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Law and change: Scottish legal heroes
Law and change: Scottish legal heroes

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2 The importance of Donoghue

In terms of the emerging social and economic conditions of the consumer society at the time, the development of the delict (negligence) in this way was humanising. The concept of relations giving rise to a general duty of care provided a vehicle for judges to consider what acceptable conduct is and what unacceptable conduct is. Since Donoghue, the instances in which a duty has been established have included omission to care for persons for whom responsibility has been assumed, liability for a range of products which have caused harm, harmful conduct on the roads and harmful misstatements. Also, the range of the types of injury to which the duty not to harm apply have extended from physical to psychiatric harm. In some jurisdictions the courts have gone further to include harmful transmission of computer viruses.