Latent Defect in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Pirelli General Cable Works Ltd v Oscar Faber & Partners
    • House of Lords
    • 09 Diciembre 1982

    There may perhaps be cases where the defect is so gross that the building is doomed from the start, and where the owner's cause of action will accrue as soon as it is built, but it seems unlikely that such a defect would not be discovered within the limitation period.

  • Murphy v Brentwood District Council
    • House of Lords
    • 26 Julio 1990

    There may be room for disputation as to whether the likelihood of intermediate examination and consequent actual discovery of the defect has the effect of negativing a duty of care or of breaking the chain of causation ( compare Farr v. Butters Brothers & Co. [1932] 2 K.B. 606 with Denny v. Supplies & Transport Co. Ltd. [1950] 2 K.B. 374).

    If a dangerous defect in a chattel is discovered before it causes any personal injury or damage to property, because the danger is now known and the chattel cannot be safely be used unless the defect is repaired, the defect becomes merely a defect in quality. In either case the loss sustained by the owner or hirer of the chattel is purely economic.

    I believe that these principles are equally applicable to buildings. If a builder erects a structure containing a latent defect which renders it dangerous to persons or property, he will be liable in tort for injury to persons or damage to property resulting from that dangerous defect. But if the defect becomes apparent before any injury or damage has been caused, the loss sustained by the building owner is purely economic.

  • M'Alister or Donoghue (Pauper) v Stevenson
    • House of Lords
    • 26 Mayo 1932

    You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour. The answer seems to be persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question.

  • Sedleigh-Denfield v O'Callaghan and Others
    • House of Lords
    • 24 Junio 1940

    But he may have taken over the nuisance, ready made as it were, when he acquired the property, or the nuisance may be due to a latent defect or to the act of a trespasser, or stranger. Then he is not liable unless he continued or adopted the nuisance, or, more accurately,did not without undue delay remedy it when he became aware of it, or with ordinary and reasonable care should have become aware of it.

  • Davie v New Merton Board Mills Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 28 Enero 1959

    On the other hand, for the reasons which I have given, I am of opinion that he is not liable for the negligence of the manufacturer of an article which he has bought provided that he has been careful to deal with a seller of repute and has made any inspection which a reasonable employer would make.

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Books & Journal Articles
  • Insider dealing: fraud in Islam?
    • No. 19-2, May 2012
    • Journal of Financial Crime
    • 140-148
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine whether insider dealing is fraud from the perspective of Islam. Design/methodology/approach: The paper uses analogy (qiyas) of the injunctions in t...
    ... ... rescind the transaction for fraud (khiyar al-tadlis) as well as for latent defect (khiyaral-‘aib).Practical implications – The paper is practical ... ...
  • Recent Judicial Decisions
    • No. 39-10, October 1966
    • Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles
    • 0000
    ... ... a sudden removal of control over thevehicle occasioned by a latent defect of which the driver did Dotknow and could not reasonably be ... ...
    • No. 33-1, January 1970
    • The Modern Law Review
    ... ... The defect was latent; it was mused by negligent heat treatment during ... ...
  • The Employer's Liability (Defective Equipment) Act—Lion or Mouse?
    • No. 47-1, January 1984
    • The Modern Law Review
    ... ... his employer in circumstances where he is injured by a defect in equipment provided by his employer and the defect is ... or defective.6 An employer will not be liable for a latent defect which could not have been detected on reasonable ... ...
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Law Firm Commentaries
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