Negligence & Duty Of Care Essay

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The leading case in Negligence is the case of Donoghue v Stevenson (1932)
This case explains that, Mrs Donoghue and her friend went to a cafe in Paisley. At the cafe, Mrs Donoghues’ friend bought her a drink which was a ginger beer float consisting of ginger beer that was in an opaque bottle. After Mrs Donoghue drank out of the drink in a beer cup, her friend topped up the drink, and then they found in the ginger beer bottle a decomposed remains of a snail. Mrs Donoghue claimed that the memories of seeing the snail in the ginger beer she had already drunk made her ill.
Mrs Donoghue could not sue the retailer of the ginger beer for breach of contract because she was not the one that bought the beer herself this is because the contract had been made between the retailer and her friend. She therefore sued against the manufacturer in tort as it was not worth suing the retailer who had only sold the drink to them.

The neighbour test
This was brought about by Lord Atkins in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson (1932).
Lord Atkins stated that there must be some general conception of relations giving rise to a duty of care. The rule was that a person must love his neighbour which became in law that you must not injure you neighbour. The question was that “who then in law is my neighbour?
The answer was that anyone who is closely and directly affected by your act, to reasonably have them in contemplation as being affected when you are directed to a act.

Duty of care
This was brought to existence by Lord Bridge in Caparon Industries v Dickman (1990) in this case:

The test in this case was that it must be clarified whether the loss was foreseeable i.e. if it could have been prevented as in case of Donoghue v Stevenson (1932) in the neighbour principle. If the loss was foreseeable, whether there was a sufficient relationship of proximity between the parties should be taken into consideration. If the was, whether it was fair, just and reasonable to impose liability....

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