Links: Home | swarblaw - law discussions

swarb.co.uk - law index


These cases are from the lawindexpro database. They are now being transferred to the swarb.co.uk website in a better form. As a case is published there, an entry here will link to it. The swarb.co.uk site includes many later cases.  









Negligence - From: 1980 To: 1984

This page lists 29 cases, and was prepared on 05 December 2014.


 
 Chappell -v- Cooper; CA 1980 - [1980] 1 WLR 958

 
 Wyong Shire Council -v- Shirt; 1-May-1980 -
 
Crossley -v- Rawlinson [1981] 3 All ER 674 DC
1981

R M Tucker QC
Negligence, Personal Injury
A lorry driver stopped when the tarpaulin covering the lorry caught fire. A nearby AA patrolman ran to put it out, but tripped in a pothole and fell. He now claimed for personal injury. Held: It was forseable that somebody might put themselves at risk to douse the fire, but not that they might be hurt on the way. The negligence which caused the fire did not cause the injury.

 
Lamb -v- Camden London Borough Council [1981] 2 All ER 408; [1981] 2 WLR 1038
1981


Negligence, Land
The property had been left vacant for repairs and then taken over by squatters. A claim was made in respect of the liability of the land-owners for the damage caused by the squatters. Held: The damage was too remote. The correct test was not 'whether squatting was 'likely or not' to result.
1 Cites

1 Citers



 
 Dunlop -v- Woolahara Municipal Council; PC 1981 - [1981] 1 All ER 1202
 
Ashton -v- Turner [1981] QB 137; [1980 3 All ER 870
1981
QBD

Road Traffic, Negligence

1 Citers



 
 Evans -v- London Hospital Medical College and Others; 1981 - [1981] 1 WLR 184; [1981] 1 All ER 715

 
 Solloway -v- Hampshire County Council; CA 1981 - (1981) 79 LGR 449; [1981] 1 WLR 1
 
Knightley -v- Johns and others [1981] EWCA Civ 6; [1982] 1 All ER 851; [1982] 1 WLR 349
27 Mar 1981
CA
Stephenson, Dunn LJJ, Sir David Cairns
Police, Negligence, Road Traffic
There had been an accident in a tunnel, blocking it. The defendant inspector ordered a traffic constable to ride into the tunnel on his motorcycle against the flow of traffic. The constable crashed and sought damages for negligence against the inspector. Held. The inspector was liable in negligence. One police officer can have a duty of care to another.
1 Cites

1 Citers

[ Bailii ]
 
Robertson -v- Turnbull 1982 SC (HL) 1
1982
HL

Negligence, Scotland

1 Cites

1 Citers



 
 Harrison -v- Vincent; 1982 - [1982] RTR 8

 
 Commonwealth -v- Introvigne; 1982 - [1982] HCA 40
 
Junior Books -v- Veitchi Co Ltd [1983] AC 520; [1982] 3 WLR 477; [1982] 3 All ER 201; [1982] UKHL 4; [1982] UKHL 12; [1982] Com LR 221; 1982 SC (HL) 244; 1982 SLT 492; 21 BLR 66
15 Jul 1982
HL

Negligence, Construction, Scotland
The defendant was a specialist sub-contractor brought in to lay a floor. In laying the composition floor the defenders used too wet a mixture and applied too thin a top coat and failed to cure the material properly. As a result cracks began to appear in the floor and it started to break up. The floor required replacement and the pursuers contended that while this replacement work was carried out they would lose business and incur irrecoverable overheads. There was no direct contractual relationship between them. Held: Assuming the allegations to be true, there was a sufficiently close relationship between the parties to give rise to a relationship of care, and if proved, the plaintiff would be entitled to recover its financial losses.
1 Cites

1 Citers

[ Bailii ] - [ Bailii ]
 
Harbinson -v- Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland [1983] 9 NIJB
1983

Lord Lowry CJNI
Northern Ireland, Negligence
A number of youths pushed a large heavy cylinder from the public highway from a roundabout into the infant plaintiff’s garden. The cylinder struck her causing her severe injuries. The DOE, the Highway Authority, unsuccessfully sought to have the claim dismissed. Held: Accepting the plaintiff's contention "Mr Montague also contended that the failure to erect crash barriers at a roundabout would be evidence of negligence by the DOE, since it was foreseeable that road users could leave the road at this point. Once that factual proposition is accepted (and if the presence of a suitable barrier would have prevented this accident), the difficulty of foreseeing the precise way in which the injury was caused does not bar the plaintiff: Hughes .v. Lord Advocate [1963] AC 837, Harvey .v. Singer [1990] SC 155. Although this alleged failure is a fault of omission, the highway authority would not, if otherwise found negligent, escape under the cloak of non-feasance, provided it was responsible for introducing the roundabout."
1 Citers


