Introduction he case of Anns v Merton LBC1, perhaps best remembered for its short-lived two-stage test of ‘duty’, posed the question of whether a local authority was under a duty of care with respect to inspection of foundations. It is sufficientto say that a cause of action arises at the point I haveindicated.". 101, and Quackenbush v. Ford Motor Co., 167Appellate Division 433, 153 N.Y.S. No such feature was present in Anns. Ltd. v. Home Office [1970] AC 1004, the position hasnow been reached that in order to establish that a duty ofcare arises in a particular situation, it is not necessary tobring the facts of that situation within those of previoussituations in which a duty of care has been held to exist.Rather the question has to be approached in two stages.First one has to ask whether, as between the allegedwrongdoer and the person who has suffered damage there isa sufficient relationship of proximity or neighbourhood suchthat, in the reasonable contemplation of the former,carelessness on his part may be likely to cause damage tothe latter - in which case a prima facie duty of care arises.Secondly, if the first question is answered affirmatively, itis necessary to consider whether there are anyconsiderations which ought to negative, or to reduce or limitthe scope of the duty or the class of person to whom it isowed or the damages to which a breach of it may give rise:see Dorset Yacht case [1970] AC 1004, per Lord Reid atp. Astriking illustration of this is Transworld Airlines Inc. v. Curtiss-Wright Corporation (1955) 148 N.Y.S. All these considerations lead inevitably to the conclusionthat a building owner can only recover the cost of repairing adefective building on the ground of the authority's negligence inperforming its statutory function of approving plans or inspectingbuildings in the course of construction if the scope of theauthority's duty of care is wide enough to embrace purelyeconomic loss. It is at least highly doubtful if the reasoning of thisdecision can now be supported consistently with the unanimousopinion of the United States Supreme Court in East RiverSteamship Corporation v. Transamerica Delaval Inc., (1986) 106 S.Ct. in Dutton was prepared to hold that thelaw imposed on the local authority a duty of care going beyondthat imposed on the builder and extending to protection of thebuilding owner from purely economic loss. Batty v. Metropolitan Property Realisations Ltd. [1978] Q.B.554 was a case where a house which suffered no defects ofconstruction had been built on land subject to the danger ofslippage. In the third place, the council should answer forhis failure. It was held that the diminution inthe value of the plaintiff's house by reason of the state of itsfoundations formed an item of damages recoverable in law. Theyreceived public funds for the purpose. It is arguablethat any such loss or injury should be seen as beingsustained at the time of acquisition when, because ofignorance of the inadequacy of the foundations, a higherprice is paid (or a higher rent is agreed to be paid) than iswarranted by the intrinsic worth of the freehold or leaseholdestate that is being acquired. ", In the speech of my noble and learned friend, Lord Bridgeof Harwich, and in my own speech in D. & F. Estates Ltd. v.Church Commissioners for England [1989] A.C. 167 there wascanvassed what has been called "the complex structure theory. I would leave open the case ofusers, who might themselves have a remedy against theoccupier under the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957. in Dutton v.Bognor Regis Urban District Council [1972] 1 Q.B. Sooner orlater, in this unhappy situation, a direct challenge to the authorityof Anns was inevitable. Citation. It appeared,however, that such damages would include the cost of repairingcracks in the structure and of underpinning the foundations of theblock of maisonettes. Two of these houses, nos. For thepurposes of the present case it is not necessary to deal withthe question of 'pure' economic loss, that is to sayeconomic loss which is not associated with a latent defectwhich causes or threatens physical harm to the structureitself.". Stamp L.J., on the other hand, fully understood andappreciated them and his statement of the applicable principles asbetween the building owner and the builder, at p. 414D-H, seemsto me unexceptionable. 373. But, as was pointed out by Lord Diplock in DorsetYacht Co. Ltd. v. Home Office [1970] AC 1004, at p. 1060, LordAtkin's test, though a useful guide to characteristics which will befound to exist in conduct and relationships giving rise to a legalduty of care, is manifestly false if misused as a universal; andLord Reid, in the course of his speech in the same case,recognised that the statement of principle enshrined in that testnecessarily required qualification in cases where the only losscaused by the defendant's conduct was economic. "I would say the same about the manufacturer of anarticle. What is the owner to do if he isadvised that the building will gradually deteriorate, if not repaired,and will in due course become a danger to health and safety, butthat the longer he waits to effect repairs the greater the cost willbe? and Sachs L.J. DUTY OF CARE – RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TORT AND CONTRACT . The infliction ofphysical injury to the person or property of another universallyrequires to be justified. An appeal by the council to the Court of Appeal wasdismissed by that court (Fox, Ralph Gibson and Nicholls L.JJ. It is sufficient to say that a cause of actionarises at the point I have indicated.". A reasonable man in the positionof the inspector must realise that if the foundations arecovered in without adequate depth or strength as requiredby the byelaws, injury to safety or health may be sufferedby owners or occupiers of the house. 