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The Tort of Negligence (Essay Sample)


The task was to discuss the tort of negligence. This paper provided a definition of negligence and established the legal elements that must be present to establish a prima facie case of negligence. Additionally, it enumerated the remedies available to a plaintiff who successfully sues for negligence and the defenses available to the defendant in a civil suit of negligence.


The Tort of Negligence
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The Tort of Negligence
The tort of negligence refers to the breach of the duty of care owed to another person resulting from the failure to act in a manner that a reasonable man would in similar circumstances or acting in a way that a reasonable and prudent man would not (Horsey & Rackley, 2019). Negligence is the failure to exercise ordinary skill or care towards a person to whom the defendant owes a duty of care causing harm to the plaintiff’s person or property.
Three legal elements must exist to establish a prima facie case of negligence. First, the court must establish that the defendant owes a duty of care to the claimant. In Donohue vs. Stevenson (1932), Lord Atkin stated that a person owes a legal duty of care to their neighbor (Horsey & Rackley, 2019). For example, a road user owes a duty of care to other road users. Similarly, a medical practitioner owes their patients a duty of care. Second, the defendant must be at fault for having breached that duty of care (Muhametaj, 2017). In establishing breach, the court considers the standard that a reasonable man would adopt in the occupation, profession, or activity in question. Third, the claimant must prove that they suffered a loss, harm, or prejudice as a result of the defendant’s actions (Horsey & Rackley, 2019).
The remedies available to the plaintiff who successfully sues for negligence include compensatory damages, restitution, and injunction (Muhametaj, 2017). The defendant can use several defenses to insulate himself or herself from liability. The defenses include contributory negligence, in which the defendant shows that the

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