That 19th century doctrine may have been appropriate in the conditions then prevailing. Mrs Dutton sought to recover damages from a builder, Bognor Regis Building Co Ltd, and the local council, Bognor Regis Urban District Council, that certified her house was sound, when it emerged that her house's foundations were defective because it had been built on a rubbish tip. Would it mean that the council would not inspect at all, rather than risk liability for inspecting badly? So did Lord Pearson at p. 1054. 245 , we thought that as the owner of the family car was insured she should bear the loss. 197, 203 . I would say the same about the manufacturer of an article. But the question has always been there in the background. He said that such a professional man owed no duty to one who did not employ him but only took the benefit of his work: and that an inspector was in a like position. But it was not suited to the 20th century. O vermied? The inspector was negligent. 221; Wing v. Moncton, ... APPEAL from a judgment of the British Columbia Court of Appeal 1981 CanLII 452 (BC C.A. In Hedley Byrne v. Heller it was stressed by Lord Reid at p. 486, by Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest at pp. He said it was a guide but not a principle of universal application (p. 1060). That is to say: a person who has a right has duties attached to that right. 533 . Yet they failed to protect them. (1973). The injured person can reply: "I do not care whether you were the owner or not, I am suing you in your capacity as builder and that is enough to make you liable.". In the second place, the council's inspector was responsible. The doctrine was significantly developed in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson, where a woman succeeded in establishing a manufacturer of ginger beer owed her a duty of care, where it had been negligently produced. It would certainly do so when it ought to disclose the damage. 337 , some of us thought that economic loss ought not to be put on one pair of shoulders, but spread among all the sufferers. Chapman v Hearse is a significant case in common law related to duty of care, reasonable foreseeability and novus actus interveniens within the tort of negligence. In nearly every case the builder will be primarily liable. 458 . He said that even if the inspector was under a duty of care, he owed that duty only to those who he knew would rely on this advice - and who did rely on it - and not to those who did not. 4, No. The period of limitation would only start to run when the damage was done, that is, when the cracks appeared in the house. It was suggested that they were distinguishable on the ground that they did not deal with chattels but with real property; see by Lord Atkin at p. 598 and by Lord Macmillan at p. 609. But the result of them is to lessen the authority of that case and the observations in it. The distinction between chattels and real property is quite unsustainable. Bognor Regis has been saved as your Local News location Close + 5 miles + 10 miles + 20 miles + 30 miles. Was the relationship between them sufficiently proximate? 167, a Scottish case about the responsibility of a lawyer. Dutton v. Bognor Regis United Bldg. Would it mean that inspectors would be harassed in their work or be subject to baseless charges? It was disapproved by the House of Lords in Murphy v Brentwood DC and is now bad law[1] except in Canada and New Zealand.[2]. Such considerations have influenced cases in the past, as in Rondel v. Worsley [1969] 1 A.C. 191 . Would it mean that inspectors would be harassed in their work or be subject to baseless charges? Was the injury direct or indirect? 665 . During the building of a court house, a lift plunged down six floors with 19 workmen aboard. In some cases the law has drawn the line to prevent recovery of damages. That is an impossible distinction. In some cases the law has drawn the line to prevent recovery of damages. The insurance company made these inspections gratuitously in order to promote their business. He suggested, therefore, that although the council might be liable if the ceiling fell down and injured a visitor, they would not be liable simply because the house was diminished in value. In previous times, when faced with a new problem, the judges have not openly asked themselves the question: what is the best policy for the law to adopt? Applying the test laid down by Lord Atkin in Donoghue v. Stevenson [1932] A.C. 562, 580-581 , I should have thought that the inspector ought to have had subsequent purchasers in mind when he was inspecting the foundations. But in the case of a professional man who gives advice on the safety of buildings, or machines, or material, his duty is to all those who may suffer injury in case his advice is bad In Candler v. Crane, Christmas & Co. [1951] 2 K.B. That is an impossible distinction. Nor is Otto v. Bolton & Norris [1936] 2 K.B. I will take them in order. There is a good deal in this, but I think the reason is because a subsequent purchaser often has the house surveyed. None of those injured would have relied on the architect or the engineer. 