In reality, negligence simply means carelessness to do something unintentionally to cause damages to others says, negligent driving, mistakenly manufacturing left decomposed snail in beer, insufficiently unrestrained dogs causing injuries. Normally, the tortfeasors in negligence are sought for compensations rather than imprisonment.
This study focuses on figuring out the harmonies and dissimilarities of liability in tort and contractual liability along with elaborating the essence of liability in negligence and vicarious liability with the aim at depicting their applications in business contexts and daily situations. Besides, the study pursues litigations and statutes in the United Kingdom, the United State and Vietnam from the late seventeenth century until now.
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Tort should recompense for harm suffered rather than wrongdoer’s punishment that can be convicted by criminal law.(Baer, 1997) By contrast, contract law directs at forcing keeping promises. Besides, contractual liabilities are owed by contracting parties but tort liabilities are owed to groups of people.(Oldham, 2004) This can be a liability to the public at large, or to another individual because of the nature of the relationship.(Banakas, 1988) Similarly, in case of breach, both tort and contract law target at putting the innocent party in the same position as if the breach had not been committed. The claims in contract law are not subject to the restrictions on recoverability which govern the general law of tort. (Barker, 1997)
3.1.2 Product liability in contract law versus tort
Sometimes, tort and contract law are in the point of force concurrence. In Donoghue v Stevenson (1932), May Donoghue and a friend entered Wellmeadow Café and the friend bought ice cream and ginger beer for her. The ginger beer contained in a brown opaque bottle that was too obscure to see the contents. Next, Mrs. Donoghue was drinking almost the bottle and pouring the remaining liquid, she saw a decomposed snail floating out of the bottle. She got ill owing to severe shock and gastro-entiritis. She sued David Stevenson, the manufacturer of the ginger beer. At that time, when claimants are people who pay nothing to use services or products having no rights in contracts of sale, since she could not sue the café or beer manufacturer. Therefore, in the Appeal Court, she failed to get compensations. The litigation was continued appealing to the House of Lords where she successfully claimed for her psychiatric and physical injury.
The case becomes classic lawsuit which creates new law for the manufacturers who can be sued not only in contract law but also in tort.