as all hospitals and considered safe
3. If hospital continued after discovered it was not safe, it would be unreasonable and CLM would've won.
4. They would be liable for any further harm that occurred once they knew the risks, but not liable to this particular CLM 5. so hospital had acted in a way of an average reasonable professional skilled person in the particular profession.


Barnett v Chelsea Hospital

1. Night porters became ill after drinking tea so went to hospital for checkup
2. Spoke to nurse who called doctor, and doctor suggested they go back home and come back in morning if symptoms persist.
3. The night porters died in morning, and post mortem showed they died of Arsenic Poisoning

1. Hospital did owe a duty of care, and was in breach.
2. However doctor had done the appropriate test, result would've come hours afterwords, and they would have died anyways.
3. The hospital was therefore not liable for his death, it was the arsenic poisoning which caused death not negligence.


The Oropesa


1. A ship called Oropesa was negligently navigated and crashed with another ship, 2. Captain of other ship decided to approach the Oropesa in a lifeboat to discus best way to save his ship, but got killed along with crew members due to strong waves. 3. Relatives of deceased sued for negligence.
4. Def argued chain of causation had been broken because captain decided to take lifeboat to Oropesa


1. Owners of Oropesa Liable 2. Captain of other ship didn't break chain of causation and it was reasonable given circumstances
3. No Intervening acts which broke chain of causation
4. If crew attempted to swim, then DEF wouldn't have been liable for any harm suffered in process.


Fairchil v Funeral Service

1. CLM were employees who contracted fatal lung disease due to prolonged asbestos exposure
2. All of them were employed by various employers so were unable to prove which one caused disease 3. They sued all employers jointly, and Court of Appeal held all employers negligent but since it was impossible to establish precisely which employer was actual cause, hence no factual causation between negligence and damages. 4. CLM appealed to House of Lords


1. All CLM successful 2. Although it couldn't be proved which employer directly caused each CLM injuries, it could be proved that asbestos was the ONLY POSSIBLE CAUSE of the disease, so all employers increased chances of contracting it, this was sufficient to establish causation.


The Wagon Mound (Australian)


1. DEF negligent allowed oil to be discharged from their ships into Sydney Harbor 2. CLM company was doing some welding work by harbor and oil being blown towards them 3. They ceased business operations and DEF asked university to assess risk of fire, and university came out that there was no risk 4. So CLM continued operations however sparks ignited the oil , causing a huge fire which destroyed the business 5. CLM sued for negligence in allowing the oil to be discharged into the harbor.


1. Defs not liable for damage even though they had duty of care and breached it. 2. It was not foreseeable that oil would catch fire
3. Damage was therefore too REMOTE.


Doughty V Turner Manufacturing


1. DEF negligently allowed a large asbestos sheet to fall into a cauldron of boiling liquid, at first nothing happened. 2. 2 minutes later, unknown chemical reaction occurred and caused exposing injuring the CLM
3. CLM sued the company alleging that they were vicariously liable for the DEF's negligence.

1. This was unknown chemical reaction so the DEF couldn't foresee that an explosion would occur if acting negligently
2. If the CLM suffered damage due to the splash of asbestos sheet falling into cauldron, then damage would've been foreseeable. 3. The company was not liable to the CLM as damage suffered too remote.


Corr v IBC Vehicles


1. Factory employee injured at work due to negligence of employer (DEF). 2. The employee suffered PTSD and depression, as result of injuries and 6 years later committed suicide. 3. His wife sued in negligence


1.The depression of the employee was foreseeable given the serious permanent nature of injuries.
2. It was also foreseeable that severe PTSD and depression can result in suicide. 3. The claim was therefore successful as employees suicide did not break chain of causation between DEF's negligence and consequences of suicide.


Smith v Brain


1. CLM was employee splashed by molten metal due to negligence of fellow worker. 2. Burn caused CLM to contract cancer and he later died. 3. Medical evidence showed that he had pre cancerous condition and burn activated cancer cell. 4. His widow sued employer for negligence (Vicarious Liability) 5. Defense : Cancer was unforeseeable so damage was too remote


1. The DEF was liable for unforeseen damage where it caused by some weakness or frailty in the CLM such as a weak heart or thin skull.
2. The DEF was therefore liable for the damage (Cancer) although it was unforeseeable.