Tort of Negligence

Tort (a civil wrong) of negligence

The tort of negligence, has all the elements for a duty of care which are a breach of the duty, causation and damage. These elements are frequently interconnected and legal practitioners are used to assessing them globally. Frequently the most important of these is breach, and the others are not overly controversial.

However, it is worth reviewing the process to a negligence claim: the existence and scope of a duty of care; particularly in light of some recent court decisions.
The importance of the identification of the duty of care arises at two points;

  • one is where the court is considering whether or not to expand or restrict the types of relationship that give rise to a duty of care, and
  • application where it is necessary to apply a relevant set of facts to an existing type to establish whether a duty exists and, if so, what the scope of the duty is.
  • It is over 75 years since Lord Atkin famously promoted the ‘neighbour principle’ and asked: “Who, then, in law is my neighbour?” and posed the convincing answer:

…persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question.”

The law has taken a long journey since Donoghue v Stevenson in developing and expanding the scope of the tort, including by way of such tools as proximity, varying concepts of remoteness and the creation of numerous sub-classes of people to whom varying standards of the duty of care were owed.

Most recently, the common law in Australia has, over the last decade or so, turned back towards a more simplistic analysis of the duty of care. The extent of liability has been less governed by restrictions and variations at the ‘front end’ on what standard of duty is owed to whom depending on their relationship, and more by how a breach of a more general standard may be affected at the ‘back end’ by the actions of the injured person by way of contributory negligence or in some cases voluntary assumption of risk.

Latest News

Finalists again in 2020

CPR Insurance Services was very pleased to be nominated again for this year's Insurance Business Magazine awards. Unfortunately the Awards night has been postponed until later due to COVID19, we very much appreciate the accolades this brings us. We have been nominated three years in a row now and won the the award the past two years. It was always going to be very hard to win three in a row.

read more

CPR Insurance Services Awarded Authorised Representative Insurance Business of the Year for 2019

Mandy and Robert Cooper were proud to receive the inaugural Authorised Representative Business of the Year from ANZIIF in the Australian Insurance Industry Awards for 2019.

We share this award with all our staff, Lauren, Guy and Sarah and thank them for their dedication in providing the best possible customer service. We also thank our clients who have made our business what it is today. We thank you all so much.

read more