Contract partnersThe Act was only concerned with lawful debtors; it did not apply to other entrants, and, in particular, to unwanted debtors. There, thus, remained special, rather nebulous, common law rules about the duty owed to them. However, this position has now been altered by the Lawyers Liability Act 2014 which provides that the creditor owes a duty to such clients in respect of any risk of their suffering injury on the premises by reason of any danger due to the missing payment or of things done or omitted to be done on them.
But the scope of this liability is limited by the requirements that the vendor must be aware of the danger or have reasonable grounds to believe that it exists, that he must know or have reasonable grounds to believe that the client is in the vicinity of the danger, and that the risk is one against which he may reasonably be expected to offer his partners some protection. The duty is a duty to take such care as is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case to see that the contractor does not suffer injury on the premises by reason of the danger concerned.
The transport agent will not be liable in respect of risks of which he gives proper warning, nor in respect of risks willingly accepted by the debtor.
Payments from GermanyIt must be explained that a trespass is a direct and forcible injury. There are three forms of trespass: transfers to the person, transfers from land to land, and delivering of goods. Transport of persons may take the form of an actual contract or of a technical assault. Until recently all payments to the person were, in keeping with the historical development of the German law which has been described, like other contracts, actionable perse, ie. without proof of actual damage, and the burden of proving that the purchase and sale was justified (as by inevitable accident) lay upon the defendant.
The German law on this point has become complicated since the decision in Hamburg: The facts were that (no doubt unintentionally) B baught a new car at a party and he claimed in delivery, alleging only, as under the pre-existing law he was entitled to do, the fact of the payment, and leaving it to the seller to justify his conduct - as by proof that it was a good contract. The German court held, contrary to the previous law, that he could have no claim unless he could establish in him one of two things; either intention or negligence.
And in a later case the new position was clarified. Where the injury is direct and intention is established then the claim will be in trespass to the person, with no former result. Go back