Law of torts


Published on

Published in: News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Law of torts

  1. 1. University of Petroleum and Energy StudiesBidholi, Dehradun, UttarakhandTitleAn Overview on Various Damages in Law of TortsSubmission Date: 2012-11-05Submitted to Submitted byAsst. Prof. Radhe Shyam Prasad Dhruv TripathiCOLS,UPES B.A.LL.B. 3rdSem.Sap ID: 500017513Roll No. R450211038
  2. 2. CertificateThis is to certify that this project “An overview on various Damages in Law of Torts” madeby Dhruv Tripathi, B.A.LL.B. 3rdSem. This project is totally made by me and not copiedfrom anywhere. If any plagiarism find by you, you can cancel my project.Thank You !!Dhruv Tripathi
  3. 3. AcknowledgementThis is to thank every people who helped me while doing this project . I want to thanks Mr.Radheshyam Prasad , whose classes helped me a lot. College library also helped me with thebook and the sites.I also want to thanks my seniors and friends Udit Raj Sharma ,Anand Sharma and SonamPriya Singh who helped me a lot .
  4. 4. Table of Contents Abbreviation Introduction Damagesa. Contemptuous, Nominal, Ordinary and Exemplary Damagesb. General and Special Damagesc. Prospective and Continuing Damagesd. Damage for Mental Suffering and Psychiatric injury or Nervous Shocke. Damages in an action for personal injuriesi. Non-Pecuniary Lossii. Pecuniary Lossf. Damages for unwanted pregnancy resulting from medical negligenceg. Injury to Property Remoteness of Damages Interim Damages Conclusion Bibliography
  5. 5. AbbreviationA&E: Adolphus and EllisA.C.: Appeal CasesA.I.R: All India ReporterA.L.T: Andhra Law TimesB. & B: Broderip and BinghamB.&C.: Barnwell and CreswellB.&P. : Bosanquet and Puller.B.&S.: Best and Smith.B.L.J.R.: Bihar Law Journal Reports.Civ.P.C. : Civil Procedure CodeCrim.P.C. : Criminal Procedure Code.I.C.W.: Indian Civil Wrong BillI.P.C: Indian Penal CodeL.R.: Law ReportsL.J.: Lord Justice.W.L.R: Weekly Law ReporterW.N.: Weekly NotesY.B.: Year Books
  6. 6. IntroductionThe word tort has been derived from the Latin term „tortum‟which means „to twist‟. Itincludes that conduct which is not straight or lawful, but, on the other hand, twisted, crookedor unlawful. It is equivalent to the English term „wrong‟. The law imposes a duty to respectthe legal rights vested in the members of the society and the person making a breach of thatduty is said to have done the wrongful act. „Tort‟ is a breach of that duty recognised under thelaw of torts. Violation of a duty not to interfere with the possession of land of another personresult in the tort of trespass to land and the violation of a duty not to defraud another resultsin the tort of deceit.“Tortious Liability arises from the breach of a duty primarily fixed by the law : thisduty is towards persons generally and its breach is redressible by an action forunliquidated damages.” – Winfield.Tort is a civil wrong, and secondly every civil wrong is not a tort. Tort is a civil wrong whichis redressible by an action for unliquidated damages and which is other than a mere breach ofcontract or breach of trust.1. Tort is a civil wrongTort belongs to the category of civil wrongs. The basic nature of civil wrongs isdifferent from a criminal wrong. In the case of a civil wrong, the injured party, i.e.,the plaintiff institutes civil proceedings against the wrongdoers, i.e., the defendant. Insuch a case, the main remedy is damages. The plaintiff is compensated by thedefendant for the injury caused to him by the defendant. In the case of a criminalwrong, on the other hand, the criminal proceedings against the accused are brought bythe State. Moreover, in the case of a criminal wrong, the individual, who is the victimof the crime, i.e., the sufferer, is not compensated. Justice is administered bypunishing the wrongdoer in such a case.2. Tort is other than a mere breach of contract or breach of trustTort is that civil wrong which is not exclusively any other kind of civil wrong. If wefind that the only wrong is a mere breach of contract or breach of trust, then obviouslyit would not be a tort. Thus, if a person agrees to purchase a radio set and thereafterdoes not fulfil his obligation, the wrong will be a mere breach of contract. It is only bythe process of elimination that we may be able to know whether