The Legal Definition Of A Duty Of Care And Negligence

1509 Words May 31st, 2016 7 Pages
The legal definition of a duty of care and negligence is very complex. It primary concerns itself with relationship between the defendant and the claimant, it must be established that there is an obligation upon the defendant to take proper care to avoid causing injury to the claimant in all circumstances.
Determining negligence is not always easy. Before 1932 there was no generalised duty of care in negligence. The tort did exist but it was only applied in particular situations where the courts had decided that a duty should be owed, e.g., road accidents, bailments or dangerous goods. Third parties who suffered as a result of a breach of contract had no remedy, because they were not a part to the contract and thus excluded by the doctrine of privity, which means that only parties to contracts should be able to sue to enforce their rights or claim damages.
The idea of a duty of care in the tort of negligence has been developed over the years through judges making decisions in high profile cases. In a ground breaking case and milestone in Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562, an opportunity had arisen for Lord Atkin to formulate the “neighbour principle”. By doing so It created the and laid down the foundations of modern law on negligence, by setting out general principles whereby one person would owe a duty of care to another person.
Facts: May Donoghue, a shop assistant, met a friend at the Well meadow cafe in Paisley, near Glasgow. Upon arrival Ms Donoghue’s friend…
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