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Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Tort Law

Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Docks & Engineering Co. Ltd (The Wagon Mound No 1) [1961] AC 388  

Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Docks & Engineering Co. Ltd (The Wagon Mound No 1) [1961] AC 388. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Tort Law

Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Docks & Engineering Co. Ltd (The Wagon Mound No 1) [1961] AC 388  

Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Docks & Engineering Co. Ltd (The Wagon Mound No 1) [1961] AC 388. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse.

Chapter

Cover An Introduction to Tort Law

4. Causation  

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 issue of causation. Damages are due to the victim only if the harm was due to the tortfeasor. The harm must be the effect of the defendant's misconduct and causation must be established. The principal question to ask in matters of causation is: Did the breach of duty contribute to the occurrence of the harm? At all costs one must avoid the easy supposition that a result can have only one cause, or that one must seek out the ‘main’ cause, relevant though this may be in claims under an insurance policy. The chapter also identifies three ways that the law lets a defendant off the hook even though the harm would not have occurred but for his negligence. These are the rules of remoteness, intervention, and purpose.

Chapter

Cover Street on Torts

7. Causation and remoteness  

This chapter examines the issues of causation and remoteness in negligence, which basically concern the links between breaches of duty and the consequences of those breaches and the strength of those links. The chapter considers in detail causation in fact, causation in law, and remoteness of damage. We find that courts have developed several important exceptions to the ordinary ‘but for’ test of factual causation, including the Fairchild principle. Fairchild can be considered as a departure from the normal requirement that the claimant must prove factual causation of damage. Legal causation is tested by looking for unexpected events called novi actus intervenientes. Remoteness is an issue of foreseeability of damage.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Directions

4. Negligence: causation  

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. In addition to duty of care and breach of that duty, the third essential element to bring a successful action in negligence is causation of damage. In other words, the claimant must prove on the balance of probabilities that the breach caused his damage. The defendant cannot be made liable for the harm suffered by the claimant if he is not responsible, or partly responsible, for such harm—even if he has been negligent. The question of causation can be divided into two issues: causation in fact and causation in law (also known as remoteness). The primary means of establishing factual causation is the ‘but for’ test. Reasonable foreseeability of damage of the relevant type (Wagon Mound) is required to establish that the claimant’s injury is not too remote. The chain of causation may be broken by unreasonable or unforeseeable acts or events (novus actus interveniens).

Chapter

Cover Markesinis & Deakin's Tort Law

7. Breach of Statutory Duty  

This chapter begins by considering the nature of the action for breach of statutory duty. The action for breach of statutory duty enables the claimant to recover compensation for losses brought about by the defendant’s failure to comply with a statutory obligation. Increasing areas of commercial and business activity are regulated by legislation designed to protect the health and safety of employees, consumers, and road-users; regulation may also have the aim of protecting certain property and financial interests. The second part of the chapter discusses the components of a liability covering the availability of a civil remedy; the scope of the civil remedy; causation, remoteness, and defences; and liability for breach of obligations arising under EU law.

Chapter

Cover Complete Contract Law

10. Remedies Part II: Principles That Can Limit the Damages Awarded Following a Breach  

This chapter studies the principles that can limit the damages awarded following a breach of contract. It starts with the principle of causation. The idea here is that the breach must have caused the loss. A related issue is the limited application of contributory negligence. Where relevant, damages can be reduced to reflect any fault on the part of the innocent claimant. Both of these factors are of fairly minor importance. The main limiting factor is the principle of remoteness. It is a principle that limits liability to the risks the party in breach appeared to accept. Finally, the chapter looks at the duty to mitigate losses. This requires the innocent party to take reasonable steps to reduce (and not unreasonably increase) the loss suffered after a breach. Depending on the facts, disputes can involve any or all of these limitations.

