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Tort | Negligence

Damage: Remoteness

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Damage: Remoteness

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  • damage not too remote: limits D's liability to reasonably justified / ensures C not profit / aids future liabilities assessment

Remoteness test

  • cargo / D liable all loss which flowed from his conduct / direct causation test: foreseeability relevant in determining culpability not compensation (Re Polemis and Furness, Withy & Co [1921])
  • D not liable: oil damage foreseeable but fire too remote / reasonable foreseeability test: if reasonable person not foreseen the damage cannot be recovered (The Wagon Mound (No 1) [1961])
  • playing on abandoned ship / The Wagon Mound test approved (Jolley v Sutton [2000])

Similar-in-type rule

  • not too remote: if type of injury reasonably foreseeable / even if precise way caused not
  • paraffin lamps / D liable: injury by burning foreseeable / circumstances unexpected ( Hughes v Lord Advocate [1963] )
  • too remote: rat urine not rat bite / narrow interpretation (Tremain v Pike [1969])
  • HoL wider construction / Wagon Mound test & Hughes v Lord Advocate approach / D liable: not necessary distinguish between physical injuries / precise nature of injury not need to be foreseeable (Jolley v Sutton [2000])

Egg-shell skull rule

  • take your V as you find him / type of injury foreseeable but not extent (due to C's special characteristics)
  • aggravated V's unknown pre-existing cancerous condition / D liable: explicitly followed Wagon Mound test: burn injury foreseeable / extent was not but did not prevent liability ( Smith v Leech Brain [1962] )
  • tetanus injection reaction / reasonably foreseeable P would require medical treatment/ D liable for consequences (Robinson v Post Office [1974])
  • Cs impecuniosity / may increase cost of loss / hire car credit / D liable ( Lagden v O'Connor [2004] )
bits of law
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