It was not long until criticism came, and eventually a new test to decide liabilty. Criticisms of Parson’s systems theory have come from both outside and inside Functionalist. Anns v Merton was not very significant to the development of the law of Duty of Care. The claimants were tenants of flats in a two-storey block. The claimant argued that this was due to the foundation of the flats being too shallow. The whole basis of the decision in Anns had received widespread criticism and it was inevitable that sooner or later a challenge was mounted in the House of Lords to their previous decision in Anns. Looking for a flexible role? ATTORNEY(S) ACTS. Rejecting the Anns approach in Murphy v Brentwood suggests that a judge faced with a new factual situation should consider earlier cases if relevant and extend their principles in the case, thus moving away from the concept that there should be a general principle of duty of care. Whilst it allowed the liberal expansion of the law, and encouraged the thorough consideration of policy factors in a judgement, it was too generous and created confusion. Lawyers rely on case notes - summaries of the judgments - to save time. In Anns, Lord Wilberforce had to deal with a new factual situation whereas the situation in some later cases had arisen in other previous case precedent. CITATION CODES. Lord Wilberforce classified the damage suffered by Mr Anns as physical damage to the property and that where there was foreseeability and proximity there should be a duty of care. The block began to suffer cracked walls and sloping floors, and the C alleged that this was because the foundations of the block were too shallow. Secondly if the first question is answered yes, whether there are any considerations which reduce the duty owed. Anns v Merton London Borough Council United Kingdom House of Lords (12 May, 1977) 12 May, 1977; Subsequent References; Similar Judgments; Anns v Merton London Borough Council [1978] AC 728 [1977] 2 All ER 118 [1977] UKHL 4. These are available on the site in clear, indexed form. Anns v Merton London Borough Council. By the time Caparo v Dickman [1990] reached the House of Lords, it was generally accepted that the test from Anns v Merton LBC [1977] was too broad to be workable: it was too inclusive, and it failed to distinguish foreseeability from proximity. Is it fair, just and reasonable to impose a duty of care? The House of Lords held that pure economic loss did not come from a contractual relationship but that of ‘assumption of responsibility’ or where a ‘special relationship’ exists. The first opportunity was in D&F Estates Limited and Others v … Must then ask whether there were any considerations. Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562, 580. House of Lords held building owner could recover damages. The defendant Council was responsible for inspecting the foundations during the construction of the flats. Free resources to assist you with your legal studies! The truth and applicability of the neighbour principle for professional negligence claims was affirmed in the 1972 case of Anns v Merton London Borough Council, in which the council was sued for a negligently constructed, and therefore defective, maisonette apartment complex. ; Anns v. London Borough of Merton Reconsidered, Current Legal Problems, Volume 33, Issue 1, 1 January 1980, Pages 269–280, https://doi.org/10 Anns v Merton London Borough Council [1978] AC 728. Company Registration No: 4964706. In Donoghue v Stevenson this case established modern concept of negligence in English law. To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on LawTeacher.net then please: Our academic writing and marking services can help you! Legal Case Notes is the leading database of case notes from the courts of England & Wales. Reference this. This means that a claimant may only recover for pure economic loss exceptionally where it is possible to show a sufficiently close relationship between the claimant an… Definitively overturned Anns v Merton 1978. It was not until the case of Anns v Merton London Borough Council however, that the neighbour principle was adopted in a formal test for negligence. In the case of Anns v Merton 1977, the plaintiffs were tenants in flats. The flats suffered from structural defects due to inadequate foundations which were 2ft 6in deep instead of 3ft deep as required. It was not long until criticism came, and eventually a new test to decide liabilty. For example if you take out a contract with a contractor to carry out some work which have been approved but later the works are defective – Legal action can be taken because of negligence and a duty of care that is owed upon the contractor to the client to carry out the correct standard of work. of the Tort of Negligence from Anns to Murphy B.S. The first opportunity was in D&F Estates Limited and Others v … Within Functionalism, the most significant criticisms come from Robert K. Merton (1968). This new test searched for a duty of care based on proximity of the two parties, rather than basing it upon previous cases. The High Court held to be unlawful: (1) an assessment undertaken by Merton LBC; and (2) a decision that he could be moved to different accommodation. Anns v Merton London Borough Council. In the cases of Anns v Merton and Murphy v Brentwood, the grounds for action was for the court to consider if the local authorities were bound by a duty of care towards the tenants of the flats. Possible defences such as policy reasons and disclaimer of liability would limit a duty of care otherwise owed. Condensed Legal Case Notes - Legal Case notes © 2020, Local authority inspected and negligently approved. The defendant Council was accountable for inspecting the foundations during the flats construction and had failed to do so. Lord Wilberforce introduced a two stage test for imposing a duty of care. House of Lords held building owner could recover damages. Answer 1: The Shadow of Anns. The test set out by Donoghue v Stevenson was simplified with the case of Anns v Merton. The defendant Council was responsible for inspecting the foundations during the construction of the flats. The damage was physical in the sense of a defect. Anns v Merton LBC [1977] was decided in 1978. Setting a reading intention helps you organise your reading. Local authority inspected and negligently approved defective foundations. Follows Yuen Kun Yeu v Attorney General for Hong Kong 1988 in terms of criticism of Anns. The first stage being whether there is a sufficient relationship of proximity between the wrongdoer and the person who has suffered; in which case an on the facts duty of care arises. Cases where the damage caused is pure economic loss are known as limited duty situations. Facts [edit | edit source]. This two-stage test on the whole favours the plaintiff, because it suggests that once `proximity’ is established, there is an on the facts duty of care, which can only be reduced on policy grounds. Local authority inspected and negligently approved defective foundations. Thus the defendant was held liable. Anns v Merton London Borough Council [1978] AC 728 House of Lords The claimants were tenants in a block of flats. 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