337 . The Supreme Court of Illinois, by a majority, held that the insurance company were liable for the negligence of the inspector. In parting from the case I would like to pay my tribute to the help we have received from counsel on both sides and the very good research they have done in the course of the case. That certainly supports his submission. That 19th century doctrine may have been appropriate in the conditions then prevailing. He said that on the authorities the builder, Mr. Holroyd, owed no duty to a purchaser of the house. It was reversed by the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957, section 4 (1) . In Rondel v. Worsley [1969] 1 A.C. 191 , we thought that if advocates were liable to be sued for negligence they would be hampered in carrying out their duties. It was physical damage to the house. Hence they were treated by the courts as being still cases of authority. Extension of existing principles to new situations as in Dutton v Bognor Regis. The garment in question was alleged to contain an excess of sulphite. They were entrusted by Parliament with the task of seeing that houses were properly built. The cl… ), (1981), 31 B.C.L.R. It was fair and reasonable that the council should be liable to a later purchaser of a house that its surveyor had negligently certified to be sound. 462 (sub nom. During the building of a court house, a lift plunged down six floors with 19 workmen aboard. But they were met invariably with the answer given by Alderson B. in Winterbottom v. Wright (1842) 10 M. & W. 109, 115: "If we were to hold that the plaintiff could sue in such a case, there is no point at which such actions would stop. 81. 533. I should think those who were responsible. The injured person can reply: "I do not care whether you were the owner or not, I am suing you in your capacity as builder and that is enough to make you liable.". So also the council's inspector should not be liable for passing the bad work. This judgment was rejected in some Commonwealth jurisdictions, notably Canada, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand, all of which preferred the two stage Anns test of proximity and policy. ... Mt Albert BC v Johnson. In Gallagher v. N. McDowell Ltd [1961] N.I. Once covered up, they will not be seen again until the damage appears. Since that case the courts have had the instance of an architect or engineer. Hence they were treated by the courts as being still cases of authority. The Supreme Court of Illinois, by a majority, held that the insurance company were liable for the negligence of the inspector. But in the case of a professional man who gives advice on the safety of buildings, or machines, or material, his duty is to all those who may suffer injury in case his advice is bad In Candler v. Crane, Christmas & Co. [1951] 2 K.B. The house fell down without any fault of hers. It would mean that a contractor who builds a house on another's land is liable for negligence in constructing it, but that a speculative builder, who buys land and himself builds houses on it for sale, and is just as negligent as the contractor, is not liable. The standard test of breach is whether the defendant has matched the abilities of a reasonable person. First, Mrs. Dutton has suffered a grievous loss. But it was not suited to the 20th century. They held that if one of the parties to a contract was negligent in carrying it out, no third person who was injured by that negligence could sue for damages on that account. If the manufacturer of an article is liable to a person injured by his negligence, so should the builder of a house be liable. Once covered up, they will not be seen again until the damage appears. The case itself can be brought within the words of Lord Atkin in Donoghue v. Stevenson: but it is a question whether we should apply them here. Will it lead to a flood of cases which neither the council nor the courts will be able to handle? He said that even if the inspector was under a duty of care, he owed that duty only to those who he knew would rely on this advice - and who did rely on it - and not to those who did not. It holds that the divide between a statement of opinion and fact becomes more factual if one holds himself out as having expert knowledge. This would mean that they might be liable many years hence. Then I ask: If liability were imposed on the council, would it have an adverse effect on the work? South Australia Asset Management Corpn v York Montague Ltd and Banque Bruxelles Lambert SA v Eagle Star Insurance Co Ltd [1996] UKHL 10 is a joined English contract law case on causation and remoteness of damage. DUTTON v. BOGNOR REGIS UNITED BUILDING CO. LTD. 46 , and our decision was upheld by the House of Lords: [1958] A.C. 240 : see also Miller v. South of Scotland Electricity Board, 1958 S.C. 20, 37-38. If a visitor is injured by the negligent construction, the injured person is entitled to sue the builder, alleging that he built the house negligently. The only safe rule is to confine the right to recover to those who enter into the contract: if we go one step beyond that, there is no reason why we should not go fifty.". Higgins v Arfon Borough Council It will be very rarely that the council will be sued or found liable. It seems to me that it is a question of policy which we, as judges, have to decide. “The application of existing law to new circumstances can never be clearly distinguished from the creation of a new rule of law.” (Cross). It was held that a local authority was responsible for the subsidence of a house built on a garbage dump. In Gallagher v. N. McDowell Ltd [1961] N.I. Unless in each case he was a party to the contract. When the builder is himself the owner, they assumed that Bottomley v. Bannister [1932] 1 K.B. 337 . 