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Barclays Bank Ltd v Fairclough Building Ltd

[1994] 3 WLR 1057

Case summary last updated at 04/01/2020 14:02 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Barclays Bank Ltd v Fairclough Building Ltd

P had allowed asbestos to permeate its roof and hired D to remove it, using a high-quality roof specialist. D breached the contract and caused asbestos dust to seep through the building and P claimed damages. D claimed contributory negligence. CA held that where the breach has come from strict contractual breach (where there is no tortious duty of reasonable care, as here) then contributory negligence doesn’t apply. 

Bedlam LJ: the three categories are: (1) where a contractual and tortious duty co-exist, contributory negligence DOES apply; (2) where a contract stipulates a duty to take reasonable care, which would not exist but for the contract, it DOESN’T apply; (3) where the duty is strictly contractual (i.e. no reasonable care requirement) it DOESN’T apply. This fits into scenario 3. 

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