What is Tort of Negligence?
Tort of negligence refers to a tort committed by lack by a person, to act reasonably to someone they owe duty, as the law requires under the circumstances. Torts of negligence are undeliberate, and an injury resulting from the breach of duty must be present. Slip and fall accidents, car accidents and most medical malpractices are instances of torts of negligence. s, and most medical malpractice cases. This law stipulates that a person ought to be held liable for causing harm to others, carelessly.
The elements of tort of negligence are based on the failure of the defendant to take due care and that of the plaintiff’s leading to harm.
The elements of tort of negligence are:
- that there must be a breach of duty to a known standard of care; Obligation of one person to another. Each person has an obligation to take care of the other person and should not harm them through some reckless actions towards them. For instance, a doctor ought to treat the patients with the necessary care and proper prescription and medication
- that the breach of that duty was the actual cause and the proximate cause of the harm to the plaintiff. It occurs the moment a person exercises not, reasonable care standards to others. This might result from unintentionally or intentionally placing someone else under the exposure of a dangerous situation which results to damage and poses danger.
- that the plaintiff was harmed, to which the law provides a remedy. A connection between the breach of duty and the resulting injury must be present, or a legal or factual causation. The plaintiff would otherwise receive no monetary compensation. The defendant might have legal or factual causation for such an injury inflicted on the plaintiff.
Chain of causation
The claimant must establish that the defendant caused the loss that they suffered, in order to demonstrate causation in tort law. The “but for” test is the most popular in resolving the puzzle of causation in tort law. If the plaintiff underwent the loss as a result of the defendant, the answer to the question; “but for” would be answered to the affirmative proving that the defendant is not liable. Otherwise, the defendant is held liable. With the existence of more than a single possible cause, causation might prove problematic, though various formulations have been devised to ease the burden of judging such situations.
Elements of torts law and the Stevenson-Donoghue case
In the case Donogue drank a bottle of beer, manufactured by the Stevensons that contained snail’s decomposed remnants, and she alleged that she suffered from severe gastroenteritis and shock. Stevenson could be held liable since they have a duty to ensure that whatever is packed in the bootls is safe for human consumption, considering the bottles had even labels to emphasis their quality. They had neglected their duty to ensure that there were no such noxious elements in their beers. They were, as a result liable because of such neglect. This case lies purely as a tort of negligence, not fraud.
In the case, a breach of duty by the Stevenson is evident. It was their obligation to provide the consumers with quality beer devoid of such foreign substances, just like had been indicated on the beer bottles. There ought to be a duty of care by the manufacturer towards the consumers of the products.
Donogue proved to the court that the consumption of that particular beer caused her harm (the gastro injuries and shock). As such Stevenson are held liable for their recklessness through overlooking proper packing of their beers, which are designed for consumers.
Donoghue suffered from the gastro injuries and shock after she drank the ginger beer that was manufactured by Stevensons. The harm was therefore as a result of the beer. Had she not taken the beer, she would not have suffered the injuries or the shock. This is in line with the third element of tort of negligence which dictates that the defendant should be held liable if their breach of duty caused harm to the plaintiff.