 
Murray -v- Nicholls 1983 SLT 194
1983


Scotland, Negligence
A car was driven without stopping out of a side street colliding with another car. One driver was killed and his passengers were injured. They sued the driver's widow and Strathclyde Regional Council as roads authority. It was averred that, some considerable time before the accident, Strathclyde had caused white lines to be painted at the junction, indicating that priority should be given to traffic in Victoria Place. But the lines had been all but obliterated as a result of road works some months before the accident and they had not been repainted. There were no signs at the junction. The pursuers averred that Strathclyde were in breach of their duty to take reasonable care that roads in their area were maintained in such a condition that persons using them could do so in safety. They had failed to have the lines repainted as soon as was reasonably practicable after the works were completed and they had failed to erect and maintain warning signs. Held: The pursuers' averments directed against Strathclyde were irrelevant and so dismissed the action against them. The previous existence of the white lines at the junction was sufficient to show that it was reasonably foreseeable that, in the absence of such an indication, a vehicle might be driven into Victoria Place without stopping. "But while foreseeability is no doubt necessary to found a duty it does not follow from the mere fact of foreseeability that a duty will necessarily arise. No case was cited to me in which a road authority has been held to be at fault merely by reason of failure to mark white lines on the roadway or erect a warning sign at a road junction in a built-up area. The only authority referred to by counsel for the pursuers was Bird v Pearce where the point was expressly reserved. The ratio of the decision whereby the road authority was found to be at fault was that by markings on the road they had created a pattern of traffic flow on which drivers could expect to rely and that the obliteration of the markings caused something of the nature of a trap of which the defendants ought to have given warning. In the present case there is no averment to suggest that either driver was influenced by the existence of the markings at an earlier date. What is said is that because of houses and walls adjacent to the road, those driving northwards towards the junction would have no visibility to the east until they actually reached it, but that is no more than the normal state of affairs in a built-up area. The fact that white lines had been put there before while relevant to the question of foreseeability has no bearing otherwise on the existence of a duty. If the pursuers' contention were accepted it would open up a wide field for actions against road authorities. It would seem, for instance, to follow that the pedestrian run down when crossing a busy thoroughfare would be entitled to say that his injuries were caused by the failure of the authority to set the machinery in motion for the provision of a pedestrian crossing. If such duties are to be imposed on road authorities, that should in my opinion be done by Parliament and not by courts of law, and in the absence of authority I am not prepared to hold that the power given to a local authority to mark white lines on the roadway and erect warning signs implies a duty to do so at every crossing in a built-up area where there is a considerable volume of traffic."
1 Citers



 
 Marshall -v- Osmond; CA 1983 - [1983] 2 All ER 367; [1983] 1 QB 1034; [1983] 3 WLR 13
 
Udale -v- Bloomsbury Area Health Authority [1983] 1 WLR 1098; [1983] 3 All ER 522
1983
QBD
Jupp J
Negligence, Damages
The plaintiff underwent a sterilisation operation. The operation was painful and she later became pregnant. She sought damages for the pain and suffering and the additional costs of caring for the new child. Held: Public policy held fast against awarding damages for the birth of a healthy child, and that element of damages was not recoverable.
1 Citers


 
Perl (P) (Exporters) -v- Camden London Borough Council [1984] QB 342; [1983] 2531; [1983] 3 All ER 161
1983
CA

Negligence

1 Citers


 
Dennis -v- Charnwood Borough Council [1983] CLY 2535; [1983] 81 LGR 275
1983
CA

Negligence, Local Government
The respondent approved plans for a new house. The raft foundation was inadequate and serious cracks developed. The authority appealed a finding of negligence in having approved defective plans. Held: The appeal failed. The authority had a duty of care when passing the plans submitted for approval for the building regulations.
1 Cites

1 Citers


 
Clark -v- MacLennan [1983] 1 All ER 416
1983


Negligence
The court considered the judment in McGhee: "It seems to me that it follows from McGhee that where there is a situation in which a general duty of care arises and there is a failure to take a precaution, and that very damage occurs against which the precaution is designed to be a protection, then the burden lies on the defendant to show that he was not in breach of duty as well as to show that the damage did not result from his breach of duty."
1 Citers



 
 Peabody Donation Fund -v- Sir Lindsay Parkinson & Co Ltd; HL 18-Oct-1983 - [1985] AC 210; [1984] 3 WLR 953; [1983] UKHL 5

 
 Titchener -v- British Railways Board; HL 24-Nov-1983 - 1984 SC (HL) 34; [1983] UKHL 10; [1983] 3 All ER 770; [1983] 1 WLR 1427; 1984 SLT 192; SC (HL) 34
 
