Negligence is a failure to exercise appropriate care expected to be exercised on specified circumstances. It involves harm caused by failing to act as a form of carelessness in different circumstances. Concept of negligence is people should exercise reasonable care in their actions, by taking account of the potential harm that they might cause to other people or property. They may be able to sue for damages to compensate for their harm. The loss may include physical injury, harm to people or property, economic loss, etc.
Elements of negligence
Duty of care
The legal liability of defendant to plaintiff is based on the defendant’s failure to fulfill a responsibility.
Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932)
Plaintiff was in a café in Paisley with her friend where she ordered a ginger beer. She drank some of it and later noticed a snail exit from bottle. She suffered nervous shock and sued the manager.
Breach of duty
If the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff, matter of duty must be settled. The test is both subjective and objective. Subjective test refers to when defendant knowingly exposes the plaintiff to the risk of loss, breaches that duty. Objective test refers to when defendant realize the risk of loss to the plaintiff with any reasonable person.
It is necessary to prove that there is a relationship between act and the negligence.
It is also known as actual cause. For the defendant to be held liable, it must be proved that the particular act was the cause of the loss or damage.
It is also known as proximate cause. The idea is if no one can foresee that something bad is happening and take care to avoid it.
Plaintiff has to prove harm to recover. He cannot recover until he can prove that defendant’s breach caused injury. When damages are not a necessary element, he is entitled to nominal damages and damages set according to proof.
Case law: Constantine v. Imperial Hotels Ltd. (1944)
Requirement of pecuniary loss:
Physically injured and can show medical bill.
If property is damages, he can show income lost because he couldn’t use it, or repair it.
Damage can be physical, purely economic or reputational. Emotional distress is an actionable tort. Damages are parasitic.
Damage is the amount of money which injured party gets from the person who causes injury to him.
Injuria sine damno: it means legal injury without any damage. Legal rights of an individual are violated.
Damnum sine injuria: damage without any injury and has no right in absence of a legal injury.
Damages are compensatory in nature. It addresses plaintiff’s losses.
Types of damages:
Special damages: loss suffered from defendant’s act to a specified time.
General damages: they are not quantified in monetary terms and plaintiff proves minimal loss.
Punitive damages: it is used to punish defendant, and not compensate plaintiffs, for example, negligence.
Aggravated damages compensation is given to plaintiff when harm is done by defendant’s conduct.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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