A Modern View of the Law of Torts by J. S. Colyer and W. A. J. Farndale (Auth.)

By J. S. Colyer and W. A. J. Farndale (Auth.)

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3. 4 The defendant owes a duty in respect of his own conduct. It follows that if he does something, he may be under a duty therefore to do something else. For example, the defendant drives his car from his home to the station; en route he passes a busy road junction at which the traffic lights are showing red against him. Because he is driving he owes a duty to stop at the lights. That duty would be meaningless had he stopped at home and not used his car. 4 It follows that the defendant owes no duty to commence activity to prevent harm occurring to persons who would otherwise be wholly unaffected by his acts.

Donoghue v. C. ). " and gave the answer quoted in tie text. 3 See below, p. 67 ("Remoteness of damage"). 4 Field v. E. Jeavons and Co. R. ). Of course, such acts by the plaintiff will amount to contributory negligence on his part, ibid. 5 Hedley Byrne & Co. Ltd. v. R. ). e. said something, and therefore he owes a duty in respect ofthat activity (statement). g. has tested it or has seen other people skating on it). "Duty" is a term of relation, that is to say that a duty must be owed by A to B. A duty cannot exist without a person to whom it is owed.

1 Here there will be liability without negligence, but negligence is not immaterial, since if the defendant is negligent the plaintiff will have an alternative claim in negligence. The most important situations in which the defendant is not liable merely for negligence are: Malicious prosecution—see p. 214 (malice). Occupier's liability—see p. 110 (common duty of care). Owner of property to tenant—see p. 118. Owner of animals—see p. 128. Malicious falsehood—see p. 173. 4. 2 (1) A manufacturer of ginger beer "bottled" a decomposing slug inside an opaque bottle of his beverage.

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