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Gorringe v Calderdale MBC

[2004] UKHL 15

Case summary last updated at 18/01/2020 20:09 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Gorringe v Calderdale MBC

P was in a car accident at a dangerous point in the road and sued R for negligence saying that it (the highway authority) should have painted a “slow” sign in the road so as to prevent accidents. HL said there was no duty of care since the statutory duty to “maintain the highway” did not give rise to a duty of care or private enforcement. 
 
Lord Hoffmann: to infer a private duty of care from a statutory duty the public authority must have ‘assumed responsibility’ for the subject in question and there must be universal reliance. 
 
Lord Hutton: To infer a private duty from a public one, it is necessary to look at parliament’s intent and whether the statute affords protection to a limited or limitless class of people. 

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