Essays on Super Builders Ltd - Duty of Care and Economic Loss Case Study

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The paper "Super Builders Ltd - Duty of Care and Economic Loss" is a great example of a business case study.   This problem involves a claim by Amy for negligence against the Super Builders Ltd for the first instance and in the second instance, Amy can also lodge a claim against the hospital for professional negligence. To bring a claim in negligence it is necessary to prove the three elements namely duty of care, breach and damage. It is also important to consider any potential defences available. The initial claim of negligence against Super Builders Ltd is established in the case Langridge vs.

Levy (1837) the exploding gun case, a man purchased a gun from a gunmaker, which guaranteed him that the gun was safe. Unfortunately, when the son of the gun owner used it, the barrel of the gun exploded and resulted in the injury of the son's hand ended up being mutilated. Since the son of a man did not buy a gun, hence, there was no remedy in contract law, and the court dismissed the case advising not to sue any further.

Since in the law of contract, the son did not buy a gun and therefore was not in the contract and secondly for negligence the son did not exist in the law (Howarth 2006). Otherwise, the man could sue the gun seller for misinformation and fraud since the gun was warranted as safe. Another case to be considered in defence for Amy is Winter bottom vs. Write (1842) is another possible defence where the broken axel. In this case, the defendant had contracted with the Postmaster General in order to repair its coach.

In the process, the driver of the coach was injured with the axel when it broke and he was thrown out of the coach (Howarth 2006). The court was requested to consider if the driver had any claim against the Postmaster or the repair of the coach. In their decision, the court concluded that the driver had no action against either of them for any breach of contract. In their decision, Lord Aitken states: “ the obligation of the defendant underneath the agreement with the Postmaster General could have only involved such a direct relationship with the servant of the person whom the postmaster general has employed as a driver and this would have given rise to a duty of care to such servants” .

This could have captured the concept of negligence and duty of care (Kinsky 2006). George vs. Skivington (1896) is another defence case to be looked at. In this case, a man bought hair wash to his wife from the seller who happens to be the manufacture at the same time.

The wife used the air was which resulted in her to suffer hair loss and scalp disorder (Leng 2007). Because the wife was not part of an agreement, she could not make an allegation under contract law. However, in their decision, the court concluded that under the contract, it extends to other users of the product whom the seller knew though was not part of that present contract (Leng 2007). The plaintiff was successful since the court held that the seller was negligence to the users of the product hence they owed them a duty of care.

However, in his decision, the judge substituted the word negligence with the word fraud and followed the ruling in Langridge vs. Levy (1937). In the case of Amy, hospital directly owe her the duty of care and it is negligence for the hospital doctor to inject her with the wrong medication, this is sufficient evidence of negligence hence Amy vs. Hospital is a viable case.


List of cases

1. Al- Nakib Investment (Jersey) ltd vs. Longcroft (1990)

2. Ann vs. Merton LBC (1977)

3. Barnett vs. Chelsea (1969)

4. Caparo Industries plc vs. Disckman and others (1990)

5. Caparo V Dickman (1990),

6. Donoghue vs. Stevenson (1932)

7. George vs. Skivington (1896)

8. Harrinton vs. Stephene (1990)

9. Heaven vs. Pender (1883),

10. Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd vs. Heller & Partners Ltd (1964)

11. James McNaughton paper Group ltd vs. Hicks Anderson & Co. (1990)

12. Langridge vs. Levy (1837)

13. Winter bottom vs. Write (1842)


Amirthalingam K. 2008. Refining the duty of care in Singapore,LQR 42 Hoffmann L. Causation 121 LQR 592

Commonwealth of Australia, Review of the Law of Negligence, Final Report (September 2002) at

Howarth D 2006. Many Duties of Care – or a Duty of Care? Notes from the Underground 26 OXJLST 449

Kinsky C. 2006 SAAMCO 10 years on: causation and scope of duty in professional negligence cases (2006) 22(2) PN 86

Leng T. 2007. The search for a single formulation for the duty of care: back to Anns (2007) 23(4) PN 218

Morgan J 2006. The rise and fall of the general duty of care 22(4) PN 206

Neil Cuthbert & Alan Berg, “After Caparo:can banks rely on audited financial statements?” 1990 Apr IFLR 17.

Stanton K. 2007.Hedley Byrne and Heller: the relationship factor (2007) 23 PN 94

Stapleton J. 1991. Duty of care and economic loss: a wider agenda 107 LQR 249

Stapleton J. 1998 Duty of Care Factors: a Selection from the Judicial Menus”, in Cane & Stapleton (eds), The Law of Obligations: Essays in celebration of John Flemming (Clarendon, 1998) p 59

Stapleton J.1995 Duty of Care – Peripheral Parties and Alternative Opportunities for Deterrence (1995) 111 LQR 301

The Hon Tony Abbott MP. 2007 , Minister for Health and Ageing, Media Release: ‘Medical Indemnity: more affordable, more secure’ (22 February 2007).

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