The Good Neighbour on Trial: Good Neighbours Make Bad Law

(1983) 17 University of British Columbia Law Review 93-110

18 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2013

See all articles by J. Smith

J. Smith

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law

Peter T. Burns

University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Law

Date Written: 1983

Abstract

The case of Donoghue versus Stevenson formulates the underlying principle of the law of negligence on the foundation of the good neighbor principle that specifies that one is liable for causing a foreseeable risk of harm to others. The subject of the risk in this case was of physical harm as the result of a positive act. The article argues that subsequent judgments that extend liability for pure economic loss, rather than physical injury and apply it to loss that is not the result of an action, but a foreseeable failure to prevent it (nonfeasance) are in error. Pure economic loss and liability for a failure to act should not fall under the good neighbour principle but rather should be treated in terms of specific duties that arise in the context of special relationships.

Keywords: Risk, Economic Loss, Misfeasance, Nonfeasance, Manufactures Liability, Liability of Public Bodies

Suggested Citation

Smith, Joseph and Burns, Peter T., The Good Neighbour on Trial: Good Neighbours Make Bad Law (1983). (1983) 17 University of British Columbia Law Review 93-110, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2350430

Joseph Smith (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ubc.ca/faculty/smith/index.html

Peter T. Burns

University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada

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