Thompson -v- Smiths Shiprepairers (North Shields) Ltd [1984] 1 QB 405; [1984] 1 All ER 881
1984
QBD
Mustill J
Damages, Negligence
The test to be applied in determining the time at which an employer's failure to provide protection constituted actionable negligence was what would have been done at any particular time by a reasonable and prudent employer who was properly but not extraordinarily solicitous for his workers' safety in the light of what he knew or ought to have known at the time. Lord Devlin's statement of the law as to concurrent tortfeasors "does not . . demand the conclusion that where the court knows that the initial stage of the damage was caused by A (and not B) and that the latter stage was caused by B (and not A), it is obliged by law to proceed (contrary to the true facts) on the assumption that the faults of each had caused the whole damage." and "I see no reason why the present impossibility of making a precise apportionment of impairment and disability in terms of time, should in justice lead to the result that the defendants are adjudged liable to pay in full, when it is known that only part of the damage was their fault. What justice does demand, to my mind, is that the court should make the best estimate it can, in the light of the evidence, making the fullest allowances in favour of the plaintiffs for the uncertainties known to be involved in any apportionment."
Mustill J adopted and developed the statement of Swanwick J: "I shall direct myself in accordance with this succinct and helpful statement of the law, and will make only one additional comment. In the passage just cited, Swanwick J drew a distinction between a recognised practice followed without mishap, and one which in the light of common sense or increased knowledge is clearly bad. The distinction is indeed valid and sufficient for many cases. The two categories are not, however, exhaustive: as the present actions demonstrate. The practice of leaving employees unprotected against excessive noise had never been followed 'without mishap.' Yet even the plaintiffs have not suggested that it was 'clearly bad,' in the sense of creating a potential liability in negligence, at any time before the mid-1930s. Between the two extremes is a type of risk which is regarded at any given time (although not necessarily later) as an inescapable feature of the industry. The employer is not liable for the consequences of such risks, although subsequent changes in social awareness, or improvements in knowledge and technology, may transfer the risk into the category of those against which the employer can and should take care. It is unnecessary, and perhaps impossible, to give a comprehensive formula for identifying the line between the acceptable and the unacceptable. Nevertheless, the line does exist, and was clearly recognised in Morris v West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Co Ltd [1956] AC 552. The speeches in that case show, not that one employer is exonerated simply by proving that other employers are just as negligent, but that the standard of what is negligent is influenced, although not decisively, by the practice in the industry as a whole. In my judgment, this principle applies not only where the breach of duty is said to consist of a failure to take precautions known to be available as a means of combating a known danger, but also where the omission involves an absence of initiative in seeking out knowledge of facts which are not in themselves obvious. The employer must keep up to date, but the court must be slow to blame him for not ploughing a lone furrow."
1 Cites

1 Citers



 
 Strable -v- Dartford Borough Council; CA 1984 - [1984] JPL 329
 
Winnik -v- Dick 1984 SLT 185
1984

Lord Justice-Clerk, Lord Wheatley
Scotland, Road Traffic, Negligence
The respondent, was a passenger in a motor car who was injured in an accident. He raised an action of damages against the driver, the appellant, who had been convicted of an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1972. The men had been drinking together in public houses for most of the day and when the respondent entered the appellant's car to return home, he knew that the appellant was drunk. The appellant contended that he was not liable in damages to the respondent inter alia because the respondent had voluntarily accepted the risk of an accident. Held: After reviewing the Scotish cases: including McCaig v Langan and Fowler v Tierney: "From these expressions of view as to what is involved in the maxim so far as the law of Scotland is concerned, I can find no support for, but rather refutation of, the contention that its effect here is to establish that on this journey there never was any duty on the defender as the driver of the car to take reasonable care quoad the pursuer [...]. In my opinion the effect of the maxim was not to relieve the defender from any duty to take care quoad his passengers. On the contrary the maxim proceeds on the basis that there is duty to take care and not be negligent, but the successful establishment of the maxim means that the pursuer has accepted the risk of the defender's negligence in the exercise of his legal duties and has absolved the defender from the consequences arising from that negligence."
1 Citers



 
 Bartrum -v- Hepworth Minerals & Chemicals Limited; QBD 1984 - Unreported (Date unknown)
 
Malone -v- Rowan [1984] 3 All ER 402
1984

Russell J
Negligence
The burden of proving contributory negligence rests on the defendant.
1 Citers


 
Digital Equipment Corporation -v- Darkcrest Ltd [1984] Ch 512
1984


Negligence
One party in litigation owes no duty of care to the other.
1 Citers



 
 Jaensch -v- Coffey; 20-Aug-1984 - (1984) 55 CLR 549; [1984] 54 ALR 417; [1985] CLY 2326; [1984] HCA 52
 
Copyright 2014 David Swarbrick, 10 Halifax Road, Brighouse, West Yorkshire HD6 2AG.