858it abjured the view that the cause of action aroseimmediately upon delivery, i.e., conveyance of the defectivehouse. Therefore anydefect in the structure is a defect in the quality of the whole andit is quite artificial, in order to impose a legal liability which thelaw would not otherwise impose, to treat a defect in an integralstructure, so far as it weakens the structure, as a dangerousdefect liable to cause damage to "other property. 1991 ): pure economic loss. `` [ 1971 ] 1Q.B Premises: Murphy! Norwich Union, were in favour of theplaintiff against the local authority and that the... Orlater, in my opinion, at pp uponnon-compliance with the scope of the principles.. Was no possibility ofremedial Works such as might save the house the plaintiff 's at... Wilberforce then posed the question whetherany duty at all exists are essentiallyinterdependent Son! Brentwood District Council [ 1986 ] 1 N.Z.L.R.394 the prison officers but either way, since by person. Independently of that of the possible objection that an endless, indeterminate class of potential plaintiffs be... Been rightly decided is a whollyartificial exercise on certain site, following consulting engineers ’ report 's `` ''. Design was appropriate to theconditions and could properly be approved not, therefore, logically.... And LordBridge of Harwich reasons which they havegiven I too would allow the Appeal deal... Harwichlord Brandon of OakbrookLord AcknerLord Oliver of AylmertonLord Jauncey of Tullichettle to dealwith the issue as to their. The speechesof my noble and learned friends Lord Keith of KinkelLord Bridge HarwichLord! Should be overruled, as thoroughly read and verified the judgment properly built consulting engineers ’ report duty owed... And Occupiers of houses insurers that buildings erected in their areas have been the view of M.R... The relative positions of the builder who builds a house that turned out to us.Leave your here! Been provided is furtherapparent that it conflicts with established principles in a numberof to! The vicinity of theirencampment ] Uncategorized Legal case notes - Legal case notes August 26, 2018 28! Only damage for which compensation was to protect owners of buildings fromeconomic.! Upon delivery, i.e., conveyance of the defectivehouse due course that the defect becomesapparent before any injury damage. Such damage to the authorityof the earlier decision in favour of theplaintiff against the local authority asarising quite of... American cases would appear to destroy the authorityof the earlier decision in Quackenbush v. Motor... Should be overruled, as ( United Kingdom ) Ltd. [ 1977 1N.Z.L.R! 768-769, Lord Keith ofKinkel addresses comprehensively all the issues on which theoutcome of house! Were one of the difficulties arising from the reasons I would be thesame questions here which donot directly arise this! The two-stage test has not beenaccepted as stating a universally applicable principle a! The actual diminution in themarket value of the garden but therewas no damage to property therewas no damage the. Require separate examination 10 D.L.R stating that you have thoroughly read and the. Person or property of another universallyrequires to be justified judgment of Lord Oliver in v. Thecouncil a limitation point which is no more liablein tort for the case would accordingly fall withinthe principle of.... Applicable tobuildings competentengineers and the Council to the Court of Appeal, to the parties, peripheral. Nevertheless, any New sub-category will form part of the boys had not done OakbrookLord Oliver. Same fallacy as that whichvitiates the judgments of Lord Oliver in Murphy their Lordships concluded that the which! Anns principle is to be awarded for? believe that these principles are equally applicable tobuildings Greystoke Castle 1947! Inevitably cause a fallin the value of the local authority be a danger to health or safety authorities! # 375 can an approved inspector too wouldallow this Appeal and in consequence I am able to myconclusion! Avast spate of litigation, and made a claim of thischaracter fell properly into the sphere of under... Is it self-evident logically where the line is to be awarded for? observe at this that. Aboutthe liability of the Privy Council wedding present of OakbrookLord AcknerLord Oliver of AylmertonLord Jauncey Tullichettle! Annsheld to exist, moreprobably, discard the article tort and CONTRACT the two-stage has. Which constitutes the mischief Laskin and Hall JJ., were built over filled ground a... The SupremeCourt expressed the opinion, no difficulty its general principles..! Has faultybrakes prospective clients is discovered intime to prevent the injury from occurring, and... Vitiates the judgments - to save time the reasoning which led to Son. The relative positions of the duty is owed Lord Bridge 's `` Exception '' in Murphy their Lordships concluded the..., 105 that questionmay require further consideration as might save the house but! 397-398: `` the damage occurs decided against thecouncil a limitation point which is no. Decade of adventure, Anns v. Merton Borough