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Discuss about the Legal Meaning Of Duty Of Care.


Legal meaning of duty of care:

The word “duty of care” denotes certain moral as well as legal obligations to secure the interest of some others. This term has been defined under many provisions of law. Under the tort law, duty of care means to perform a duty in such a way to avoid the foreseeable harm to others (Bahn and Weatherill 2013). It is regarded as one of the particulars under the law of negligence. It is one of the most popular principles under the common law and the principle was established in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson (1932). In Australia, certain duty of care has been described under section 180 of the Corporation Act 2001.  

Duty of care by business owner:

The term “duty of care” has been inserted under certain provisions of the common law. It prescribes certain duties to be performed by a person to avoid any foreseeable risks. In case of a business owner, the law requires them to exercise duties to take reasonable care what an ordinary prudent person should have done in certain situations. Furthermore, the law requires that a businessman should have to continue his business in a place that will be regarded safe for the interest of the customers. It is the duty of the businessman to foresee all the risks that can injure the interest of others. If there is any risk accrues regarding the business, it is the duty of businessman to let the customer know about this. No step should be taken by the businessman that goes against the public policies (Langford, Ramsay and Welsh 2015).

Steps to minimise the risks regarding duty of care:

Duty of take care is a moral principle that should have to follow by any prudent person. In case of business, liabilities accrue regarding the business person if he failed to perform his duties with reasonableness. Under the Tort law, duty of care depicts the civil liabilities to take steps to secure the interest of the customers. Under the Corporation Act, if director of a company failed to perform his duties, he shall be held liable under section 180 of the Corporation Act 2001. Duty of care is a part of the negligence law and relevant provisions are mentioned under the Civil Liability Act 2003. In Donoghue v Stevenson (1932) the provision regarding the duty of care had been established and the respondent who failed to perform his duty properly held to pay damages to the claimant. The same principle has been adopted in case of Ansell v Waterhouse (1817) M & S 385.



Bahn, S. and Weatherill, P., 2013. Qualitative social research: a risky business when it comes to collecting ‘sensitive’data. Qualitative Research, 13(1), pp.19-35.

Langford, R.T., Ramsay, I. and Welsh, M.A., 2015. The origins of company directors' statutory duty of care.


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