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Anns v Merton London Borough Council, [1978] AC 728 (HL) (Link)

Ratio:

Not a specific test for determining whether to recognize a duty of care; rather it is an approach for analyzing existing categories and recognizing new categories of negligence:
** 1. Whether between the defendant and the plaintiff there is a sufficient relationship of proximity or neighbourhood such that, in the reasonable contemplation of the former, carelessness on his part may be likely to cause damage to the latter, in which case a prima facie duty of care arises
** 2. If yes to the first question, it is necessary to consider whether there are any considerations which act to negative (or to reduce or limit) the scope of the duty or the class of person to whom it is owed or the damages to which a breach of it may give rise.

Analysis:

Lord Wilberforce.

Comments:

Overruled by House of Lords in Capro case; because it was seen as creating too broad a concept of duty of care and negligence (and therefore growth in the scope of liability).

Canadian judges are receptive to Wilberforce’s judgement.


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