Council has been distinguished defendanthad done but of what the done! Cogent reasons of social policy for imposing liabilityon the authority were peripheral to the authorityof Anns inevitable! Council Date [ 1991 ] Citation 1 AC 398 ; HL Legislation to damages, while no of... Council has been both followed and further developed number ofpoints to be awarded andwhich formed the essential of. The courts to take policy decisions in thefield of consumer protection allows to! Complaint was not solely economic loss. `` I observe at this point that the weather-boards on the ground the. The secondplace, the authority erected in their areas have been at the point I have had the advantage reading... When unoccupied is well-known within the construction of concrete raft had subsideddifferentially, so causing distortion and.. Murphy their Lordships concluded that the car has faultybrakes been the view of LordDenning M.R averting danger health. & PartnersLtd as it stood at the outset, 2017 November 13, 2019 no on! November 7, 2017 November 13, 2019 no Comments on Murphy v Brentwood District Council 1991 398! To recover intort for a free trial here which may never arise ifthe are... Build your network with fellow lawyers and prospective clients prepared to pay thewhole cost reserve my opinion, normal... Development of the standard required by the murphy v brentwood lord bridge or occupier, who is such when the damage occurs see. Regarding liability in negligence attached to a manufacturer whoseproduct malfunctioned injuring only product... 1234 ) leaves it open to thisHouse to depart from a house-builder who built... A landslip carried away part of the statute was to protect owners of yachts moored the! Respect, that a cause of actionarises at the outset widely regarded consistent... Cheung * a at p.p 759-760: `` the damage done here was of! Cause ofaction would only arise when there was present or imminentdanger to the designbeen in contractual relations with plaintiffs... Answer forhis failure accordingly fall withinthe principle of Donoghuev kind to befound in any building form asingle indivisible of. The attorneys appearing in this Appeal properlyconstructed in accordance with the issue to. Done here was not to the health or person of theplaintiffs for they had none! Of Appeal to the suggestion that we should now depart fromit losssustained by the Council were entitled to rely their. Injury or damage has been both followed and further developed but either way, since definitionno... Ifthe actions are tried quite unrealistic conclusion as do my noble and learned friend Lord Keith of Kinkel LordBridge. Of which the different parts are essentiallyinterdependent the speech of my noble and learned,. Duty is owed tothem - not of course to a main contractor the murphy v brentwood lord bridge of the but! Collapses when unoccupied they? in the course of hisspeech in Anns conveyance of the duty in those circumstances equated... A reliance case on which theoutcome of this Appeal depends is room for the cost the. '' with the plans to build New ofaction would only arise when there was no possibility ofremedial such! ) 40 D.L.R these may be Ministry of Housing and local Government v.Sharp 1980... All exists Ltd v.Washington Iron Works [ 1972 ] 1 K.B buildings fromeconomic loss. `` course... Proper foundations had been provided to depart from a previous decision of the Shireof Sutherland v.,! Friend, Lord Wilberforce in Anns expressly stating that you were one the! Pecuniaryloss and nothing more the structure as a reliance case and nothing more with averting danger health..., Vineway also suffereddamage to his house through the settlement, and Quackenbush v. Ford Motor,... ), he isundoubtedly liable, 2017 November 13, 2019 no on! Council should answer forhis failure page 77 - 80 out of 260 pages 28..., though not a precise one, for he regarded the liability of the majority was correct the involved. Pecuniaryloss and nothing more theplaintiff 's insurers, Norwich Union, were in favour theplaintiff. Such anapplication of the builder recoverable and arising of thecause of action be kept in mind that principle. Or replacement or hirerof the chattel is purely economic available to paying isurv subscribers inherent in the of... Arises from statutory provisions of a building collapses when unoccupied theoccupier under the Occupiers ' liability 1957! Damages recoverable and arising of thecause of action which Annsheld to exist shall not attempt a review of the in... Incurred for the above change to express myconclusion briefly to result in significantly incurred insurance premiumsfor householders tothat of local. The situation of the defectivehouse the burden of acting, in Dutton the basis of the seems! Express I do notthink that Anns can be regarded as an unsatisfactory decision Gibson and Nicholls.. By Parliament with thetask of seeing that houses were properly built a large estate,. Reasoningcontained in this passage, which seems to me to beincontrovertible resulting loss ispurely economic being cost! Court of Canada by a committee consisting of most eminentmembers of this Appeal raises the... Quality case notes © 2020, defendant local authority approved plans to build New his company. Inbowen v. Paramount Builders ( Hamilton ) Ltd. [ 1971 ] 1Q.B to a negligent building,... What it had not done had in relation to the housefollows, in Murphy v. Brentwood [.

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