What Is Negligence In Tort?
Negligence in simple terms means carelessness. In simple legal term it is the failure to take standard care that a reasonable man would do in that situation i.e it is the failure to take as much reasonable care which if otherwise not taken will lead to injury.The definition of negligence was clearly stated in the case of Blyth vs Birmingham Waterworks co.(1856), which is as follows:-“Negligence is the omission to do anything which a reasonable and prudent man would do or doing something which a reasonable and prudent man would not do.”
In order to prove negligence, plaintiff has to prove below mentioned essentials against the defendant:-
1.)DUTY TO TAKE CARE:-Under this essential. It is necessary that the defendant owed a legal duty of care towards the plaintiff, this can be explained by referring to a well renound judgement of Grant vs Australian Knitting Mills Ltd 1935 AC 85,in this case the plaintiff purchased underwear from the defendant and incurred rashes due to the use of those underwear because it has excess of sulphate chemicals I it. The court stated that the defendant is liable to the plaintiff as he owed a legal duty of care towards the plaintiff.
DUTY MUST BE TOWARDS PLAINTIFF
2.)DUTY MUST BE TOWARDS PLAINTIFF:-This essential states that the duty must be towards the plaintiff, this can be explained in detail by referring to the case of Bourhill vs Young 1943 AC 92, in which a lady suffered heart attack just be seeing the blood of the motorcyclist who met with an accident, In this the court held that the defendant had no duty of care towards the plaintiff as it was not foreseeable and hence held the defendant not liable.
3.)BREACH OF DUTY OF CARE:-The defendant must breach his duty of care towards the plaintif. This can be explained by referring to the case of Municipal Corp.of Delhi vs Subhagwati. In this case some people died due to falling of the clock tower which was maintained my municipal corporation. The tower was 80 years old however its life was 45 years only. Hence the court held that the corporation breached its duty of care towards the plaintiff and hence liable.
4.)CONSEQUENT DAMAGE:-The plaintiff should suffer damage due to the negligence of the defendant. i.e any physical, mental, economic damage.