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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: Text and Materials

9. Negligence: Duty of Care—Omissions and Acts of Third Parties  

This chapter examines liability for omissions and for the acts of a third party in negligence. Despite the general principle excluding liability for omissions, liability may arise in certain exceptional circumstances, but no precise categorisation is possible of the various situations in which a duty of affirmative action is recognised. The question of liability for the acts of a third party often overlaps with the question of liability for omissions because in a third party case the complaint is often of an omission, for example a failure to control a third party, or to prevent a dangerous situation from being sparked off by a third party. But not all third-party cases involve omissions. Sometimes the complaint is simply that the defendant provided the third party with the opportunity or the means to injure the claimant, and it is that conduct which is alleged to be negligent, regardless of whether the defendant unreasonably failed at some subsequent point of time to intervene to prevent the injury.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Tort Law

Mitchell and another v Glasgow City Council [2009] UKHL 11  

Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Mitchell and another v Glasgow City Council [2009] UKHL 11. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse.

Chapter

Cover Markesinis & Deakin's Tort Law

19. Vicarious Liability and Non-Delegable Duties  

Vicarious liability is liability imposed on an employer to a third party for the tort of his employee committed in the course of employment. Vicarious liability is another instance of stricter liability in the sense that the employer who is not at fault is made responsible for the employee’s default. It thereby gives the injured party compensation from the person who is better able to pay and spread the cost of the injury, namely the employer. Anyone who wishes to hold an employer vicariously liable must prove: that the wrongdoer was his employee, or that the relationship between them was ‘akin’ to employment; that he committed a tort; and that he committed it in the course of his employment. This chapter discusses each of this in turn. It also considers contribution between employer and employee; liability for the torts of independent contractors; the expanding categories of non-delegable duties; and the changing contours of employer’s liability.

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

Home Office v Dorset Yacht Co. Ltd [1970] AC 1004  

Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Home Office v Dorset Yacht Co. Ltd [1970] AC 1004. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Tort Law

Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2015] UKSC 2  

Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2015] UKSC 2. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse.

Chapter

Cover Lunney & Oliphant's Tort Law

9. Negligence: Duty of Care—Omissions and Acts of Third Parties  

Donal Nolan and Ken Oliphant

This chapter examines liability for omissions and for the acts of a third party in negligence. Despite the general principle excluding liability for omissions, liability may arise in certain exceptional circumstances, but no precise categorisation is possible of the various situations in which a duty of affirmative action is recognised. The question of liability for the acts of a third party often overlaps with the question of liability for omissions because in a third-party case the complaint is often of an omission, for example a failure to control a third party, or to prevent a dangerous situation from being sparked off by a third party. But not all third-party cases involve omissions. Sometimes the complaint is simply that the defendant provided the third party with the opportunity or the means to injure the claimant, and it is that conduct which is alleged to be negligent, regardless of whether the defendant unreasonably failed at some subsequent point of time to intervene to prevent the injury. In this chapter, analysis of these issues is book-ended by sections addressing the distinction between acts and omissions, and the reasons for treating the latter differently from the former (I), and the specific question of nonfeasance by public bodies (IV).

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Tort Law

Home Office v Dorset Yacht Co. Ltd [1970] AC 1004  

Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Home Office v Dorset Yacht Co. Ltd [1970] AC 1004. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Tort Law

JD v East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust [2005] 2 AC 373  

Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in JD v East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust [2005] 2 AC 373. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Tort Law

Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2015] UKSC 2  

Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2015] UKSC 2. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse.