Study Notes on Law of Torts – UNIT III

Legal Remedies

There are two kinds of remedies for torts such as judicial remedies and extra-judicial remedies.

 Judicial remedies: afforded by the Courts of law. Damages and injunctions are different form of remedies against the same wrong.

  1. awarding of damages
  2. granting of injunction
  3. specific restitution of property

Extra-judicial remedies: available to a party, in certain cases of torts, by his own acts alone. These remedies are in the nature of self-help, should not be normally resorted to, for the person resorting to them may frequently exceed his rights and may be faced with a case civil or criminal alleging that he the law in hjis own hands. It may also give rise to law and order problems.

  1. expulsion of trespasser
  2. re-entry on land
  3. recaption of goods
  4. distress damage feasant
  5. abatement of nuisance

1. Damages

A. Introduction

Generally, pecuniary compensation will be awarded for the injury or damaged caused to the plaintiff by the wrongful act of the defendant. There will be three important question put forth before the Court. They are: 1. the damaged caused by the defendant’s wrongful act, 2. remoteness, and 3. monetary compensation for the damages.

B. Causation: Theory of directness

If the damage alleged was not caused by the defendant’s wrongful act the question of its remoteness will not arise. Generally accepted test is ‘but for’ test to determine if the wrongful act is caused by the defendant’s action. If the damage would not have resulted but for the defendant’s wrongful act, it would be taken to have been caused by the wrongful act.

The ‘but for’ test is not of universal application and a lesser degree of causal test may be applied in special circumstances to prevent injustice.

Case Laws:

In Robinson v Post Office, the plaintiff, who was employed by the Post Office, slipped as he was descending a ladder. The ladder had become slippery due to negligence of the employer. The plaintiff sustained a wound on his left shin. Later, he visited doctor and the administered A.T.S (anti-tetanusserum). Small quantity of the drug should be injected before the full dose. Instead, the doctor gave the full dose. The plaintiff suffered encephalities after the 3 days which is  a rare possibility of full-dose A.T.S.

Found: It was found that the doctor was not negligent in deciding to inject A.T.S. His negligence lay in not waiting for half an hour after the test dose.

Repolemi’s Case

Scott v Shepheard

Hayne’s v Harwood

C. Remoteness: Theory of Reasonable Cause

i. Foreseability

Case Laws:

Wagon Mound No. 1 Case

Wagon Mound No. 2 Case

Hughes v Lord Advocate

ii. Intended Consequences

Case Laws:

Scott v Shepherd

iii. “Eggshell Skull” cases

Case Laws:

Smith v Leech Brain & Co. Ltd.

iv. Intervening acts or events: Novus actus intervenients

Lamb v Camden London Borough

iv-a. A Summary of principles in considering remoteness

Corr v IBC Vehicle

v. Mitigation of Damage

Selvanayagam v University of West Indies

vi. Further Examples

D. Measure of damages

i. General Principle

ii. Contemptuous, nominal, ordinary and exemplary damages

Thompson v Commissioner of Police

iii. General and special damages

iv. Prospective and Continuing Damages

v. Damages for mental suffering and psychiatric injury or Nervouc Shock

White v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire

vi. Damages in an action for personal injuries

  • a. Non-pecuniary Loss
  • b. Pecuniary Loss
  • c. Interest
  • d. Illustration

vi-a. Damages for Unwanted pregnancy resulting from medical negligence

McFarlane v Tayside Health Board

vii. Injury to Property

E. Interim Damages

F. Compensation under Sec. 357 Cr. P.C

Case Laws:

Harikrishnan and State of Haryana v Sukhbir Singh

F1. Compensation to rape victions

Delhi Domestic Working Women’s Forum v Union of India

G. Provisional Award

Case Laws:

Nagappa v Gurudayal Singh

H. Damages in actions of contract and of tort


3. Specific Restitution

4. Joint and Several Tort-Feasors

Case Laws:

T.O. Anthony v Karvarnan

5. Contribution between Wrong-Doers

Case Laws:

Merryweather v Nixan

6. Remedies under the Constitution