Duty to Rescue in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Videan v British Transport Commission
    • Court of Appeal
    • 28 l 1963

    It seems to me that, if a person by his fault creates a situation of peril, he must answer for it to any person who attempts to rescue the person who is in danger. The rescuer may act instinctively out of humanity or deliberately out of courage. But whichever it is, so long as it is not wanton interference, if the rescuer is killed or injured in the attempt, he can recover damages from the one whose fault has been the cause of it.

  • Stovin and Another v Norfolk County Council
    • House of Lords
    • 24 t 1996

    There are sound reasons why omissions require different treatment from positive conduct. It is another thing for the law to require that a person who is doing nothing in particular shall take steps to prevent another from suffering harm from the acts of third parties (like Mrs Wise) or natural causes.

    One must have regard to the purpose of the distinction as it is used in the law of negligence, which is to distinguish between regulating the way in which an activity may be conducted and imposing a duty to act upon a person who is not carrying on any relevant activity. To hold the defendant liable for an act, rather than an omission, it is therefore necessary to be able to say, according to common sense principles of causation, that the damage was caused by something which the defendant did.

    It will often be foreseeable that loss will result if, for example, a benefit or service is not provided. If the policy of the act is not to create a statutory liability to pay compensation, the same policy should ordinarily exclude the existence of a common law duty of care.

  • Knightley v Johns
    • Court of Appeal
    • 27 n 1981

    I can see that it is a question on which the opinions of plain men and women in the jury-box and judges who have now to perform their function may reasonably differ. I can only say that in my opinion, the judge's decision carries Mr. Johns' responsibility too far: in trying to be fair to the Inspector the judge was unfair to Mr. Johns and gave the wrong answer to the first jury question put by Mr. Justice Swift in Brandon's case.

  • Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales Police
    • Supreme Court
    • 28 r 2015

    Tofaris and Steel in their article, Police Liability in negligence for failure to prevent crime: Time to Re-think, (Legal Studies Research Paper Series 39/2014, July 2014) define what they describe as the "omissions principle" in the following way: A is not under a duty to take care to prevent harm occurring to B through a source of danger not created by A unless either (i) A has assumed a responsibility to protect B from that danger, (ii) A has a special level of control over that source of the danger, or (iii) A's status creates an obligation to protect B from that danger.

  • Vellino v Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police
    • Court of Appeal
    • 31 t 2001

    The operation of the principle arises where the claimant's claim is founded upon his own criminal or immoral act. The facts which give rise to the claim must be inextricably linked with the criminal activity. It is not sufficient if the criminal activity merely gives occasion for tortious conduct of the Defendant.

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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Does Your Contract Really Need A Duty Of Good Faith?
    • Mondaq UK
    • 2019/11/26
    ......The error is not spotted until after the contract has been signed. Is a duty of good faith needed to rescue the situation?. No need. The equitable remedy of rectification deals with a common, or unilateral, failure to record an agreement correctly. . A ......
  • The Philosophy Of Insolvency Rescues
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    • 2009/07/10
    ......liability on directors if they deepen the insolvency by not. stopping early enough or by reason of rules imposing a duty on them. to file once the company is insolvent. . Liquidation is the stroke of midnight for everybody, the final. guillotine.  It is very rare for ......
  • COVID-19: Changes to UK Insolvency Law to Assist Directors and Companies
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    • K&L Gates LLP
    • 2020/03/30
    The UK Government announced on Saturday 28 March 2020 that it intends to amend UK insolvency law to suspend the offence of wrongful trading by directors of UK companies and to give UK companies the...
    ...... space to allow them to keep trading while they explore options for rescue. Background. Current insolvency rules stipulate that directors of limited ... an insolvent liquidation or insolvent administration, he or she has a duty to take every step which a reasonably diligent person would take to ......
  • Injury To Feelings Awards Available In Breach Of Working Time Cases
    • Mondaq UK
    • 2018/04/25
    ...... colleagues were firefighters employed by the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service. The Fire Service intended to change the duty system from a 2-2-4 ......
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