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GDL Law Notes GDL Tort Law Notes

General Negligence Notes

Updated General Negligence Notes

GDL Tort Law Notes

GDL Tort Law

Approximately 591 pages

A collection of the best GDL notes the director of Oxbridge Notes (an Oxford law graduate) could find after combing through applications from top students and carefully evaluating each on accuracy, formatting, logical structure, spelling/grammar, conciseness and "wow-factor". In short these are what we believe to be the strongest set of GDL notes available in the UK this year. This collection of GDL notes is fully updated for recent exams, also making them the most up-to-date GDL study materials ...

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Tort Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

  • Structure

    - Definition: breach of a legal duty of care which results in damage, undesired by the defendant, to the claimant (Winfield).

    - Negligence structure:

    • 1. Parties

    • 2. Liability:

      • Damage

      • Duty

      • Breach

      • Causation

      • Remoteness

    • 3. Defences

    • 4. Remedies

    - Set out parties + heads of loss, then deal with each claim: break down into heads of loss.

    Duty of Care

    A. Does duty exist?

    - 1. Existing precedent? (incremental approach – Caparo v Dickman).

    • manufacturer to consumer (Donoghue v Stevenson)

    • employer to employee (Paris v Stepney BC)

    • doctor to patient (Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee)

    • parent/adult to child (Surtees v Kingston BC)

    • school to pupil (Carmarthenshire CC v Lewis)

    • driver to passenger/pedestrian (Nettleship v Weston) + pilot to passenger (Morris v Murray)

    • contracting parties (Stansbie v Troman)

    • reference giver to former employee (Spring v Guardian Assurance plc)

    • advocate to client (Hall & Co v Simons) + auditor to client (Law Society v KPMG)

    • referee to player (Vowles v Evans) + regulator to player (Watson v British Boxing Board of Control).

    - 2. Novel situations: Caparo v Dickman test (universal: Marc Rich & Co AG v Bishop Rock Marine Co. Ltd)

    • 1. loss reasonably foreseeable: objective test (Donoghue v Stevenson).

    • 2. proximity (D v S neighbour principle: e.g. Hill v CC W Yorks: police not proximate to all potential victims).

    • 3. policy: ‘fair, just + reasonable’: insurance, defensive practices, crushing liability, floodgates (e.g. Marc Rich v Bishop Rock Marine: no duty because risk governed by shipping law).

    - … Restricted duty situation?: policy considerations negate duty.

    • Lawyers: no blanket immunity (Hall & Co v Simons), but only liable in criminal case if negligence affected outcome (Hunter v CC W Midlands Police).

    • Police: general duty to public, not individuals (Hill),

      • no duty: policy failings (Hill v CC W Yorks; Brooks v MPC; Osman v UK: no duty to warn); respond to alarm (Alexandrou x Oxford); inform witness of disturbing case (Leach v CC Gloucester).

      • duty: operations (Rigby v CC Northamptonshire: negligent use of CS gas); informers (Swinney v CC Northumbria (No2): but still no breach); prisoners (Reeves v MPC); staff (Waters v MPC).

    • Fire brigade: general duty to public, not individuals (John Munroe; Church of JCLDS v W Yorks FA).

      • no duty: respond to individual emergency + insufficient proximity once arrive (John Munroe (Acrylics) v London Fire Authority; Church of JCLDS v W Yorks FA)

      • duty: positive act making situation worse (Capital & Counties plc v Hampshire CC)

    • Ambulance service: duty to respond within reasonable time – objective: dep. on circs (Kent v Griffiths: part NHS).

    • Public/local authorities:

      • generally no liability: if has acted within statutory power + proper exercise of discretion (Stovin v Wise); policy decisions (Palmer v Tees HA: victim of psychiatric patient; X v Bedfordshire CC: did not remove child from abusive parents – but Z v UK: ECtHR rules for c.); burden too high (Mitchell v Glasgow CC: no duty to warn neighbour attacked by tenant); courts reluctant to extend (Gorringe v Calderdale MBC).

      • exception: special relationship (Carmarthenshire CC v Lewis: school + child; Barrett v Enfield LBC: child in care); reliance (W v Essex CC: assurance re: foster child; Phelps v Hillingdon BC: dyslexia misdiagnosis).

    • Armed forces:

      • no duty: soldiers in battle (Mulcahy v MOD).

      • duty in other circs (Barrett v MOD: assumption of responsibility; Jebson v MOD; Bici v MOD).

    • Rescuers: treated favourably: duty owed (Haynes v Harwood) direct to rescuer (Videan v British Transport Comm)

      • only if emergency (Baker v TE Hopkins & Son Ltd: dr. in mine; cf. Cutler v United Daires Ltd: stopping horse).

    • Omissions: i.e. failing to make thinks better ([Lunney & Oliphant])

      • generally no liability (Yuen Kun Yeu v AG Hong Kong; Stovin v Wise: ‘something more’ than foreseeability + proximity needed).

      • exceptions: 1. statute; 2. contract (Stansbie v Troman; Watson v BBBC); 3. high control (Reeves v MPC); 4. voluntary assumption of responsibility (Costello v CC N’bria Police: policeman to colleague during work; Barrett v MOD); 5. d. creating risk (Capital & Counties plc v Hampshire CC).

    • Acts of 3rd Parties:

      • generally no liability (Smith v Littlewoods Org Ltd).

      • exceptions (Smith v Littlewoods Org Ltd): 1. vicarious liability; 2. proximity d + c. (Stansbie v Troman: contract; cf. Palmer v Tees HA: insufficient proximity); 3. d. controls 3rd party (Home Office v Dorset Yacht Co: boys in care; Carmarthenshire CC v Lewis: teacher + 4-y.o.); 4. danger created by d’s negligence (Haynes v Harwood; cf. Topp v London Country Bus Ltd: insufficient risk); 5. danger on d’s premises if aware of 3rd party presence (Smith v Littlewoods).

B. Harm to actual claimant foreseeable?

  • harm to actual c. must be foreseeable (Palsgraf v Long Island Railroad Co; Bourhill v Young),

  • sufficient that c. part of foreseeable class of claimants (Donoghue v Stevenson: customers; Haley v London Electricity Board: blind; Paris v Stepney BC: 1-eyed needs extra precautions).

  • Damage

    Pure Economic Loss (loss not flowing directly from any physical damage)

    - Generally: physical damage + consequential economic loss recoverable, NOT PEL – Spartan Steel v Martin.

    • loss from damage to another’s property (Weller v Foot & Mouth Disease Research Institute).

    • defective items: cannot claim for defect, but can claim for damage caused by defect (e.g: Muirhead v Industrial Tank Specialities: lobsters not faulty pump; Simaan General Contracting Co v Pilkington Glass Ltd (No2): no PEL claim w/out contract; Murphy v Brentwood DC: inherent defect PEL; D&F Estates v Church Comms for England: defective plaster PEL).

      • but complex structure theory: damage caused to 1 part of building by another part recoverable (D&F Estates v Church Comms for England; Murphy v Brentwood DC: [Ld Bridge]).

      • (despite earlier expansion: Anns v Merton LBS; Junior Books v Veitchi: PEL...

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