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Developments in the law of negligence and third-party liability9 June 2021

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Claims involving duty of care when damage is caused by a third party are at the fore of developments in the law of negligence.

Construction Partner Barry Hembling and Timothy Goyder give an analysis of recent court cases for the June issue of Construction Law Magazine. The key points are that:

  • Three important construction cases from early 2021 clarify when a duty of care arises that permits claims where there is no contract.
  • The guidance provided by the three cases is timely because claims based on a duty of care where damage was caused by a third party are currently at the forefront of the developing law of negligence.
  • The cases give guidance from a private and public law perspective regarding when a duty of care will be imposed.
  • The courts said no duty of care arose in two of the cases and in the third case it was a triable issue that could only be decided on the facts.
  • The cases clarify the legal principles when a duty of care will be imposed, confirm when a duty of care can be assumed by conduct and affirm the importance of a close relationship before any duty of care will be found to exist.

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