Essay on The Tort of Negligence

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There are three elements that must be present for an act or omission to be negligent; (1) The defendant owed a duty of care towards the plaintiff; (2) The defendant breached the duty of care by an act or omission; (3) The plaintiff must suffer damage as a result - be it physical, emotional or financial. The court might decide that Freddy (the plaintiff) was owed a duty of care by Elvis (the defendant) if they find that what happened to Freddy was in the realm of reasonable forseeability - any harm that could be caused to a 'neighbour' by Elvis' actions that he could reasonably have expected to happen. The 'neighbour principle' was established in the case of Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932).…show more content…
Donoghue's well-being. From this legal precedent, I would say that Elvis harmed his neighbour, Freddy, negligently, because he did closely and directly affect his well-being by not taking into account what might reasonably happen when he carelessly dropped some bricks. (B) This case relates to negligence (as defined above) and the principle of Res Ipsa Loquitur - the facts speak for themselves. In cases involving proven Res Ipsa Loquitur, the burden to show that the defendant was negligent (or whatever the tort may be) by the plaintiff shifts to the defendant, who must prove that there is another reasonable explanation for whatever misfortune befell the plaintiff. If s/he cannot, then the plaintiff wins the case. Res Ipsa Loquitur occurred in the case of Scott v. London and St. Katherine Docks (1865), where the plaintiff was walking past the warehouse of the defendant when he was struck on the head with six bags of sugar. He sued the defendant, and Res Ipsa Loquitur was established. The defendant could not offer any other reasonable explanation for what had happened, so Scott (the plaintiff) won the case. I would say that the principle of Res Ipsa Loquitur would help Freddy in his action, in that there isn't any other reasonable explanation apparent, so when the burden shifts to Elvis, he may not be able to come up with one, and so Freddy will win his case. (C)

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