Tort of negligence = failure by Def to conform with standard of behaviour.
Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable person guided upon those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs would do or doing something which a prudent & reasonable person would not do.
While a loss from an accident usually lies where it falls a defendant cannot plead accident if, treated as a man of ordinary intelligence & foresight he ought to have foreseen the danger which caused injury to the Pl.
1. Knowledge – Expected to know facts of common experience e.g. basic properties of ordinary machinery. 2. Physical capacity – i.e. the victim of heart attack wouldn’t be expected to perform to physical standards he can’t meet. O’Brien v Parker def crashed into Pl. Defence = suffered epilepsy attack. Experiences at home before driving. Imposed liability on defendant strongly influenced by Defendants right to act. 3. Mentally disordered patients – unclear – no Irish decisions- Armstrong v Eastern Health Board – patient fell from building – inadequate care – not guilty of contributory negligence as not in control of own thoughts.
TEST FOR REASONABLE MAN
1. Probability a) Plunkett v St Lawrence Hospital - not foreseeable that quiet patient with suspected spine injury and hardly able to move could fall off an x-ray couch. b) Kelly v St Lawrence Hospital - liability imposed where an inpatient admitted to hospital for observation when being taken off drugs for epilepsy was permitted to go to 1st floor toilet, resulting in falling out the window. c) The less the risk of injury the less likely Defendant will be guilty of negligence – Healy v Bray UDC – falling rock. d) O’Gorman v Ritz Cinemas – UPHELD in Walsh v Dublin Corporation – thumb got stuck in a door. It was held wind tunnel caused accident and this could have happened