311, dismissing an appeal from a judgment of Andrews J. But the judges in those cases confined themselves to cases in which the builder was only a contractor and was not the owner of the house itself. Dutton v Bognor Regis UDC and Another The first major extension of the test of Lord Atkin in Donoghue v Stevenson in a building case was in 1972 in Dutton v Bognor Regis UDC and Another (now overruled by Murphy v Brentwood District Council). Dutton v Bognor Regis Urban District Council (1976) 3 BLR 11. The reason given was that the only duty of care was that imposed by the contract. It was owed to the other contracting party, and to no one else. He said that an inspector is in the same position as any professional man who, by virtue of his training and experience, is qualified to give advice to others on how they should act. 458 . It continues to be cited as an authority in legal cases, and used as an example for students studying law. They held that if one of the parties to a contract was negligent in carrying it out, no third person who was injured by that negligence could sue for damages on that account. Suppose that the defect is discovered in time to prevent the injury. Time after time counsel for injured plaintiffs sought to escape from the rigour of this rule. Williams v Natural Life Health Foods Ltd [1998] Held: D not liable for negligently advising C to open a health foods store in Rugby as he had no direct dealings with C, just C's employer Foster v Action Aviation Ltd [2014] What are the considerations of policy here? Also, the case of Dutton v Bognor Regis UDC was disapproved.. Mr. Tapp also said that if this action were allowed, it would expose the council to endless claims. It has been concealed behind such questions as: Was the defendant under any duty to the plaintiff? That doctrine did not avail manufacturers after 1932 - Donoghue v. Stevenson [1932] A.C. 562 : nor did it avail professional men after 1964 - Hedley Byrne & Co. Ltd. v. Heller & Partners Ltd. [1964] A.C. 465 . In my opinion Bottomley v. Bannister [1932] 1 K.B. The period of limitation would only start to run when the damage was done, that is, when the cracks appeared in the house. If he makes it negligently, with a latent defect (so that it breaks to pieces and injures someone), he is undoubtedly liable. She settled the claim with the builder for £625 after getting advice that an action in negligence could not succeed, but continued in an action against the council, and Cusack J awarded damages £2,115. I would therefore dismiss this appeal. This intermediate inspection, or opportunity of inspection, may break the proximity. 458 . Such considerations have sometimes in the past led the courts to reject novel claims. The area of tort law known as negligence involves harm caused by failing to act as a form of carelessness possibly with extenuating circumstances. Mr. Tapp relied on Bottomley v. Bannister [1932] 1 K.B. Nowadays since Hedley Byrne & Co. Ltd. v. Heller & Partners Ltd. [1964] A.C. 465 it is clear that a professional man who gives guidance to others owes a duty of care, not only to the client who employs him, but also to another who he knows is relying on his skill to save him from harm. 26 , Lord MacDermott C.J. Esso Petroleum Co Ltd v Mardon [1976] EWCA Civ 4 is an English contract law case, concerning misrepresentation. It seems to me that it is a question of policy which we, as judges, have to decide. If he designs a house or a bridge so negligently that it falls down, he is liable to every one of those who are injured in the fall: see Clay v. A. J. Crump & Sons Ltd. [1964] 1 Q.B. The liability of a contractor doing work on land was said to be different from the liability of an occupier doing the selfsame work. DUTTON v. BOGNOR REGIS U.D.C. In parting from the case I would like to pay my tribute to the help we have received from counsel on both sides and the very good research they have done in the course of the case. This intermediate inspection, or opportunity of inspection, may break the proximity. The essence of this proposition, however, is the reliance. Time after time counsel for injured plaintiffs sought to escape from the rigour of this rule. It sets a limit to damages for economic loss, or for shock, or theft by escaping convicts. In Launchbury v. Morgans [1971] 2 Q.B. In Rondel v. Worsley [1969] 1 A.C. 191 , we thought that if advocates were liable to be sued for negligence they would be hampered in carrying out their duties. and so forth. LAW OF TORT - caselist 1. The floodgates principle, or the floodgates argument, is a legal principle which is sometimes applied by judges to restrict or limit the right to make claims for damages because of a concern that permitting a claimant to recover in such situations might open the metaphorical "floodgates" to large numbers of claims and lawsuits. Such considerations have influenced cases in the past, as in Rondel v. Worsley [1969] 1 A.C. 191 . 