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Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Tort Law

3. Negligence II: Breach of Duty  

Dr Karen Dyer and Dr Anil Balan

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses negligence in terms of breach of duty. To answer questions on this topic, students need to understand the following: the concept of duty of care in negligence; the objective standard of care: the ‘reasonable person’ and factors relevant to the standard of care; variations of the objective standard: children, emergency situations, sporting events, and skilled persons ‘professing to have a special skill’; and res ipsa loquitur.

Chapter

Cover Street on Torts

6. Breach of duty  

This chapter examines breach of duty in negligence. It discusses the factors that courts consider in determining whether defendants are in breach of their duties of care to claimants. In each case, these factors include the foreseeability of harm to the claimant, the appropriate standard of care owed by the defendant to the claimant, and the conduct of the defendant in comparison to the expected standard of care. This chapter suggests that the question of whether the defendant has breached a duty of care is a mixed one of law and fact and that the standard of care required of the defendant is an exclusively legal construct and based on the standard of a hypothetical reasonable person. The chapter considers also special issues involving proof of breach, most importantly in the application of the res ipsa loquitur doctrine.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Concentrate

6. Breach of duty  

The standard of care

This chapter discusses the law on standard of care and breach of duty. To establish that the duty of care has been breached, the standard of care must first be found and then it must be decided if that standard was reached in the circumstances. The general standard of care is objective: the ‘reasonable person’ standard. Variations in the standard of care regarding children and the more skilled or professional are discussed, as are those pertaining to sport and the medical profession. Proof of breach must be established by the claimant on the balance of probabilities; occasionally with the benefit of the evidential tool of res ipsa loquitur.