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Lecture 2: Negligent Harm to the Person (intro)

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Ciara Hackett

on 27 September 2017

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Transcript of Lecture 2: Negligent Harm to the Person (intro)

Lecture 3: Negligent Harm to the Person (intro)
Learning outcomes today....
Introduction to the tort of negligence
Introduction to the various parts of negligence
The idea of "Loss"
Psychiatric Injury
Largest in scope of all torts
Key Q: Should D be held responsible for the claimant’s loss?

1. Does C have proof of damage?
No? Then D NOT liable in tort.
Yes? Then...

2. Does D owe the claimant a duty of care?
No? Then, D NOT liable in tort
Yes? Then…

Nervous Shock
Control Factor 3: Primary and Secondary Victims
Primary Victim
Protects a range of claimant injuries
Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562
Lord Atkin
3. Was D at fault?
No? Then, D NOT liable in tort
Yes? Then…

4. Did D’s fault “cause” the claimant’s injury?
No? The, D NOT liable in tort
Yes? D liable

5. Any applicable defences; either full or partial?
Personal Injury

Physical Injury


Psychiatric Injury

Physical = Easy for C
Psychiatric = Harder for C
Courts are reluctant to allow recovery
Control Factor 1: Must be a recognisable illness
Rothwell v Chemical and Insulating Co [2007] UKHL 39
Control Factor 2: MUST be a SHOCK
Sion v Hampstead Health Authority [1994] 5 Med LR 170
Palmer v Tees Health Authority [2000] PIQR 1
Atkinson v Seghal [2003]
EWCA Civ 697
PV = easier to recover for Psychiatric
The Case Law....
Bell v Great Northern Railway (1890) 26 LR Ir 428

Page v Smith [1996] AC 155

**What does the judgment in Page v Smith mean?
Secondary Victim
SV = much harder to recover.
Why? More Controls
McLoughlin v O Brian
Problem: - C not present at the time of the accident
Lord Wilberforce: Secondary victim could claim in
the following circumstances:
1. The relationship between C and person injured/killed
2. "Proximity" in time or space
3. How was the injury caused
What about the TV???
Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [1992] 1 AC310
Judgment: Lord Ackner

1. Class of persons - changed to "close tie of love
and affection" -harder to satisfy than McLoughlin
2. Proximity in time and space
3. The means by which the psychiatric illness was caused
9/11? - Role of the media
White v Chief Constable
of South Yorkshire
Claimants argument:
1. D (employer) in breach of duty
2. A breach of duty owed by D to the claimants as rescuers
Primary or Secondary?
Alcock criteria
Lord Steyn's comments
Full transcript