167, a Scottish case about the responsibility of a lawyer. 253 and Blacker v. Lake and Elliot Ltd (1912) 106 L.T. On this footing, there is nothing unfair in holding the council's surveyor also liable. I would therefore dismiss this appeal. Who are they? None of them would have known whether an architect or engineer was employed, or not. It is certain that a banker or accountant is under such a duty. That appears from Bagot v. Stevens Scanlan & Co. Ltd. [1966] 1 Q.B. ], Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre v Selfridge & Co Ltd, Woodar Investment Development Ltd v Wimpey Construction UK Ltd, Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999, Nisshin Shipping Co Ltd v Cleaves & Co Ltd, Miller v. South of Scotland Electricity Board. What are the considerations of policy here? In Dorset Yacht Co. Ltd. v. Home Office [1970] A.C. 1004 , we thought that the Home Office ought to pay for damage done by escaping Borstal boys, if the staff was negligent, but we confined it to damage done in the immediate vicinity. They are liable in either case. The insurance company made these inspections gratuitously in order to promote their business. Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales v A-G; Industrial Development Consultants Ltd v Cooley; M. Maharanee of Baroda v Wildenstein; McGhee v … Nowadays since Hedley Byrne & Co. Ltd. v. Heller & Partners Ltd. [1964] A.C. 465 it is clear that a professional man who gives guidance to others owes a duty of care, not only to the client who employs him, but also to another who he knows is relying on his skill to save him from harm. But here I see no danger. Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Dock and Engineering Co Ltd, commonly known as Wagon Mound , is a landmark tort law case, which imposed a remoteness rule for causation in negligence. I would say the same about the manufacturer of an article. This would mean that they might be liable many years hence. [1978] AC 278. Each must be under the same duty *394 of care and to the same persons. Dutton v Bognor Regis Urban District Council [1972] 1 QB 373. In short, we look at the relationship of the parties: and then say, as matter of policy, on whom the loss should fall. But beyond doubt, the architect and engineer would be liable. See Dutton v. Bognor Regis UDC [1972] 1 QB 373; Hone v. Benson [1978] 248 EG 1013. If the owner of land built a house on it and sold it to a purchaser, but he did his work so negligently that someone was injured, the injured person could not recover: see Bottomley v. Bannister [1932] 1 K.B. But jurists Mickey Dias and Hohfeld have shown that rights and duties are jural correlatives. He ought to have realised that, if he was negligent, they might suffer damage. We held that each was liable for negligence: see Billings (A. C.) & Sons v. Riden [1957] 1 Q.B. That cannot be right. Mr. Tapp made a strong point here about reliance. 253 and Blacker v. Lake and Elliot Ltd (1912) 106 L.T. Bognor Regis scores and fixtures - follow Bognor Regis results, fixtures and match details on Soccer24. The usual rules rely on establishing that a duty of care is owed by the defendant to the claimant, and that the defendant is in breach of that duty. Chapman appealed the case to the High Court of Australia on August 8, 1961 but it was dismissed as the results of his negligence were deemed reasonably foreseeable. It was he who laid the foundations so badly that the house fell down. nature of the loss: following Dutton v Bognor Regis UDC,I6 Anns characterised the plaintiffs loss as ‘material, physical damage’ even though Lord Denning had, extra- judicially,17 made it clear that this was a mis-description - one presumes in order to help a ‘deserving’ plaintiff. Cavalier v. Pope [1906] A.C. 428 has gone too. If such a duty is found to be breached, a legal liability is imposed upon the tortfeasor to compensate the victim for any losses they incur. The Court of Appeal in Dutton v Bognor Regis District council ruled that there was no reason why this principle should not also apply to a builder building a house. Ministry of Housing and Local Government v Sharp [1970] 2 QB 223, is an English tort law case concerning assumption of responsibility. Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd [1964] AC 465 is an English tort law case on economic loss in English tort law resulting from a negligent misstatement. Lord Wensleydale said, at p. 199: "He only, who by himself, or another as his agent, employs the attorney to do the particular act in which the alleged neglect has taken place, can sue him for that neglect, ...". 406 . (United Kingdom) Ltd. v. W. J. Whittall & Son Ltd. [1971] 1 Q.B. He referred to the recent case of S.C.M. First, it concerned the existence of a duty of care in tort for negligent misstatements, not made directly to someone relying on the statement. He said that Mrs. Dutton did not rely on the inspector and, therefore, he owed her no duty. But beyond doubt, the architect and engineer would be liable. [original research? The principle is most frequently cited in common law jurisdictions, and in English tort law in particular. That certainly supports his submission. 