In the fair child's case, the industrial employers had a duty of care towards the employees in ensuring that:-
A man purchased a bottle of ginger-beer from a shop to be used by his girlfriend. But the bottle in which the beer was contained was opaque and it was impossible to clearly see its contents. It was later found that the beer contained remains of a snail on pouring out the beer. The girlfriend got sick and sued the manufacturer for damages in tort. It was held that the defendant was liable since he owed her a duty of care to ensure that the bottle should contain any other objects apart from the beer itself.
Under the tort of negligence, the plaintiff cannot successfully sue the defendant unless he/she proofs that he was injured. Even if damage is evident, the plaintiff must also proof that he suffered injury directly attributable to the damage. The plaintiff might suffer injury not directly attributable to the damage. If this is the case, his action will fail. 2
In Fairchild's case, the workers inhaled excessive asbestos and contracted mesotheliona, a cancer associated with the inhalation of such substances. The injury here is this disease suffered. This would give the worker an automatic a way to sue their employers for damages. The situation would have changed had the workers not contracted the disease or any injury of a similar nature. The employers know very well that excessive inhalation of the asbestos would cause the disease but they did not take reasonable steps to avid it.
Standard of Care
Apart from just the duty of care that one owes his neighbour in his actions that he ought to have him in contemplation, there are cases where standard of care need to be shown. The courts have the burden to proof whether the defendants had standard of care.
A standard of care is thus expected from an ordinary prudent person in a given situation. If a person has placed himself or made others believe that he can execute a given task, then he owes his clients a standard of care to do such a task without harming the client. A doctor for instant in a reputable hospital owes a patient a standard of care and should carry out his work expected of a doctor from such a hospital and expect to be given such a standard of care. 3
Causation of Damage under Negligence
The general rule under negligence is that the burden of proofing negligence would lie on the plaintiff. But in case of accidents in the workplace, the plaintiff need not proof negligence if that accident could not have occurred were the defendant not negligent.
In such cases, the plaintiff relies on the principle of 'Res Ipsa Loquitor" i.e.; let the facts speak by themselves. The burden of proof then shift to the defendant. The defendant would then convince the courts that the accident would still have occurred without his own negligence. 4
If the defendant successfully argues that he was not negligent or convinces the world