Notes and questions 1 It can easily be forgotten that it is a fundamental principle of the law of obligations that the breach of the obligation must be the cause of the claimant’s damage. Contributory negligence, as we have seen (Chapter 3), is simply one device for dealing with difficult causal problems. In Ingham v Ernes, did the claimant fail because the hairdresser was not the factual cause of the claimant’s dermatitis? 2 What if the claimant had forgotten that she was allergic to Inecto? 3 What if the claimant had suffered the dermatitis for the first time at the defendants’ salon but could not actually prove beyond doubt that Inecto causes dermatitis; she could prove only that there was a 50% chance that her illness was caused by the product? 4 Is a person with a bad cold or flu under a duty to disclose to the hairdresser that they have such an illness? If not, why not? 5 What if a hairdresser accidentally cuts the ear off a customer after having been startled by a car backfiring in the street outside? CONTRACTUAL LIABILITY FOR PEOPLE
This was a successful action in debt by one car dealer against another for the
price of a car. The vehicle had been transferred by the plaintiff to the
defendants with a view to the latter selling it to one of their customers for
£325. Subsequently, the plaintiffs, without success, asked for the return of the
vehicle and it was only after a final demand that the car was returned in a
very bad condition. It seemed that this damage had been caused by two of
the defendants’ employees who had used the car without permission.