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#breach #negligence #tort
There have been two views as to the effect of the maxim. The first view, expressed in Colvilles Ltd v Devine [1969] 1 WLR 475 and Ward v Tesco Stores Ltd [1976] 1 WLR 810, is that the maxim creates an inference of negligence which the defendant should provide an explanation for. However, this does not negate the basic rule that the claimant still has to prove their case. The second view, in Henderson v Henry E Jenkins & Sons [1970] AC 282, is that the maxim puts the legal burden of disproving negligence on the defendant, i.e. the burden of proof is reversed. The Privy Council has stated that the first view is to be preferred, namely that the legal burden of proving negligence remains on the claimant. If applicable the maxim will, therefore, have the effect of requiring the defendant to provide answers and explanations, but it will still be for the claimant to prove negligence (see Ng Chun Pui v Lee Chuen Tat [1988] RTR 298).
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