Danger danger … and the duty to warn (2015) 26 8 Cons.Law 29 [Archived]
Danger danger … and the duty to warn (2015) 26 8 Cons.Law 29 [Archived]

The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Danger danger … and the duty to warn (2015) 26 8 Cons.Law 29 [Archived]
  • Background
  • The duty to warn
  • What of Beltec's liability?

This article appears as originally published in Construction Law on 1 October 2015 and is not maintained.

Julie Teal and Suriya Edwards of Withers report on a case that offers guidance on the scope of a consultant’s duty to warn, but also touches on a range of other issues like property interests, professional team selection and health and safety.

Key points:

  1. The Beltec case considers the law on a professional’s ‘duty to warn’ as well as broader issues

  2. The case highlights the importance of clients and consultants agreeing clear scope of services

  3. This sets the contextual basis for the scope of the ‘duty to warn’

  4. However, in general, a ‘duty to warn’ is no more than an aspect of the duty of a professional to act with skill and care of a reasonably competent person in that profession

  5. The factual matrix is key as to whether, when and to what extent there is to be a ‘duty to warn’

  6. ‘Duty to warn’ can arise when a careful professional ought to have known of danger with knowledge of the facts, but a liability is unlikely to arise if there is only a possibility in the future of some danger

It is not often that a judgment starts with the words ‘This is a sad case’. The facts describe an extreme scenario in any home improvement project. Goldswain

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