396-98), and Sachs L.J. It was physical damage to the house. In the first place, the builder was responsible. Caparo Industries PLC v Dickman[1990] UKHL 2 is a leading English tort law case on the test for a duty of care. 46 . (2d) 769. Devlin v. Smith, 89 N.Y. 470 (1882) was a seminal case decided by the New York Court of Appeals in the area of product liability law. Unless in each case he was a party to the contract. and so forth. Mrs Dutton had bought the building from a Mr Clark, who in turn had bought the building from the builder, so that Mrs Dutton had no direct contract with either the builder or the council. I venture to repeat what I said in Dutton v. Bognor Regis U.D.C.. (1972) 1 QB 373 at page 397: "It seems to me that it is a question of policy which we, as judges, have to decide. The council appealed. Mr. Tapp submitted that the inspector owed no duty to a purchaser of the house. That cannot be right. Who ought in justice to bear it? In nearly every case the builder will be primarily liable. It would mean that a contractor who builds a house on another's land is liable for negligence in constructing it, but that a speculative builder, who buys land and himself builds houses on it for sale, and is just as negligent as the contractor, is not liable. The period of limitation (six years) then began to run. Owners themselves often had little or no money, since they had fallen victim to negative equity, so mortgage lenders would pursue a valuer instead to recover some losses. Diplock L.J. Diplock L.J. If a visitor is injured by the negligent construction, the injured person is entitled to sue the builder, alleging that he built the house negligently. If the manufacturer or repairer of an article did it negligently, and someone was injured, the injured person could not recover: see Earl v. Lubbock [1905] 1 K.B. Surely he is liable for the cost of repair. There is no sense in maintaining this distinction. (United Kingdom) Ltd. v. W. J. Whittall & Son Ltd. [1971] 1 Q.B. In order for a duty of care to arise in negligence: In the English law of tort, professional negligence is a subset of the general rules on negligence to cover the situation in which the defendant has represented him or herself as having more than average skills and abilities. The very object was to protect purchasers and occupiers of houses. In the second place, the council's inspector was responsible. 46 , and our decision was upheld by the House of Lords: [1958] A.C. 240 : see also Miller v. South of Scotland Electricity Board , 1958 S.C. 20, 37-38. The builder cannot defend himself by saying: "True I was the builder; but I was the owner as well. Next, I ask: Is there any economic reason why liability should not be imposed on the council? It is at this point that I must draw a distinction between the several categories of professional men. The damage was done when the foundations were badly constructed. Dutton v Bognor Regis Urban District Council [1972] 1 QB 373 is an English contract law and English tort law case concerning defective premises and the limits of contract damages. She settled the claim with the builder for £625 after getting advice that an action in negligence could not succeed, but continued in an action against the council, and Cusack J awarded damages £2,115. But that case only dealt with the manufacturer of an article. The council would be protected by a six-year limitation, but the builder might not be. It was reversed by the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957, section 4 (1) . In neither of those cases, strangely enough, was Robertson v. Fleming, 4 Macq. He passed the lift as safe when it was unsafe. If Mr. Tapp's submission were right, it would mean that if the inspector negligently passes the house as properly built and it collapses and injures a person, the council are liable: but if the owner discovers the defect in time to repair it - and he does repair it - the council are not liable. 596-597. Would it mean that they would be extra cautious, and hold up work unnecessarily? Finally I ask myself: If we permit this new action, are we opening the door too much? Accordingly it was done away with in Donoghue v. Stevenson [1932] A.C. 562 . The builder was not liable for his negligence in the construction of the house. The damage done here was not solely economic loss. The reason is that if no limit were set there would be no end to the money payable. In the third place, the council should answer for his failure. Next I ask: is there any reason in point of law why the council should not be held liable? We had a similar problem some years ago. Smith v Eric S Bush [1990] UKHL 1 is an English tort law and contract law case, heard by the House of Lords. The case concerned three parties; Chapman who drove negligently, Dr Cherry who assisted him on the side of the road, and Hearse who, in driving negligently, killed Dr Cherry while he was assisting Chapman. But Lord Diplock spoke differently. 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