Does the decision in Caparo Industries plc v Dickman  2 AC represent a return to the pre- Donoghue v Stevenson  AC 562 method of determining the existence of a duty of care in negligence, and can this approach truly be said to be a satisfactory way of determining the existence of a duty of care? In this assignment I will examine the pre-Donoghue method of determining duty of care, as well as the method established in Donoghue v Stevenson, and the Incremental approach to determine the differences and similarities and see can any of these methods be truly called satisfactory.
¬Winterbottom v Wright
This case was one of the earlier cases for duty of care in negligence. The plaintiff, Winterbottom was injured…show more content… In this case a woman bought he friend (Donoghue) a bottle of ginger beer in a café. The bottle was opaque in colour, and contained a decomposing snail. After drinking some of the ginger beer Donoghue poured some of the bottle out and saw the snail. Upon seeing the snail Donoghue entered a state of shock causing diseases such as gastroenteritis. Under the law at the time, there was no way for her to sue as she had no contract with either the manufacturer or the supplier. She sued the producer for negligence. The question that was then being asked was does the producer owe a duty of care to anyone that consumed the product? The judge found this to be the case, stating that because nobody could have known what was in the bottle other than the producer and the customer that there was no way that the retailer could have known the contents of the bottle. Lord Atkins used this ruling to establish the “Neighbour Principle” stating that under law the love your neighbour principle translates to you must not injurer your neighbour, or you must “take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour.” So who by law is considered to be your neighbour? Essentially, Atkins ruled that anybody who could be reasonably foreseen to be at risk as a result of the persons negligence is your neighbour. After this ruling it was no longer…show more content… and that it is fair just and reasonable that the law imposes a duty on to one party for the others benefit.
Bridges went on to state that these concepts are indefinable, and that “They are convenient labels to attach to the features of different specific situations.” He went on to state that a duty of care will not be recognised by the state where it is of the opinion that the decision goes against the interests of society as a whole. Lord Bridges acknowledged that there was an “inability of any single general principle to provide a practical test which can be applied to every situation to determine whether a duty of care is owed”. This ruling allowed for tort law to be developed on a case by case basis, similarly to how it had been in the past.
The Incremental Approach:
Neighbourhood, or proximity is one of the three factors which must be proven in order to prove a duty of care existed. This carried on from the principle laid down in Donoghue v Stevenson, and is still used to establish a duty of care.
Foreseeability of Damages:
Foreseeability is the test used to determine proximity. The courts look at whether or not the defendant, based on their actions could have reasonably foreseen the damage their actions