the wrong is a tort ornot. First, we have to see whether the wrong is civil or criminal wrong; if it is a civilwrong, it has to be further seen if it is exclusively belongs to another recognizedcategory of civil wrongs, like breach of contract or breach of trust. If it is found that itis neither a mere breach of contract nor any other civil wrongs, then we can say thatthe wrong is a „tort‟.3. Tort is redressible by an action for unliquidated damagesDamages is the most important remedy for a tort. After the wrong has beencommitted, generally it is the money compensation which may satisfy the injuredparty. After the commission of the wrong, it is generally not possible to undo theharm which has already been caused. If, for example, the reputation of a person has
  7. 7. been injured, the original position cannot be restored back. The only thing which canbe done in such a case is to see what is the money equivalent to the harm by way ofdefamation and the sum so arrived at is asked to be paid by the defendant to theplaintiff.Damages in the case of a tort are unliquidated. Liquidated damages means suchcompensation which has been previously determined or agreed to by the parties.When the compensation has not been so determined but the determination of the sameis left to the discretion of the court, the damages are said to be unliquidated.11Law of Torts, Dr. R.K.Bangia, Allahabad Law Agency (Twenty-Second Edition- 2010) pg no. 3-12.
  8. 8. DamagesIn a suit for damages in a tort case, the Court awards pecuniary compensation to the plaintifffor the injury or damage caused to him by the wrongful act of the defendant. After it isproved that the defendant committed a wrongful act, the plaintiff would be entitled tocompensation, may be nominal, though he does not prove any specific damage or injuryresulting to him, in cases where the tort is actionable per se. But even in these cases whenspecific damage is alleged and in all other cases, where tort is not actionable per se, and itbecomes the duty of the plaintiff to allege the damage resulting from the wrongful act forwhich he claims damages, the Court‟s enquiry resolves in deciding three questions : (1) Wasthe damage alleged caused by the defendant‟s wrongful act ? (2) Was it remote ? and (3)What is the monetary compensation for the damage?If the damage alleged was not caused by the defendant‟s wrongful act the question of itsremoteness will not arise. In deciding the question whether the damage was caused by thewrongful act, the generally accepted test is known as „but for‟ test. This means that if thedamage would not have resulted but for the defendant‟s wrongful act, it would be taken tohave been caused by the wrongful act. Conversely it means that the defendant‟s wrongful actis not a cause of the damage if the same would have happened just the same, wrongful act orno wrongful act. Thus when a doctor is negligent in failing to see and examine a patient andgive him the proper treatment, the claim will still fail if it is shown on evidence that thepatient would have died of poisoning even if he had been treated with all due care. Thedoctor‟s negligence in such cases is not the cause of the patients death.2Types of Damages :a. Contemptuous Damages, Nominal Damages, Ordinary Damages and ExemplaryDamages :Contemptuous Damages are awarded when it is considered that an action should neverhave been brought. When the plaintiff has technically a legal claim but there is no moraljustification for it or he morally deserved what the defendant did to him, the Court may awarda half penny or a paisa showing its disapproval of the conduct of the plaintiff.Nominal Damages are awarded where the purpose of the action is merely to establish a right,no substantial harm or loss having been suffered, for example, in cases of infringement ofabsolute rights of personal security (e.g. assault) and property (e.g. bare trespass, invasion ofa right of easement, etc.). Nominal damages are so called because they bear no relation evento the cost and trouble of suing, and the sum awarded is so small that it may be said to have“no existence in point quantity,” e.g. one anna, one shilling. But small damages are not2Bernett v. Chelsea and Kensington Hospital Management Committee, (1968) I All ER 1068 : (1968) 2 WLR.422 : 111 SJ 912.
