Providing resources for studying law
Custom Search
Home            Negligence

The modern law of negligence was established in Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562 (Case summary). In order to be successful in a negligence claim, the claimant must prove:

1. the defendant owed them a duty of care;

2. the defendant was in breach of that duty;
3. the breach of duty caused damage and;

4. the damage was not too remote.


Duty of care
The legal test for imposing a duty of care varies according to the type of loss.
  • For personal injury and property the Caparo test applies (case summary). See more here
  • For psychiatric injury the Alcock test applies. See here
  • For pure economic loss see here 
  • For policy considerations see here
  • For liability relating to an omission see here
Breach of duty
An objective test is applied to determine if the defendant is in breach of duty. (Vaughan v Menlove (1837) 3 Bing. N.C. 467 Case summary). See further on breach of duty here.
Causation is generally decided by applying the 'but for' test from Barnett v Chelsea & Kensington Hospital [1969] 1 QB 428  Case summary. However, in some situations other considerations apply. See more on causation here.
Remoteness of damage
The Wagon Mound no 1 [1961] AC 388 Case summary test applies. This provides that the defendant is only liable for loss which was of a foreseeable kind. If the loss was of a foreseeable type, the defendant is liable for the full extent of the loss, even if the loss was much greater than expected. See further on remoteness of damage here.