This type of damage must be reasonably foreseeable (The

This essay will consider the precedential elements of a successful claim in negligence for defective products. Emphasising the case of Murphy v Brentwood, this study will summarise recoverable types of loss before reaching a reasoned conclusion. Initially, the claimant must prove the defendant held a duty of care. The duty between manufacturer and ultimate consumer is an established one (Donoghue v Stevenson). The ultimate consumer is anyone who it is reasonably foreseeable to be affected by the defective product (Stennett v Hancock and Peters); the manufacturer is anyone whose actions establish the defect, including suppliers (Andrews v Hopkinson). Subsequently, a breach of duty must be substantiated. The standard of care required is of the ‘reasonable man’ (Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks); in defective product cases, it is whether the reasonable manufacturer would have foreseen the harm. The term ‘product’ incorporates any manufactured article which may cause damage (Grant v Australian Knitting Mills). Furthermore, the standard of care must be increased where the likelihood of injury is higher (Bolton v Stone) and the seriousness of injury is higher (Paris v Stepney Borough Council). The ultimate component of liability in negligence is causation. Using the ‘but for’ test, the courts adjudicate whether the defendant’s actions caused the harm (Cork v Kirby MacLean Ltd). The defendants breach need only be the ‘subsequent’ cause of harm (Wilsher v Essex Area Health Authority). Although, the narrow rule establishes that a manufacturer holds no causation where it is likely that an intermediate examination of the product would have happened (Griffiths V Arch Engineering Co). Likewise, novus actus interveniens breaks the chain of causation where the harm becomes too remote from the act. The Privy Council concluded that the type of damage must be reasonably foreseeable (The Wagon Mound (No 1)), but the ‘egg-shell skull’ rule (Smith v Leech Brain & Co Ltd) ensures that where the type of injury is foreseeable, liability will still arise even if severity of harm is increased by the claimants pre-existing medical condition. ¬†¬†¬†Finally, liability can not arise for pure economic loss (Murphy v Brentwood District Council) unless it is consequential to physical damage (Spartan Steel and Alloys Ltd v Martin & Co (Contractors) Ltd).In conclusion, the claimant must establish a duty of care, breach of duty and causation of harm for a defendant to be liable in negligence. However, this only applies to physical damage or economic loss consequential to such damage.