Case Analysis: Mitchell V Glasgow City Council [2009] Ukhl 11; [2009]

Topics: Duty of care, Tort, Law, Tort law, Crime / Pages: 10 (2272 words) / Published: Jan 13th, 2013
Case analysis: Mitchell v Glasgow City Council [2009] UKHL 11; [2009] AC 874; AER 205 The claimant of this case was the widow and daughter of Mr Drummond. They brought a claim against the council for damages in negligence, the essential legal complaint was that the local authority had failed to warn the deceased about the meeting before, and that they acted in a way that was incompatible with his right to life, under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Court of Session (Scotland’s equivalent to the High Court) at first dismissed the case in 2005, but in 2008 the court allowed the hearing of the case, also known as “proof before hearing”.Unanimously the Lords allowed the local authority’s appeal and dismissed the cross-appeal. The bench included Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmand, Lord Brown of Eaton under Heywood and Lord Scott of Foscote. All five judges’ judgements were different from each other, with no disagreements. The House of Lords in this case ruled that the duty of care owed by landlords to their tenants does not include a duty to warn or otherwise protect against wrongful acts by other tenants. There have been previous attempts to impose liability on landlords for wrongful acts of tenants, but these have been dismissed without inquiry. This can be seen in Smith v Scott and Hussain v Lancaster City Council.
Mr EcEachram said that it was unclear whether the threefold test was part of the law of Scotland, at least in cases where damages were claimed for personal injury, however Smith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police and Van Colle v Chief Constable of the Hertfordshire Police,provides an example of its application in cases of personal injury.The House of Lords were concerned with the implication of landlords and of others in such circumstances, reviewing and applying the three stage test the judges unanimously found that the council had no duty. The case

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