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The Concepts of Negligence, Misrepresentation under Nigerian Law

The Concepts of Negligence, Misrepresentation under Nigerian Law

The Concept of Negligence under Nigerian Torts Law

The legal term “negligence” is quite constantly used in a wide variety of claims and courtroom disputes, but it derives its most original meaning as a Torts Law concept which will be the focus of this article. 

This article will be looking at :-

– The definition of negligence as a a Torts law concept.

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– The elements of negligence.

– Special doctrines involved in negligence as a Torts law concept.

– The concept of damages as a legal consequence of negligence.

What is Negligence as a Tort?

Negligence is the failure or breach of a duty to exercise appropriate care expected in a set of specific circumstances which is legally punishable with reliefs that include but are not limited to damages.

What are the elements of Negligence?

The elements of negligence as a concept are :-

1). Duty :- Which is a legally required obligation to exercise reasonable care.

2). Breaches of Duty :- Breaches of duty in this context typically involve an act or omission.

3). Damages – which emanate from an act or omission constituting a breach of duty.

4). Causation :- The damage suffered being at reasonable face value a clear effect of a breach of duty constituting a causative factor.

What are the special doctrines involved in proving Negligence as a tort?

–  Res Ipsa Loquitur (a Latin maxim meaning “The facts speak for themselves”)  which states that:-

1). The incident involving damages does not usually occur without negligence.

2). The factors and circumstances leading to the damage suffered by the plaintiff were within the control of the allegedly negligent party.

3). There was no contributory participation in the damage by the plaintiff. 

-Negligence Per Se – This is negligence that exists by virtue of an act or omission being in violation of any relevant law governing a particular subject matter concerning that act or omission.

What exactly are damages as a consequence of negligence?

Damages are rulings of court usually in the form of monetary fines by way of compensation to the plaintiff based on a valuation of the harm done based on the equitable doctrine of restitution.

Damages can be either :-

Special :- For clearly ascertainable losses .

General :- Not easily valued in monetary or liquidated demand terms.

Punitive :- Aimed at specifically punishing the conduct of a defendant in the event of damages caused by very willful and sometimes malicious negligence.

The Concept of Misrepresentation Under Nigerian Contract Law

Among several factors that serve to invalidate a contract, one of the most fundamental remains misrepresentation, which as a contract law concept will be the focus of this article , particularly in the areas of :-

– What misrepresentation is.

– Factors that qualify a representation as a contractual term.

– Types of misrepresentation.

– Requirements for the establishment of misrepresentation.

– Remedies for misrepresentation.

What is a misrepresentation?

A misrepresentation in contract & torts law is a false statement or presentation of facts (which would otherwise be called a representation) made by one party to another party at the pre-contractual/negotiation stage which convinces the party to whom the false representation is made to enter into a contract. 

What are the types of misrepresentation?

A misrepresentation can either be :-

1). Fraudulent :- Made by a party with clear knowledge of the falsity of the representation made, usually with the intention to defraud the party to whom the representation is made.

2). Negligent :- Negligent misrepresentations are a default categorization which describes misrepresentations that are neither fraudulent nor innocent.

3). Innocent:- Innocent misrepresentations are made by a party which reasonably believes them to be true. 

What are the legal requirements that must be existent to prove a case of misrepresentation?

The requirements to prove misrepresentation are :- 

  1. An established duty to represent verified facts to a contracting party.
  1. A failure to satisfy this duty.
  1. A harm which must have resulted from a breach of this duty.

What are the factors that determine whether a representation has been made?

These factors include :-

– The reliance placed by one contracting party on a statement made by another contracting party.

– The reassurances advanced by a representing contractual party.

– The customary norms of the trade or service category forming the subject matter of a contract.

– The relative skillsets of the contracting parties.

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