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Chapter

Cover Casebook on Tort Law

4. Special duty problems: psychiatric harm  

This chapter discusses the ‘special duty issue’ that arises when a person has suffered psychiatric harm as a result of the defendant’s negligence. This issue has an interesting history, for it was thought at first that a claimant could only succeed if he or she was within the range of physical impact. In other words, only the ‘primary’ victim could sue. Liability was later extended to secondary victims; that is, where the claimant was not at risk of physical injury, but saw or heard the accident which caused the shock with his or her own unaided senses.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Tort Law

Rothwell v Chemical & Insulating Co. Ltd [2008] 1 AC 281  

Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Rothwell v Chemical & Insulating Co. Ltd [2008] 1 AC 281. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Tort Law

Rothwell v Chemical & Insulating Co. Ltd [2008] 1 AC 281  

Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Rothwell v Chemical & Insulating Co. Ltd [2008] 1 AC 281. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse.

Chapter

Cover An Introduction to Tort Law

2. Negligence  

Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. This chapter discusses the tort of negligence. It elaborates on duty of care based on foreseeability, proximity, assumption of responsibility, property damage and personal injury, purely economic harm, psychiatric harm, less serious upset, and liability for omissions. It argues that the common law duty is higher when it requires a person to take active steps to protect others than when it requires only that he refrain from positively causing an injury. But once it is held that a duty exists, its level is always, apparently, the same: it is the duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Directions

5. Negligence: duty of care problem areas  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams, and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. The tort of negligence originated as a remedy for property damage and physical injury. However, recovery of compensation for psychiatric injury and pure economic loss, in cases where they were not caused by physical injury or property damage, has proved difficult. Duty of care for psychiatric injury is contingent upon whether the claimant is a primary or secondary victim. This chapter discusses the policy reasons for limiting duty of care for psychiatric injury, the mechanisms by which the law limits duty of care for psychiatric injury, the meaning of ‘pure economic loss’, and the development of the Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd (1964) principle of liability for negligent statements. The chapter also examines the ‘thin skull’ rule, which applies to psychiatric injury in the same way as to physical injury.

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.