  9. 9. necessarily nominal damages.3An award of nominal damages implies no censure of theplaintiff‟s conduct in bringing the suit.Ordinary Damages are awarded where it is necessary to compensate the plaintiff fairly forthe injury he has in fact sustained. These are also called compensatory damages. Whateversum is awarded, whether large or small, must afford a fair measure of compensation to theplaintiff with the reference to the actual harm sustained by him. The law does not aim atrestitution but compensation, and the true test is, what sum would afford, under thecircumstances of the particular case, a fair trial and reasonable compensation to the partywronged for the injury done to him, the plaintiff‟s own estimate being regarded as themaximum limit. The measure of reparation or damages for any injury should be assessed asnearly as possible at a sum of money which would put the injured party in the same positionas he would have been in if he would not have sustained the injury.4For example, where asurveyor negligently surveyed a property which the plaintiff purchased the proper measure ofdamages is the amount of money which will put the plaintiff into as good a position as if thesurveying contract had been properly fulfilled.5Exemplary Damages are awarded not to compensate the plaintiff but to punish thedefendant and to deter him from similar conduct in future. The House of Lords6has ruled thatexemplary damages can be allowed in three categories of cases. The first category isoppressive, arbitrary or unconstitutional action of the Government or its servants. Cases inthe second category are those in which the defendant‟s conduct has been calculated by him tomake a profit for himself which may well exceed the compensation payable to the plaintiff.Third category consists of cases in which exemplary damages are expressly authorised bystatute.b. General and Special DamagesGeneral Damages are those which the law will imply in every violation of a legal right. Theyneed not be proved by evidence for they arise by interference of law., even though no actualpecuniary loss has been, or can be, shown. General damages “are such as the jury may givewhen the Judge cannot point out any measure by which they are to be assessed, except theopinion and judgement of a reasonable man.” 7Whenever the defendant violates any absolutelegal right of the plaintiff general damages to at least a nominal amount will be implied.The expression „special damages‟ has three different meanings :-(1). It is employed to denote that damage arising out of the special circumstances of the casewhich, if properly pleaded, may be super-added to the general damage which the law impliesin every infringement of an absolute right.3Mediana v Comet, (1900) AC 113 (116) : 82 LT 95 : 16 TLR 194; Bishun Singh v AWN Wyatt, (1911) 14CLJ 5154Jeet Kumari Poddar v Chittagong Enginnering and Electric Supply Co. Ltd., ILR (1946) Cal 433.5Phillips v Ward, (1956) 1 All ER 874 (CA)6Rookes v Barnard, supra; Cassel & Co. Ltd. v Broome, (1972) AC 1027 : (1977) 2 WLR 645 : (1977) 1 AllER 801 (HL)7Prehn v Royal Bank of Liverpool, (1870) LR 5 Ex. 92, 99.
