Last edited 18 Feb 2016

Negligence in building design and construction

The tort of negligence is concerned with a breach of a duty to take care. In order to succeed in an action for negligence, a plaintiff must prove:

  • The defendant owed to the plaintiff a legal duty of care, and,
  • The defendant was in breach of duty, and,
  • The plaintiff has suffered damage as a result of that breach.

The legal duty of care referred to is one that arises independently of a contractual obligation and, indeed, in the absence of a contract. Over many years the courts have produced a long series of decisions to assist in deciding whether or not, on particular facts, a duty of care arises.

Some of the key cases are listed below. Clicking on the links will take you to articles describing each case.

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