David Topp v London Counrty Bus Limited [1993]: Case Analysis

David Topp v London Country Bus Ltd: Case Summary

Borstal officers were required to supervise young offenders who were working on Brown Sea Island, however the officers left the boys unsupervised. Several of the young offenders then stole a boat and crashed it into the yacht of the Claimant. It was found the Home Office owed a duty of care as they were in a position of control over the 3rd party who caused the damage which was considered foreseeable by the court.

David Topp v London Country Bus Ltd: Download the Judgment

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Why is David Topp v London Country Bus Ltd important?

This case is important because it establishes the principle that where there is no foreseeability then there can be no duty of care. A bus company does not owe a duty of care for the acts of 3rd parties.

The decision does seem harsh on the facts of the case. The claimant sued in respect of the death of his spouse who was killed by a joyrider who stole the defendant’s bus which knocked her off her bicycle. The claimant’s case was unsuccessful in that it could not be established that the defendant ought reasonably to have foreseen that a joyrider would have stole an unattended bus left in a lay-by an employee of the defendant’s.

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