Chapter

Cover Lunney & Oliphant's Tort Law

5. Causation and Scope of Liability  

Donal Nolan and Ken Oliphant

Before liability can arise in negligence a causal link must be established between the negligence of the defendant and the injury for which the claimant claims compensation. The first hurdle that must be overcome is to show an historical connection between the defendant’s negligence and the injury (factual causation). This is normally decided by the application of the but-for test: but for the defendant’s negligence, would the claimant have suffered the injury that they did? If factual causation is satisfied, the claimant must then show that the defendant should be legally responsible for the damage the claimant has suffered. This second strand of the causation enquiry may involve issues of ‘legal causation’, which is to say consideration of the effect of intervening acts, whether of the claimant or of a third party, occurring between the defendant’s negligence and the claimant’s injury. It may also involve consideration of whether the defendant should not have to pay for the full extent of the damage because it is considered too remote. These issues are considered in this chapter.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law: Text and Materials

5. Causation and Scope of Liability  

Before liability can arise in negligence a causal link must be established between the negligence of the defendant and the injury for which the claimant claims compensation. The first hurdle that must be overcome is to show an historical connection between the defendant’s negligence and the injury (factual causation). This is normally decided by the application of the but-for test: but for the defendant’s negligence, would the claimant have suffered the injury that he or she did? If factual causation is satisfied, the claimant must then show that the defendant should be legally responsible for the damage the claimant has suffered. This second strand of the causation enquiry may involve issues of ‘legal causation’, which is to say consideration of the effect of intervening acts, whether of the claimant or of a third party, occurring between the defendant’s negligence and the claimant’s injury. It may also involve consideration of whether the defendant should not have to pay for the full extent of the damage because it is considered too remote. These issues are considered in this chapter.

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

14. The tort of negligence  

This chapter focuses on the tort of negligence. It explains that under the English legal system, negligence can be defined as a breach of a legal duty to take care which results in damage to the claimant. It suggests that negligence is the most important tort and is central in allowing victims to obtain compensation for injuries that they suffer. The chapter discusses in detail the four requirements for establishing negligence, namely the establishment of a duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and remoteness. This chapter also discusses the current test to establish a duty of care which includes foreseeability of damage, proximity, and fairness of the imposition of a duty.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

16. Compensatory remedies  

Damages for breach of contract

This chapter considers compensatory damages, the primary remedy for breach of contract which an affected party can seek in English law. It first examines how the courts assess and award damages based on two approaches: expectation interest and reliance interest. In particular, it looks at the various measures of damages such as the loss of profit measure, the ‘cost of cure’ and ‘difference in value’ measures, loss of amenity and disappointed expectations, and the loss of chance measure. The chapter also discusses the various ways in which compensatory remedies can be limited in law by focusing on the principles of causation, mitigation, and remoteness. Finally, it evaluates the role damages play in contract law and suggests that English law gives the parties a good deal of freedom to design remedies, which parties can use when designing contracts.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Tort Law

4. Negligence III: Causation and Remoteness of Damage  

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 causation and remoteness of damage. To answer questions on this topic, students need to understand the following: the concept of causation in negligence; causation in fact: the standard ‘but for’ test; variations of the ‘but for’ test: unknown causes, consecutive causes, and cumulative causes; causation in law: the test for ‘remoteness of damage’; the ‘eggshell-skull’ rule; and novus actus interveniens (new intervening acts): the act of the claimant, the act of third parties, and natural events.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Concentrate

8. Causation  

Intervening acts and remoteness

This chapter discusses the law on intervening acts and remoteness. There are a range of situations in which the defendant’s act can be a cause of the claimant’s loss because it satisfies the ‘but-for’ test. However, this is followed by one or more events which contribute to the eventual damage in such a way that the chain of causation can be broken. This is sometimes referred to as an intervening act (or novus actus interveniens), and such acts can be divided into three categories: actions by the claimant himself, actions by a third party, and natural events. Remoteness is a simpler way of describing what is also known as causation in law, and is concerned with the extent of a defendant’s duty. The key case is The Wagon Mound (No 1) where the test of reasonable foreseeability of damage was adopted.

Chapter

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].