Analysis of Negligence Liability in the Case of Cliff and Mary vs Susan


Added on  2023-06-07

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Business Law Assignment

Answer 1
Whether Susan can be held liable under the suit of negligence filed by Cliff and Mary for the
loss which they suffered?
The tort of negligence provides that a person can be held liable if another person suffers a
loss due to the negligence of the party. Negligence is different from carelessness or
thoughtlessness; in case a person owed a legal duty of care, and another party suffered an
injury or loss due to the breach of such duty, then a suit for negligence can be filed. While
claiming compensation from a party for his/her negligent actions, it is necessary that all the
elements of the negligence must be present in the case. The key elements of negligence
were given in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson (1932) AC 562 in which the modern law of
negligence was established. In this case, the claimant suffered a personal injury which was
caused by drinking a ginger beer which was manufactured by the defendant. The claimant
ordered ginger beer in the café of the defendant in which the remains of a snail were
present. After drinking the beer, the claimant suffered a personal injury which was caused
due to the negligence of the defendant. The suit for recovery of damages was filed by the
claimant that was accepted by the court. It was held that the injury was a result of the
breach of duty by the defendant, thus, the claimant has the right to recover compensation
from the defendant (Asuzu 2017). In this case, the court provided that while claiming for
compensation in a suit of negligence, the parties are required to prove that a duty is owed
by the defendant and due to a breach of such duty the claimant suffered a loss.
The neighbour test is used by the court in order to determine the duty of the defendant
which evaluates the situation based on the proximity in the relationship of both parties and
the reasonable foresight of the harm suffered by the claimant. In Topp v London Country Bus
(1993) 1 WLR 976 case, the bus driver did not turn up for the shift due to which the bus was
stolen by thieves. Due to the accident on the bus, a woman was killed. A suit for negligence
was filed against the bus company by the husband. The court provided that the damages
were not foreseeable based on which the suit for negligence cannot be filed (Dyson 2015).

Moreover, the ‘Caparo test’ is another way based on which the court evaluates the duty of
care of a party. The test was established in the case of Caparo Industries Ltd v Dickman
(1990) 2 AC 605 case. This test also evaluates the duty of a party based on the fact that
whether proximity exists in the relationship between the parties. The second element which
is significant in the suit of negligence is the breach of duty by the defendant. While
evaluating whether the duty of care is breached by the party or not, the court relies on the
objective test. This test was established in the case of Vaughan v Menlove (1837) 3 Bing N.C.
467 case in which the claimant suffered substantial loss due to the fire caught in his
haystack because of the negligence of the defendant.
The defendant argued in the court that he used his best judgement based on which he did
not foresee the fire caught in the haystack. The court provided that reliance on the best
judgement is not enough and the parties are required to take steps which a reasonable
person would in the particular situation (Partington 2014). Thus, the objective test is used
by the court to determine whether the duty is breached by the party or not. Another key
element of the suit for negligence is causation which means that the damages suffered by
the claimant must be caused directly due to the negligent actions of the defendant. The
injury which is not caused due to the breach of duty by the defendant is not liable for
compensation under the suit for negligence. While determining this element, the court
applies the ‘but for’ test in order to identify whether the damages suffered by a party is
caused due to the negligent actions of the defendant. In Barnett v Chelsea & Kensington
Hospital (1969) 1 QB 428 case, the test was established which evaluates that the plaintiff
would not have suffered any loss or injury but for the actions of the defendant the injury or
loss has occurred. This test was used by the court while defining the negligence liability of
the pet owner (Lynch 2016). In Lopez v Trujillo 397 P.3d 370 (Colo. 2017) case, the court
provided that the pet owners are only liable towards people to ensure that their pets did
not harm them, however, this duty did not extend to everyone. In this case, two pit bulls
were chained behind the fences and they barked on an eight year old kid who was walking
Due to the barking, the kid got scared and starting running into the street. A van hit the kid
while he was running in the street; his parents field a suit against the dog owner. The court
provided that the owner is not liable because a standard of care was maintained by him to

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