AN APPRAISAL OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TORT OF NEGLIGENCE IN NIGERIA.
It has been established that the development of the Tort of negligence has been gradual. The tort of negligence in its formative stage was treated merely as a mode of committing other torts and not as an independent tort itself. it was increase in population, increase in mechanization and industrialization of society and consequent multiplication of personal injury caused by negligence; have all led to the idea of negligence as a separate tort. The law of tort like those other branches of the law, is concerned with the
question of liability. The cardinal principle of liability is that the party complained of should owe to the party complaining, a duty to take care, and that the party complaining should be able to proof that the
he has suffered damage in consequence of a breach of that duty. The first attempt to formulate a general principle was made in 1883 by Brett M. R. in heaven v. Pender. After the first attempt to
formulate a general principle, there were a lot of uncertainties which slowed the growth of the tort of negligence until 1932. When Lord Atkins came out with the most famous and important creative
generalization ‘the neighbour principle’ in Donoghue v. Stevenson which has been largely responsible for the radical development of the tort negligence. Nigerian Courts have followed all the epocal decision, applied and expanded to the Nigeria situations. This research examines the development of the tort of negligence in Nigeria within the general frame work of negligence as a tortuous liability and its applicability to our industries and society. It educates its readers how the wider field of torts of negligence affects a citizen of all sides, his physical safety, his property, domestic affairs, his reputation, privacy and liberty. It was observed that the problem of religious beliefs and lack of education were responsible more than any other factors for the slow development of the tort of negligence in Nigeria.
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