What Has Become of Anns
AbstractThe author examines the effects on Canadian law of a recent House of Lords decision overruling the case of Anns v. Merton London Borough. The author begins by tracing the development of the law of negligence from its beginnings in Donoghue v. Stevenson, through the Rivtow Marine decision in Canada, to the House of Lords decision in Anns, its treatment of the concept of economic loss, and the subsequent Canadian decisions in this area. The author then considers the building criticism of the Anns case and it ultimate downfall in the Murphy v. Brentwood District Council decision. The author highlights several results of this decision including: (1) the fallacy of ignoring the type of loss involved and beginning with a prima facie duty based on the mere foreseeability of damage; (2) the much higher degree of proximity required if damage is economic; and (3) the necessity of having regard to the statutory framework where the liability of public bodies is in issue. The author finally considers the Canadian jurisprudence in this area and concludes that, for the most part, the Canadian position will not be affected by the demise of Anns.
Author(s) retain original copyright in the substantive content of the titled work, subject to the following rights that are granted indefinitely:
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to produce, publish, disseminate, and distribute the titled work in electronic format to online database services, including, but not limited to: LexisNexis, QuickLaw, HeinOnline, and EBSCO;
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to post the titled work on the Alberta Law Review website and/or related websites.
- Author(s) agree that the titled work may be used for educational or instructional purposes and/or in educational or instructional materials. The author(s) acknowledge that the titled work is subject to other such "fair dealing" provisions and applicable legislation.
- Author(s) grant a limited license to those accessing the titled work from an electronic database or an Alberta Law Review website to download the titled work onto their computer and to print a copy for their own personal, non-commercial use, subject to proper attribution.
To use the journal's content elsewhere, permission must be obtained from the author(s) and the Alberta Law Review.