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Tort Cases: Nettleship v Weston [1971] 2 QB 691

The case of Nettleship v Weston1 concerned the concept of a duty of care which is a fundamental element of the tort of negligence. Commonly referred to as the ‘Neighbour principle’ the premise includes the requirements of proximity5 and reasonable foreseeability.

There were three distinct conclusions that formed the outcome of this case: Firstly, that the defence of volenti non fit injura was not applicable; Secondly, that the duty of care owed by a learner driver to the public (including passengers) was to be measured against the same standard that would be applied to any other driver; and, Finally that both the learner and the instructor were jointly responsible for the accident and therefore a reduction of damages of 50% for contributory negligence was appropriate.

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