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Liability for Negligent Words

Liability for Negligent Words

By Barbara Ann Hocking


This book is written with the aim of exploring the law of negligence in the context of words.

Divided into fourteen chapters, it includes an overview of legal approaches to words followed by the significance of the House of Lords decision in Hedley Byrne as the basis of the action for negligent misstatement.

A compendium of professional liability situations involving modern forms of informational injury follows. This includes the obligations of lawyers, doctors, lenders and public authorities under negligent misstatement principles.

Negligent words and communication of news are also addressed, including compensation for nervous shock. A final chapter is devoted to possible future uses of the law.

The law of negligence is increasingly imposing a duty of care upon professional parties. This book traces the expansion of the recognition of negligence liability where words are the source of the harm into contemporary situations of informational harm.


Legal approaches to negligence and words
Why words? Mere words?
Competing tensions: Economic loss and economic reality
Expansion and contraction: Go directly to Anns, pass Donoghue v Stevenson
Resolving modern forms of informational injury
Restricting and expanding liability
Predictions and prognoses (aspects of medical negligence)
The lawyer and the law
Lender liability looms (The increasing extent of bank/lender/financier liability)
Risky business
Words and warnings of public authorities and figures
Linking negligent words with trade practices claims
Negligent words and communication of news
The suspense accounts of contract and tort

Table of Cases/ Table of Statutes/ Bibliography/ Index

Published June 1999
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862872974
Australian RRP $49.50
International Price $45.00
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Law - Torts

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