Standard of Care in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Anns v Merton London Borough Council
    • House of Lords
    • 12 Mai 1977

    First one has to ask whether, as between the alleged wrongdoer and the person who has suffered damage there is a sufficient relationship of proximity or neighbourhood such that, in the reasonable contemplation of the former, carelessness on his part may be likely to cause damage to the latter—in which case a prima facie duty of care arises.

  • Anns v Merton London Borough Council
    • House of Lords
    • 12 Mai 1977

    But this duty, heavily operational though it may be, is still a duty arising under the statute. There may be a discretionary element in its exercise—discretionary as to the time and manner of inspection, and the techniques to be used. A plaintiff complaining of negligence must prove, the burden being on him, that action taken was not within the limits of a discretion bona fide exercised, before he can begin to rely upon a common law duty of care.

    In my opinion they may also include damage to the dwelling-house itself; for the whole purpose of the byelaws in requiring foundations to be of certain standard is to prevent damage arising from weakness of the foundations which is certain to endanger the health or safety of occupants.

  • Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire
    • House of Lords
    • 28 Abr 1988

    In some instances the imposition of liability may lead to the exercise of a function being carried on in a detrimentally defensive frame of mind. A great deal of police time, trouble and expense might be expected to have to be put into the preparation of the defence to the action and the attendance of witnesses at the trial. The result would be a significant diversion of police manpower and attention from their most important function, that of the suppression of crime.

  • Glasgow Corporation v Muir
    • House of Lords
    • 16 Abr 1943

    The Court must be careful to place itself in the position of the person charged with the duty and to consider what he or she should have reasonably anticipated as a natural and probable consequence of neglect, and not to give undue weight to the fact that a distressing accident has happened, or that witnesses, in the witness box, are prone to express regret, ex post facto, that they did not take some step, which it is now realised would definitely have prevented the accident.

  • M'Alister or Donoghue (Pauper) v Stevenson
    • House of Lords
    • 26 Mai 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.

  • Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority
    • House of Lords
    • 13 Nov 1997

    In particular in cases involving, as they so often do, the weighing of risks against benefits, the judge before accepting a body of opinion as being responsible, reasonable or respectable, will need to be satisfied that, in forming their views, the experts have directed their minds to the question of comparative risks and benefits and have reached a defensible conclusion on the matter.

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