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Chapter

Cover Tort Law

4. Special duty problems: omissions and acts of third parties  

This chapter examines the two separate but closely linked concepts of liability for omissions and for the actions of third parties. The first section considers when and why the courts have established that a duty of care should be owed by defendants when the harm was the result of their omission, and the second explores the situations when a defendant may owe a duty in relation to the action(s) of a third party. Ordinarily you can be liable only for things that you do, but when someone does not do something that they ought to have done a duty might be found. Similarly, while it appears odd that someone may be liable for harms that someone else caused, the courts have nonetheless found that in limited circumstances people who have responsibility for, or control over, others may incur a duty in respect of the harms caused by these third parties.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

4. Special duty problems: omissions and acts of third parties  

This chapter examines the two separate but closely linked concepts of liability for omissions and for the actions of third parties. The first section considers when and why the courts have established that a duty of care should be owed by defendants when the harm was the result of their omission, and the second explores the situations when a defendant may owe a duty in relation to the action(s) of a third party. Ordinarily you can be liable only for things that you do, but when someone does not do something that they ought to have done a duty might be found. Similarly, while it appears odd that someone may be liable for harms that someone else caused, the courts have nonetheless found that in limited circumstances people who have responsibility for, or control over, others may incur a duty in respect of the harms caused by these third parties.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Tort Law

Steel v NRAM Ltd [2018] 1 WLR 1190  

Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Steel v NRAM Ltd [2018] 1 WLR 1190. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Tort Law

Steel v NRAM Ltd [2018] 1 WLR 1190  

Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Steel v NRAM Ltd [2018] 1 WLR 1190. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse.

Chapter

Cover Casebook on Tort Law

3. Special duty problems: omissions and acts of third parties  

This chapter discusses the problem of when a duty of care arises in respect of negligent omissions, or for the actions of a third party. The common law takes the view that it would be too great a burden to impose liability upon a person for a mere omission, or for the actions of others. Despite this, duties can in fact be imposed in various ways, all of which focus on the reliance of the claimant upon the defendant. This can come about either by the previous conduct of the defendant, which induces reliance by the claimant that the defendant will continue to act in that way, or by reliance which comes out of a relationship of dependence between the parties. As regards third parties, a duty may arise where the defendant has control over or responsibility for the third party’s actions.

Chapter

Cover Casebook on Tort Law

6. Special duty problems: economic loss  

This chapter deals with negligence that causes only economic loss. The basic rule is that a person may sue for economic loss which is consequent on physical loss which that person has suffered, but may not if they have only suffered economic loss by itself. There may be exceptions to this rule where there is sufficient proximity between the parties, and one element in this may be reliance by the one on the other. Though there is a general rule that no liability can arise in respect of ‘pure’ economic losses, there is also a broader exception that can arise when such loss happens as a result of a statement being made (rather than an act done), developed from the famous case of Hedley Byrne v Heller.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

7. Special duty problems: economic loss  

This chapter explains when and how the courts have found that a duty of care should be owed by defendants for purely economic loss. This differs from ‘consequential’ economic loss, where financial loss is suffered as a secondary consequence of another harm, such as personal injury or property damage. The tort of negligence distinguishes between these, using duty of care as a device to control whether and when claimants will be able to recover their pure economic losses. The discussions cover the meaning of ‘pure’ economic loss; exceptions to the exclusionary rule; claims for pure economic loss in negligence before Murphy v Brentwood District Council [1990]; and extended applications of the principles established in Hedley Byrne v Heller [1963].

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

7. Defences to Negligence  

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 explores three defences to negligence which are also defences to other torts: volenti non fit injuria or willing assumption of risk, the illegality defence (also known as ex turpi causa), and contributory negligence. In relation to contributory negligence, the chapter considers responsibility, which involves questions both of causal influence and of fault, before turning to a discussion of apportionment of responsibility between the parties, and proportionality. In relation to illegality, recent decisions of the Supreme Court are examined. Relevant provisions of the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 are extracted, together with further extracts from significant cases.

Chapter

Cover Lunney & Oliphant's Tort Law

3. Negligence—Introduction  

Donal Nolan and Ken Oliphant

This chapter introduces the tort of negligence. It first discusses the formulation of a general duty of care, highlighting the case of Donoghue v Stevenson, which established the pre-eminent role of the ‘duty of care’ concept in the tort of negligence, and using the example of product liability to show how the different elements of negligence interact. The chapter then turns to the role of the duty of care concept in modern negligence law, including how the courts determine whether a duty of care is owed, before considering the relationship between negligence and public law.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

7. Special duty problems: economic loss  

This chapter explains when and how the courts have found that a duty of care should be owed by defendants for purely economic loss. This differs from ‘consequential’ economic loss, where financial loss is suffered as a secondary consequence of another harm, such as personal injury or property damage. The tort of negligence distinguishes between these, using duty of care as a device to control whether and when claimants will be able to recover their pure economic losses. The discussions cover the meaning of ‘pure’ economic loss; exceptions to the exclusionary rule; claims for pure economic loss in negligence before Murphy v Brentwood District Council [1990]; and extended applications of the principles established in Hedley Byrne v Heller [1963].

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

5. Duty of Care: Applications  

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 deals with particular applications of the duty of care concept that determine the boundaries of the tort. Various cases on duty of care are examined in terms of recognized categories relating to negligently inflicted psychiatric damage, ‘pure economic loss’, and negligence liability of public authorities. The chapter also considers the assumption of responsibility criterion developed from the case of Hedley Byrne v Heller [1964] AC 465, as well as applications of the ‘Caparo approach’ used in establishing whether a duty is owed. Finally, it looks at emerging organizing concepts which appear to span different categories of case law.