Ever considering that the Residence of Lords’ choice in Murphy v Brentwood in 1991 there has been considerably debate, case law and ink spilt on this question. Viewed thus, the only limit on the right to choose one’s action is the principle of primacy of private ordering – the suitable of individuals to arrange their affairs and assume dangers in a distinct way than would be completed by the law of tort. The very first class of case arises exactly where the contract stipulates a additional stringent obligation than the general law of tort would impose.
To illustrate the similarities and variations involving actions in contract and tort, I will be taking two prospective claims for a case study: construction negligence (based upon a failure to take care when constructing a developing) and solicitor negligence (based upon a failure to advise concerning the existence of third celebration rights on a piece of land).
Importantly, a given pre-contractual misrepresentation could, but not ought to, give rise to liability in each tort and contract (Financial Negligence, 5th Edition, by Bruce Feldthusen, pg 87) (Feldthusen”). Contract: the plaintiff is to be place in the position it would have been in had the contract been performed as agreed. As we see it, the appropriate to sue in tort is not taken away by the contract in such a case, even though the contract, by limiting the scope of the tort duty or waiving the appropriate to sue in tort, may limit or negate tort liability.
Ultimately, the respective tests for remoteness demonstrate further distinctions amongst claims in tort and in contract. The tort duty as modified by the contractual agreement involving the parties may well be raised in a case where the limitation period for an action for breach of contract has expired but the limitation period for a tort action has not.
Reflecting upon the wording of a duty to take reasonable care”, it would seem unlikely, but provided the respective tests for remoteness it seems that the causes of action in contract and tort concurrent but distinct. The very first connection is 1 in which the contract stipulates a much more stringent obligation than the common law of tort would impose. Particularly, in contract the limitation period ordinarily starts to run upon breach, whereas in tort the limitation period does not run till the damage becomes identified (Feldthusen, pg 99). So a claimant may possibly have great purpose to pursue a claim in tort as effectively as one particular in contract.