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Tort Law Master

There are four inherent elements to this negligence. These elements include the notion that there is a duty to exhibit a reasonable amount of care when dealing with another individual, the breach of that duty, the notion that the breach of that duty caused physical harm to another individual and finally, the breach did in fact cause harm from a legal standpoint. In order to examine the police immunity with regards to breach of duty within the realm of the tort of negligence, it is prudent that we examine the background of breach of duty and the charge of negligence resulting from it.1
The tort of negligence like all other legal causes in common law arose out of a necessity based on reason wherein many different actions were brought based on the fault of individuals with regards to inflicting harm on others as a direct result of carelessness. It dates back to the case of Heaven v Pender (1885). This was the first case wherein negligence was alleged wherein Pender who was a dock owner charged with the responsibility of putting up a staging outside of a ship owned by another party. He placed the staging up. An employee, who was subcontracted to paint the ship, mounted the staging and was hurt when one of the ropes supplied by the defendant broke and caused the plaintiff to sustain injuries. The plaintiff then brought a suit against Mr. Pender as Mr. Pender did supply the defective rope that eventually broke. Additionally, there was evidence that the rope had been scorched and there was prior knowledge that the rope was unfit for supporting the staging. The judge in this case ruled for the plaintiff and established a precedent with regards to negligence arising from a breach of duty.2
Yet another early case in establishing the tort of negligence is the case of Le Lievre v Gould [1893] which called to task the notion of professional negligence. Professional negligence according to common legal lexicon is the act of negligence perpetrated by an individual who represents him/herself as having above average skills or abilities. The facts in this case were such that the mortgagees of the interest in a building advanced money to the defendant, Mr. Gould who was the surveyor of the building. The money was advanced periodically with no predetermined consistency and there was no contract established between the mortgagees and the surveyor. It was determined that the certificates issued by the surveyor contained fallacious statements with regards to the progress of the work on the building. The surveyor was absorbed of all liability as it was determined that there was no fraud on the part of the surveyor. The question of law was whether the defendant owed some duty to the plaintiff. In this case, Lord Esher ruled that "A man is entitled to be as negligent as he pleases towards the whole world if he owes no duty to them."3
The notion of breach of duty was solidified in the case of Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932) when Mrs. Donoghue who was a patron at a public bar located in Paisely, Great Britain consumed a drink of ginger beer containing a decomposed snail and subsequently got sick. This initiated a law suit under the precedent setting case of Donoghue v. Stevenson ([1932] All ER Rep 1; [1932] AC 562; House of Lords) and was tried in front of Justices Lords Buckmaster, Atkin, Tomlin, Thankerton and MacMillan. The facts of the case were such th ...Show more


Without a doubt police and other legal professionals owe a duty to isolated individuals and a restrictive group of individuals but they do not owe a private legal duty to the public as a whole. As such, the police are granted immunity from civil prosecution under the tort of negligence when they are acting in execution of their duty…
Author : rodger58
Tort Law Master Essay
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