Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: A Critical Analysis of the Role of Courts in Determining Breach of Duty of Care in the Law of Torts
Authors: Udemezue, Sylvester
Ojeih, Chukwunye Augusta
Keywords: Law of Torts,
Duty of Care,
Res Ipsa Loquitur,
Standard of Care,
Neighbor Principle,
Reasonable Foreseeability
Issue Date: May-2021
Citation: Udemezue, Sylvester and Ojeih, Chukwunye, A Critical Analysis of the Role of Courts in Determining Breach of Duty of Care in the Law of Torts (February 17, 2021). Available at SSRN: or
Abstract: To succeed in an action for negligence under the law of torts, a plaintiff must prove that the Defendant owed to the plaintiff a duty of care, that the Defendant had violated that duty of care, and that the plaintiff suffered some injury as a result of the breach of duty of care. Accordingly, before going into the question as to whether a breach of the duty has occurred, it is necessary to first resolve the issue as to existence or otherwise of a duty of care and the degree of such duty as well as standard of care. It is only after this that an examination into the actions of the defendant and as to whether a breach has occurred, would become necessary. This paper undertakes a critical look into involvement and attitude of the court over the years in resolving the question of breach of duty of care under the Law of Torts. Beginning with a cursory look at duty of care and the neighbor principle as enunciated in Donoghue v. Stevenson as well as the factors that determine existence or otherwise of duty, the paper proceeds for purposes of proving breach of duty, to determine the expected standard of care, the reasonable man’s test and the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur. Then follows a consideration of what prevailing attitude of courts of law to (classes of defendants in cases relating to) breach of duty of care is, and a conclusion that acknowledges the continuing nature of discussions on breach of duty of care, especially in view of the wide and flexible nature of the subject and the fact it is more often than not, affected by numerous, sometimes unanticipated and unanticipatable circumstances.
Description: Staff Publication
Appears in Collections:Research Articles

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
SSRN-id3840080.pdf291.7 kBAdobe PDFThumbnail

Items in EUSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.