LAWS101 - Donoghue v Stevens
Cases from the Donoghue v Stevens line - LAWS101, Otago University
Terms in this set (25)
Donoghue v Stevens
Snail in opaque bottle.
- Held that owed duty to any consumer who would be closely and directly affected.
- No opportunity for intermediate examination
- Rationale - neighbourhood principle.
Grant v Australian Knitting Mills
Busy underwear, wears for a while, gets dermatitis.
- Expands duty of care to manufacturers of EXTERNAL products (obiter - cleaning products etc.)
- States that negligence can be inferred from the defect - and it it is up to the manufacturer to show they're not negligent.
(NEGLIGENT UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT)
Andrews v Hopkins
2nd hand car - seller stakes life on car, it breaks down.
- Extends duty of care to dealers/ individuals who have SUFFICIENT EXPERTISE.
- Even if opportunity for int. examination, buyer allowed to rely on dealer's expertise.
Brown v Cotterill
Tombstone is erected - falls over, squashes girl.
- Holds forseeable that she would be closely and directly effected.
- Extends DOC to bystanders
Stennet v Hancock
Truck taken to repair - wheels fall off due to faulty repair, hits Mr's Stennet.
- Extends DOC to repairers who have expertise.
- Holds foreseeable that pedestrian would be harmed.
- Truck owner not negligent, as he had done right thing. Repairer was negligent.
Borhill v Young
Motorbike wrong way up highway - crashes. Pregnant woman in other lane HEARS crash - blames later miscarriage on crash.
- Held UNFORESEEABLE PLAINTIFF - not closely or directly effected
Palsgraf v Long Island
Loading explosives onto train - go off - cause scales down other end of station to fall onto woman.
- Held UNFORESEEABLE PLAINTIFF - physically very far away, too far removed from negligent act.
Marx v Attorney General
Marx had head injury at work - personality changed, became violent etc. Wife tried to sue workplace.
- Held UNFORESEEABLE PLAINTIFF - work injury too far from wife at home.
Holmes v Ashford
Hair dye sold to hairdressers - vague warning. Didn't test dye - caused dermatitis to client.
- Held that vague warning WAS SUFFICIENT given it was sold to competent hairdressers - who have expertise, and should know to check product. However if sold to public, likely to be liable.
Got car reconditioned - wheel fell off.
- Held that when a dangerous article, defendant owes duty - and is only not liable if they anticipate there would be an inspection.
Bowen v Paramount Builders - facts
house built on bad foundations - found crack, covered it up, sold to Bowens who bought with hardly any inspection.
Bowen - duty issue
- All 3 judges agreed duty owed.
- Richmond P said duty extended to architects, engineers etc.
- Woodhouse J said whoever can bear the loss financially is liable
- Cooke J said Meritorious claims should be allowed
Bowen - Negligence issue
Majority (Woodhouse J & Cooke J) held that builders were negligent - 'RED FLAG' from inspector - they should have checked further to see if any damage.
Bowen - Intermediate examination issue
Held by majority than vendors are unlikely to disclose defects.
- Also held that as it was a new house, buyers cannot be expected to check it - entitled to RELY ON THE SKILL OF THE BUILDER.
Bowen - Time limits issue
Limitation Act 1950: Liability ceases 6 years after the cause of action accrues.
- Richmond P says that accrual point is damage MORE THAN MINIMAL
- Cooke J says accrual point is every time there is NEW AND DISTINCT damage (6 years start again)
S 393 Building Act 2004: Backstop provision: Liability ceases 10 years after the date on which the actions are based.
Bowen - Prior settlement issue
- Woodhouse J holds that if you settle with one person, limits liability to others.
- Cooke J holds if you can show NEW AND DISTINCT damage since settlement, can have new cause of action.
- Richmond P agrees with Cooke, adds ability to bring joint torfeasor
Bowen - Damages recoverable issue
Majority ruled can only claim for loss consequent on PHYSICAL DAMAGE e.g. repairs, loss of rental etc.
- Cooke J obiter - argued can claim pure economic loss (e.g. if neighbour's house devalued as result of scandal)
Invercargill City Council v Hamlin
Similar to Bowen - held that duty can be extended not only to builders, but to city councils, for being negligent in their inspections.
Held that duty owed to all homes, even apartment blocks.
- Held councils can warn, in form of LIM report.
- Obiter: Failure to get LIM report may be contributory negligence.
Body Corporate v North Shore City Council
Similar to Sunset Terraces - held that duty owed to all buildings that are inhabited - regardless of nature of premesis.
Jull v Wilson
Forklift taken to repairers - did a hurried job, warned it was only temporary fix. After 5 months of use, forklift broke down and caused damage.
- Held warning that the job was temporary was NOT ENOUGH. People often 'make-do' with products - and 5 months not very long in life of forklift.
Jull v Wilson Obiter - 4 duties of a warning:
1. Dislcose the true nature of the defect
2. Express a warning of danger
3. Suggestion of inspection
4. Place a time limit on usage
Yachetti v Duff
Uncooked sausages - tried to sue for not having a warning about cooking them.
- Held that the manufacturer, in some circumstances can rely on the consumer's common sense. (I.e. you'd have a to be stupid to eat raw sausages)
Voli v Inglewood Shire Council
Stage collapsed in Hall.
- Extends DOC to architects
- Holds forseeable that stage would be used for number of reasons
- Holds you cannot "pass the buck" - 1st wrongdoer not absolved because of subsequent wrongdoers
Clay v A.J. Crump
Wall falls onto builder's smoko hut, after being assessed by a number of people.
- Architects, contractors all owe duty of care, but not owner - as he had NO EXPERTISE.
- Similar to Voli - cannot pass the buck - all 3 groups jointly liable
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