Gross Negligence in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Preiss v General Dental Council
    • Privy Council
    • 17 Jul 2001

    It is settled that serious professional misconduct does not require moral turpitude. Something more is required than a degree of negligence enough to give rise to civil liability but not calling for the opprobrium that inevitably attaches to the disciplinary offence. The core and most serious shortcoming was summarised by the PCC as failure to ensure that the state of the patient's oral health was appropriate in view of the ambitious treatment plan.

  • Armitage v Nurse
    • Court of Appeal
    • 19 Mar 1997

    I accept the submission made on behalf of Paula that there is an irreducible core of obligations owed by the trustees to the beneficiaries and enforceable by them which is fundamental to the concept of a trust. If the beneficiaries have no rights enforceable against the trustees there are no trusts.

  • The Queen v Joanne Rudling
    • Court of Appeal
    • 21 Jun 2016

    They can be summarised as being the breach of an existing duty of care which it is reasonably foreseeable gives rise to a serious and obvious risk of death and does, in fact, cause death in circumstances where, having regard to the risk of death, the

  • R (Imtiaz Amin) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; R (Middleton) v West Somerset Coroner
    • Court of Appeal
    • 27 Mar 2002

    One class is that of allegations of deliberate killing—murder—by servants of the State. A second is that of allegations of killing by gross negligence – manslaughter – by servants of the State. A third is that of plain negligence by servants of the State, leading to a death or allowing it to happen. The duty is in every instance fashioned to support and make good the substantive Article 2 rights.

  • Adesokan v Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd
    • Court of Appeal
    • 24 Ene 2017

    The focus is on the damage to the relationship between the parties. Dishonesty and other deliberate actions which poison the relationship will obviously fall into the gross misconduct category, but so in an appropriate case can an act of gross negligence.

  • Re Horsley & Weight Ltd
    • Court of Appeal
    • 30 Jul 1980

    The findings of the learned judge are sufficient to support the suspicion that the company could not afford to pay out £10,000 for the benefit of Mr. Horsley Senior, but this suspicion is largely based on hindsight. The accounts show that business was expanding, that there were no discernible cash-flow problems and that past profits were sufficient to absorb half of the payment for the pension, leaving the other half to be absorbed in the future.

  • OBG Ltd and another v Allan and Others
    • House of Lords
    • 02 May 2007

    This statement of the law has since been followed in many cases and, so far as I am aware, has not given rise to any difficulty. It is in accordance with the general principle of law that a conscious decision not to inquire into the existence of a fact is in many cases treated as equivalent to knowledge of that fact (see Manifest Shipping Co Ltd v Uni-Polaris Insurance Co Ltd [2003] 1 AC 469). He negligently made the wrong inquiry, but that is an altogether different state of mind.

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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Gross negligence
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    It is rare for an employer to rely on an employee's negligence as a sufficient reason to dismiss. This is particularly the case where there has been a one-off error. Also, it is likely that a more ...
  • Can Gross Negligence Constitute Gross Misconduct?
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    The Court of Appeal (CA) in Adesokan v Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 22 considered whether an employee’s failure to act constituted gross misconduct. Mr Adesokan...
  • Corporate Trustees: how gross must negligence be?
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    Surprisingly, the distinction between negligence and gross negligence in English contract and trust law is unclear. On one view, reflected in the older cases, there is little or no difference at all.
  • Gross Negligence: Could Do Better!
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
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