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What are the Types of Negligence?

Info: 1719 words (7 pages) Essay
Published: 7th Aug 2019

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Jurisdiction / Tag(s): US Law

Negligence has begun in United States of America (US) since 1830 to 1840’s. During this early period, the scope is only on general theory of liability for careless act which caused harm.

In general, the term negligence is defined as a failure to act as a reasonable person would be expected to act in same circumstances. However, for case of Brown v. Kendall in 1850 which Chief Judge Shaw made decision, the negligence become known as a distinct of tort sometime during middle of nineteenth century. Tort were originates from Latin word ‘tortus’ which signify wrongful act or omission.

The essence of tort is wrongful act such as a person subjected to liability for carelessly cause harm to another and the victim has the right to claim for the damage. The ingredients of tort are evidence which is need of causal of defendant breach of duty that cause damage to plaintiff and not too remote.

Thus, which interests are protected by law of tort? The law of tort is protecting in dissimilar ways such as in personal interests, property interest, economic interests, interest in reputation and misuse of process. Interference with personal are divided to battery, false imprisonment.

Next issues we will ask as public people then what are the types of negligence? Actually, there are lots of common types of negligence that may lead to civil legal action. Among negligence cases involving civil may include vehicle accidents (including cars, bikes and etc), defective products (such as kid products), slip and fall or premise injuries (such as wet floor inside or outside a building), work related injuries, cases of wrongful death, dog bites cases as always being heard in newspaper and wrong medical practice.


Failing to do something where a reasonable man would do in certain situation and at the same time causing damage to the other is considered as negligence. If a person taking action to sue another in negligence, then he or she is looking for compensation in term of financial for the damage. How could we determine negligence? We will seek the answers by looking on these questions:

Did the defendant breach the duty of care and the claimant damage is not too remote from defendant negligence?

The claimant or plaintiff suffering damage or injuries hjj

Was the damage or injuries caused by breach the duty of care?

Are defendant owe the person injured a duty of care?

Prove or evidence is crucial factor in establishing proof of breach. The claimant holds the responsible in proving the defendant was negligence.

Therefore, the elements in negligence are:

Legal duty of on part A towards B

Breach of the duty

Consequence damage which happen to B

Remoteness of damage in tort

Lord Denning said that “Duty, causation and remoteness, run continually into one another . . . they are simply three different ways of looking at one and the same problem. Starting with the proposition that a negligent person should be liable, within reason, for the consequences of his conduct, the extent of his liability is to be found by asking the one question: Is the consequence fairly to be regarded as within the risk created by the negligence? If so the negligent person is liable for it: but otherwise not.”

Remoteness of damage in tort is related to requirement in which the damage must be reasonably foreseeable type as mentioned by Lord Denning. In negligence, foreseeable is a criterion is not only for the existence of duty of care but it also for remoteness of damage. In remoteness of damages, damage on plaintiff’s must caused by defendant’s breach of duty and it must not be too remote a consequence of it.

Unintended consequences

Are existing states of affairs.

Case review 1: Remoteness of damage

The Wagon Mound no 1 [1961] AC 388 House of Lords

Wagon Mound as the defendant has leaked furnace oil at a Warf in Sydney Harbor. Due to that, cotton debris has become embroiled in the oil and sparks from welding work has ignited the oil. Thus, fire has rapidly spread and causing wharf and boats destructed.


In this case, a test of remoteness of damage was substituted for the direct consequence test. In this test, it is the matter whether the damage is kind of foreseeable. If it was foreseeable type of damage, then the defendant is liable for the damage. The Wagon Mound was considered and applied in Hughes v Lord Advocate [1963] AC 837.

Case review 2: Intervening act of the claimant

McKew v. Holland & Hannen & Cubitts (Scotland) Ltd.

