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Cover Tort Law

6. Causation, Remoteness, and Scope of Duty: Connection to the Damage  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter examines the essential connection between the defendant’s breach and the damage suffered by the claimant. It explores the elements of factual and legal causation in relation to the tort of negligence. Drawing on recent decisions including Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton and Khan v Meadows, it identifies the existence of other aspects of attribution including the necessity for the damage to fall within the scope of the defendant’s duty. The chapter continues by examining some of the most challenging problems of causation, all of which concern multiple potential causes. It considers issues relating to ‘material contribution to damage’, and whether a given breach has materially contributed to the risk of injury. It then discusses the idea of loss of chance as well as the controversy surrounding uncertainty, single agents, and apportionment and non-tortious sources with respect to causation. A number of relevant cases are considered, including Fairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd [2002], Barker v Corus [2006], Durham v BAI (the ‘Trigger’ Litigation) [2012], IEG v Zurich (2015), and Gregg v Scott [2005].