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#law #negligence #pel #tort
The ‘high water mark’ is generally considered to be the House of Lords decision in Junior Books v Veitchi Co Ltd [1983] AC 520 (Horsey and Rackley). The plaintiffs in this case had had a factory constructed by a building firm. The plaintiffs had made it clear that because of the kind of machinery they were going to be using, they required special flooring and they recommended suitable flooring contractors. The floor was laid by these contractors but was found to be defective. The plaintiffs bought an action against the flooring sub-contractors for the defect in the flooring and subsequent delay in initiating production. This was despite there being no threat to health and safety, nor any risk to the actual fabric of the building. The House of Lords allowed the claim. There was a duty of care because there had been ‘assumed responsibility’ and ‘reasonable reliance’ between the parties. As Lord Roskill stated the relationship between the parties was ‘almost as close a commercial relationship… as it is possible to envisage short of privity of contract’.
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