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Cases

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All and Asbestos

Adams v Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Held that the negligent failure to ameliorate the consequences of dyslexia by appropriate teaching (leading to depression and a lack of self esteem and being disadvantaged in the employment market) could be said to continue an injury and thus could give rise to an action for “personal injuries”. The Court said that an analogy could rightly be drawn with the negligent failure to treat a physical injury which the defendant did not cause. - Adams v Bracknell Forest Borough Council (2004) UKHL 29

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council v Municipal Mutual and Commercial Union

For the purposes of a Public Laibility policy providing cover for injury occurring during the period of insurance, mesothelioma occurs at the onset of malignancy or the onset of symptoms, not during the period of exposure. - (2006) EWCA Civ 50

Buckingham and Others v Ryecoteswood College

Six students brought a claim against the college which provided specialist courses in craft skills areas, including an HND in Vehicle Restoration and Conversion. The claim was for breach of the contract to educate and to deliver what its recruitment literature and interviews had offered by way of an appropriate practical content. The College was held in breach of contract, and damages in excess of £100,000 were awarded. The court related the provision of further education with the supply of holidays via the package tour industry in terms of applying consumer law principles to the student-institution contract, and in awarding damages for “disappointment” with the educational experience and making an award of compensation for mental distress. - 2003

Clare Horwood & Others v Land of Leather Limited (in Administration), Zurich Insurance PLC & Others [2010] EWHC 546 (Comm)

Land of Leather were retailers who were liable for severe rashes caused by imported sofas from China that had been treated with chemicals. General Condition 3 of the Policy stated that: “The Insured shall not, except at his own cost, take any steps to compromise or settle any claim…” Land of Leather entered in to agreement with Manufacturer stating: Land of Leather also confirm they will make no further claim on Linkwise in respect of alleged allergic reactions to their products…”  Held that insurers were not liable under the policy -

Erin McLean v The University of St Andrews

The claimant and her boyfriend walked some distance from ODESSA University where they were studying under an exchange agreement, at 2.00 am in the morning. She was raped by some Russian sailors. She maintained that the University, failed in its duty of care owed to her by sending her to the "pervasive lawlessness" of the Ukraine, and claimed damages of £100,000. Her boyfriend was present during the assault in Odessa, and maintained that as a consequence he has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. The Court dismissed her claim on the basis that the defenders only had responsibility to ensure that she was adequately and safely accommodate at the university, and that Odessa was not a battle zone like Baghdad or the Gaza Strip. -

Grieves and Others v FT Everard & Sons and Others

Although pleural plaques constitute a physiological change in the body it is insufficiently significant to constitute damage on which a claim in negligence can be founded. Damages cannot be recovered for the risk of contracting a future physical disease when the underlying condition is insufficiently serious to give rise to a cause of action. Anxiety which is not caused by a physical injury is not a head of damage. There is no duty under English law to take care not to cause anxiety. No free-standing claim for psychiatric injury through fear of disease. - [2006]EWCA Civ27

Phelps v Hillingdon London Borough Council

Educational psychologist was in breach of duty of care in failing to diagnose dyslexia and that the absence of a contract was irrelevant. There was a duty of care owed by the employees of the local education authority to students in meeting their educational needs. The local authority was held to be vicariously liable. Damages of £44,000 were awarded for loss of earnings and employment prospects. - (2000) 4 All ER 504 (HL)

The Estate of Cyril Biddick (deceased) v Mark Morcom [2014] EWCA Civ 182

Insulation work being carried out by claimant. Defendant assisted by undertaking to ensure a hatch did not open. He went to answer a phone and the claimant fell through the hatch. Held that defendant had assumed responsibility The defendant put himself in a degree of proximity to the claimant. It was foreseeable that if he neglected his task, the hatch might open and cause injury. It was fair and reasonable to impose a duty. -