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Chapter

Cover Tort Law

9. Causation and remoteness of damage  

This chapter discusses the final ‘hurdle’ for the claimant to overcome in the tort of negligence—causation. The claimant must prove that their injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions in both fact and law. To establish cause in fact, the claimant must show, on the balance of probabilities, that the defendant’s breach caused their harm. Tests for cause in law encompass a remoteness test (which involves establishing whether the damage that occurred was foreseeable to the defendant at the time of the negligence). It is the type of harm that must be foreseeable, not its extent. The last part of the test is to ask whether any intervening acts (acts that occurred after the defendant’s breach) broke the chain of causation. If so, the defendant will not be liable.

Chapter

Cover Business Law

12. Non-Physical Damage and Liability for Economic Loss  

This chapter continues on from the previous chapter in discussing liability in negligence for physical damage and considers the potential liability that businesses and individuals may face when they provide advice in the nature of their business, when they cause economic losses not associated with physical damage, and where the claimant suffers a psychiatric injury or nervous shock due to the acts of the tortfeasor. Recently, there has been an increase in instances of imposing liability on employers for the stress and associated health problems suffered by their employees. In the absence of physical damage, restrictions are placed on the imposition of liability for pure economic loss, although such loss has been widened to include damages for negligent misstatements. Of crucial importance is that businesses are aware of the implications of providing information in the course of their professional activities that may cause an investor or client loss through negligence.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

9. Causation and remoteness of damage  

This chapter discusses the final ‘hurdle’ for the claimant to overcome in the tort of negligence—causation. The claimant must prove that their injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions in both fact and law. To establish cause in fact, the claimant must show, on the balance of probabilities, that the defendant’s breach caused their harm. Tests for cause in law encompass a remoteness test (which involves establishing whether the damage that occurred was foreseeable to the defendant at the time of the negligence). It is the type of harm that must be foreseeable, not its extent. The last part of the test is to ask whether any intervening acts (acts that occurred after the defendant’s breach) broke the chain of causation. If so, the defendant will not be liable.