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    I'm currently looking at economic loss in tort. Earlier in the year I did psychiatric injury. Both of these topics are described as duty of care issues. Whilst I understand the cases and concepts involved, what I am struggling to see is how they fit into the grand scheme of negligence.

    For example, in a problem question on negligence, I would set out the negligence criteria: duty of care, breach, causation and remoteness. And usually I would go through them methodically, talking about the problem areas and then reaching a conclusion, based on those criteria, about whether or not there would be an action in negligence.

    With the psychiatric injury and economic loss - the so called 'duty of care problem areas', I'm at loss about how to fit these into what is set out in my mind as a simple straightforward test. So when I get around to answering problem questions, I sit there with all the knowledge (well, most of it) but no clue how to apply it to the question. Do I just disregard those four criteria and talk about established cases within that particular topic area (e.g. economic loss), which I know, at the end of the day, gave rise to liability in negligence, but without being able to explain how the case relates to the general negligence test? Or what?

    Could someone please help!?
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    Bumpety bump!
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    (Original post by Rascacielos)
    I'm currently looking at economic loss in tort. Earlier in the year I did psychiatric injury. Both of these topics are described as duty of care issues. Whilst I understand the cases and concepts involved, what I am struggling to see is how they fit into the grand scheme of negligence.

    For example, in a problem question on negligence, I would set out the negligence criteria: duty of care, breach, causation and remoteness. And usually I would go through them methodically, talking about the problem areas and then reaching a conclusion, based on those criteria, about whether or not there would be an action in negligence.

    With the psychiatric injury and economic loss - the so called 'duty of care problem areas', I'm at loss about how to fit these into what is set out in my mind as a simple straightforward test. So when I get around to answering problem questions, I sit there with all the knowledge (well, most of it) but no clue how to apply it to the question. Do I just disregard those four criteria and talk about established cases within that particular topic area (e.g. economic loss), which I know, at the end of the day, gave rise to liability in negligence, but without being able to explain how the case relates to the general negligence test? Or what?

    Could someone please help!?
    You don't seem so confused!

    You are correct that these tests are at the duty stage i.e. you have to figure out if these are interests the law imposes a duty to take care of. This is because the law does not seek to protect us from ALL carelessly inflicted harm. So, yes, you just apply the cases. If the claim fails at the duty stage there is no need to consider the other limbs of analysis (breach, causation). If you conclude that there is a duty, you then continue with the rest of the test. You cannot just say it leads to liability without mechanically going through the rest of the general negligence test.

    a) I can see psychiatric harm being a little confusing because proximity/remoteness considerations are necessary in the duty analysis, as shown by the distinction between primary and secondary victims.

    b) With pure economic loss, you start with the general rule in Murphy v Brentwood to conclude that there is no duty. Unless your factual scenario falls within the exceptions in Hedley Bryne and the associated extensions and limitations in the case law.

    Does this answer your question? I think you already had it right. If not, maybe you could provide an example or say what you don't understand?
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    (Original post by ratio)
    You don't seem so confused!

    You are correct that these tests are at the duty stage i.e. you have to figure out if these are interests the law imposes a duty to take care of. This is because the law does not seek to protect us from ALL carelessly inflicted harm. So, yes, you just apply the cases. If the claim fails at the duty stage there is no need to consider the other limbs of analysis (breach, causation). If you conclude that there is a duty, you then continue with the rest of the test. You cannot just say it leads to liability without mechanically going through the rest of the general negligence test.

    a) I can see psychiatric harm being a little confusing because proximity/remoteness considerations are necessary in the duty analysis, as shown by the distinction between primary and secondary victims.

    b) With pure economic loss, you start with the general rule in Murphy v Brentwood to conclude that there is no duty. Unless your factual scenario falls within the exceptions in Hedley Bryne and the associated extensions and limitations in the case law.

    Does this answer your question? I think you already had it right. If not, maybe you could provide an example or say what you don't understand?
    Yes, that helps very much, thank you!
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    (Original post by Rascacielos)
    Yes, that helps very much, thank you!
    No worries, happy to help.
 
 
 
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