By J. S. Colyer and W. A. J. Farndale (Auth.)

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1 Let us examine each of these requirements. 3. 4 The defendant owes a duty in respect of his own conduct. It follows that if he does something, he may be under a duty therefore to do something else. For example, the defendant drives his car from his home to the station; en route he passes a busy road junction at which the traffic lights are showing red against him. Because he is driving he owes a duty to stop at the lights. That duty would be meaningless had he stopped at home and not used his car.

1 See remarks of Lord Simon in Nance v. Br. C. ). 2 Above, p. 36. 3 Coles v. English Abrasive Co. (1965), unreported (noted in 'Current Law', December 1965, para. 212). 4 See above, p. 26 (joint tortfeasors). 5 The phrase is Lord Simon's, in Nance's Case above. e. was contributorily negligent. In such cases the courts reject all three defences, reasoning as follows: (a) Voluntary assumption of risk—A did not assent to the risk vis-ä-vis the author of the risk (the defendant), but only vis-ä-vis the person whom he sought to rescue.

They therefore sought references as to the financial security of their clients from the clients' bankers (the defendants) who gave favourable references. In fact, the clients' financial situation was extremely precarious, and they soon went into liquidation. As a result the plaintiffs lost £17,000, being moneys they had to pay for advertising space which they were unable to re-sell. The House of Lords held that the defendants would have been liable had they not expressly stated when they gave their reference that they did so "without responsibility".

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