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The tort of negligence is concerned with the duty to take reasonable care not to cause reasonably foreseeable loss. Claimants will bring a claim in the tort of negligence against another party to recover their losses which was allegedly caused by the defendant’s failure to take reasonable care.

A claimant must show four things to satisfy a claim in the tort of negligence. Firstly, they must show the defendant owed to them a duty to take reasonable care. Secondly, they must show the defendant breached this duty of care. Thirdly, they must show that this breach caused them a loss recognised by the tort. Finally, they must show this damage was not too remote.

The following sections explore each of these enquiries in turn.

Duty of Care

The tort of negligence does not impose liability whenever someone fails to take reasonable care. Instead, the claimant must show that the defendant is ‘responsible’ for its loss, primarily by showing that the defendant owed them a ‘duty of care’.

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Breach of Duty

Using the objective test of the reasonable person, the Court determines whether the defendant failed to take reasonable care.

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The claimant must show that the defendant caused them a loss. The Courts have had to define the test for causation, which is split into factual and legal causation, and then determine the meaning of ‘loss’.

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Remoteness of Damage

After a claimant has shown that the defendant’s negligence has caused them a loss, they must also show the damage is not too remote.

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