BL – Initial Post

Negligence or damage caused is an important element in Tort law. There are three key aspects which can result in a breach, or negligence: cause damage to the claimant, the defendant owes a duty of care and a breach of duty of care made by defendant. One of the original cases where the question of foreseeable harm or damage was a breach of duty can be seen where ‘the most famous case in the common law of negligence was born’ (Chamberlain, 2010:92), when a drinks manufacturer had not reasonably foreseen that someone may consume a contaminated product.

The ‘Donoghue v Stevenson [932] UKHL 100’ (bailii, nd) became known as the ‘snail in a bottle’ case and went on to ensure manufacturers were obliged to observe a duty of care and take steps to reasonably foresee a possible injury or harm. This case gave significance to the ‘parable’ of ‘love thy neighbour’ (Chamberlain, 2010:113). This case and others that follow have helped to assess reasonableness and develop laws on the duty of care and given ‘power to the modern consumer’ (Coleman, 2009). However, the question is how big is the level of risk to others to balance any costs involved in avoiding the chances of it happening? Or is this just an erroneous question; the level of risk should always be considered?

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