*Dunnage v Randall and another

Negligence – Duty to take care. The claimant had suffered burns when his uncle, who had unknowingly been suffering with florid paranoid schizophrenia, had set fire to himself. He sought damages in negligence under his uncle's household insurance policy. The judge found that his uncle's actions had not been voluntary, therefore he had not owed a duty of care. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the claimant's appeal. It held that the actions of a defendant, who was merely impaired by medical problems, whether physical or mental, could not escape liability if he caused injury by failing to exercise reasonable care unless his condition entirely eliminated his responsibility.

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