Plaintiff was injured in an accident which caused by defendant and as a result he occasionally lost control of his leg which gave way under him. Few days later, he went to inspect a flat which had steep stairs without handrails. On leaving the flat he descended the stairs holding his young daughter by the hand and going ahead of his wife and brother-in-law. Suddenly he lost control of his left leg. In order to save his daughter, he threw his daughter back in and tried to jump so as to land in an upright position instead of falling down the stairs. Due to that, he sustained a severe fracture of his ankle.


Plaintiff action of jumping in the emergency in which he found himself did not break the chain of causation. The chain of causation had been broken by his conduct in placing himself unnecessarily in a position where he might be confronted by just such an emergency situation, when he could have descended the stairs slowly and carefully by himself or required assistance from his wife or brother-in-law.

Cases review 3: Remoteness of damage

Barnett v Chelsea and Kensington Hospital Management Committee

The facts:

One morning Plaintiff’s husband went to defendant’s hospital and complained of vomiting after drinking tea. The nurse who on duty has consulted a doctor by telephone and the doctor said that he should go home and consult his own doctor later in the morning. Plaintiff’s husband died of arsenical poisoning. I


In failing to examine the deceased, the doctor was guilty of a breach of his duty of care, but this breach was not a cause of the death because, even if the deceased had been examined and treated with proper care, the probability was that it would have been impossible to save his life. P’s claim therefore failed

Cases review 4: Intervening natural event

Carslogie Steamship Co. Ltd. V Royal Norwegian Government


P’s ship was damaged in a collision for which D’s ship was wholly responsible. Temporary repairs were made in order to restore the ship to a seaworthy condition so that she could sail to the US for further repairs. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship was badly damaged due to heavy weather. The ship was properly and extensively repaired in the US in order to rectify the damage caused by the collision as well as the damage caused by the heavy weather


P was not entitled to damages for the loss of the use of their ship while the collision damage was being repaired because that time was also used for the repair of the heavy weather damage. The heavy weather damage was a supervening event and was not in any sense a consequence of the collision

Cases review 5: Intervening act of a third party

The Oropesa [1943] 1 All ER 211.


Collision which occurred in heavy seas between Oropesa and Manchester Regiment ships in where both ships are fault. The captain then sent fifty of the crews to Oropesa ship. An hour later, other sixteen crew went to Oropesa in another life boat. As the lifeboat capsized, the lifeboat then drowned. As the damage was serious, Manchester Regiment ship then sank. Therefore, relatives of the drowned seaman sued.


The death of the drowned seaman was caused by and flowed by the collision. The captain action in taking to the boat did not constitute nova causa interveniens which means act or event that breaks the causal connection between a wrong.

Cases review 6: The ‘egg-shell skull’ principle

Smith v. Leech Brain & Co.


An employee in a factory was splashed with molten metal. The employee lip was burn which leads to precancerous tissue condition. Three years later, he died due to cancer which triggered by the injury.


The judge has held that as long as the injuries foreseeable, defendant was liable for all the harm.

Case review 7: Claimant Impecuniosities

Martindale v Duncan [1973] 2 All ER 355


In this case, plaintiff works as a private driver. On 27th November 1971, his taxi was damaged in a road accident. The plaintiff obtained an estimate of the cost of repairs on 1st December, and a solicitor’s letter on his behalf was sent to the defendant’s insurers at about the same date. On 26th January the insurers wrote confirming that there was no dispute as to liability and agreed to repairs being put in hand. The district registrar included as damages a sum of £160 for loss of profit for the first four weeks whilst the taxi was off the road and a further sum of £220 for the hire of a car at £22 a week for the following ten weeks until the repairs had been completed. The defendant appealed against the award of £220 contending that the repairs ought to have been put in hand within a week of the accident and the plaintiff had thereby failed to mitigate his loss.


The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. Although there was authority for the proposition that impecuniosities was no excuse for failing to mitigate damage, the plaintiff’s case was entirely different since he was seeking in the first instance to recover his damages from the defendant’s insurers, rather than claiming against his own insurers and until the repairs had been authorised he could not be certain that he would stand in a good position vis-à-vis the insurers. Dredger Liesbosch v Steamship Edison distinguished.


Remoteness of damage

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