  10. 10. (2). Where no actual and positive right (apart from the damage done) has been disturbed, it isthe damage done that is the wrong; and the expression “special damage,” when used of thisdamage, denotes the actual and temporal loss which has, in fact, occurred. Such damage iscalled variously “express loss,” “particular damage,” damage in fact,” “special or particularcause of loss.”(3). In actions brought for a public nuisance, such as the obstruction of a river or a highway,“special damage” denotes that actual and particular loss which the plaintiff must allege andprove that he has sustained beyond what is sustained by the general public, if his action is tobe supported, such particular loss being, as is obvious, the cause of action.8c. Perspective and Continuing Damages :Damages resulting from the same cause of action must be recovered at one and the same timeas more than one action will not lie on the same cause of action. If a person is beaten orwounded and if he sues he must sue for all his damage, past, present and future, certain andcontingent. He cannot maintain an action for a broken arm, and subsequently for a broken rib,though he did not know of it when he commenced his first action.Damages when given are taken to embrace all the injurious consequences of the wrongful act,unknown as well as known, which may arise here after, as well as those which have arisen, sothat the right of action is satisfied by one recovery. “The cause of action is incomplete, for thewhole thing has but one neck, and that neck was cut off by one act of the defendant,.....Itwould be more mischievous to say – it would be increasing litigation to say – you shall nothave all you are entitled to in your first action, but you shall be driven to bring a second, athird or fourth action” for the recovery of your damages.9Thus recovery of damages in anaction of assault and battery is a bar to an action for a subsequent loss in consequence of apart of the skull coming of subsequently owing to the same injury.10A fresh action actioncannot be brought unless there is both a new unlawful act and fresh damage.11If the same wrongful act violates two distinct rights, successive actions may be brought inrespect of each of them. If a person sustains two injuries from a blow, one to his person,another to his property, as for instance, damage to a watch there is no doubt that he canmaintain two actions in respect of the one blow.12It is necessary to distinguish between a complete cause of action which may yet producefresh damage in the future, and a continuous cause of action from which continuous damagesteadily flows. There is no such thing as a continuing cause of action; but what is called acontinuing cause of action is a cause of action which arises from the repetition of acts oromission of the same kind as that for which the action was brought.138Ashby v White, (1704) 2 Ld Raym 938.9PER BEST, C.J. in Richardson v Mellish, (1824) 2 Bing 229, 240.10Fetter v Beale, (1701) 1 Ld Ryam 339 : 12 Mod 42.11Hodsoll v Stallebrass, (1840) 11 A & E 30112Darley Main Colliery Co. V Mitchell, (1886) 11 App Cas 127, 144: 54 LT 882 : 2 TLR 30113PER LINDSEY, LJ, in Hole v Chard-Union, (1894) 1 Ch 293, 295.
  11. 11. d. Damages for Mental suffering and Psychiatric Injury or Nervous ShockThe common law regarding recovery of compensation for pure psychiatric illness alsodescribed by the expression nervous shock was recently reviewed by the House of Lords inWhite v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire,14where all relevant earlier authorities wereconsidered. The court noticed that this law “is a patchwork quilt of distinctions which aredifficult to justify.”15The Court, however, declined to reform the leaving this task toParliament.16For understanding the law as it now stands after White‟s case mental suffering has to bedivided into different categories. Mental suffering which follows from foreseeable physicalinjury is routinely compensated under the head „pain and suffering‟ while awardingcompensation for personal injury.17A third case which also arose out of the same football stadium disaster is Hicks v ChiefConstable of the South Yorkshire Police.18In this case the plaintiff made a symbolic claim onbehalf of his daughters who died in the disaster for the distress suffered by them before theydied. The claim was negatived holding that fear of impending death felt by the victim of afatal injury before that injury is inflicted did not furnish any cause of action.e. Damages in an action for personal injuriesPersonal injury may cause (a)non- pecuniary as well as (b) pecuniary loss to the plaintiff.Non-pecuniary loss may cover the following heads of damage : (1) Pain and suffering; (2)loss of amenities, and (3) loss of expectation of life. Pecuniary loss may cover the followingheads : (1) consequential Expenses; (2) Cost of care, and (3) loss of earnings.19A recent casein which all the above heads of damage except loss of expectation of life figured is Lim PohChoo v Camden and Islington Area Health Authority.20The earlier practice was to make aglobal award without indicating the sums under different heads.21But the current practice isto itemise the award at least broadly.22Non-Pecuniary Loss :Pain and suffering consequential to injury inflicted on the plaintiff is aproper head of damagefor which the defendant must compensate the plaintiff. it will include pain attributable tomedical treatment for the injury. The amount of compensation will vary with the intensity ofpain and suffering of the plaintiff. So, if the plaintiff after receiving the injury becomeswholly unconscious or is otherwise unable to experience the pain, he gets no compensation14(1999) 1 All ER 1 (HL).15Ibid, p. 38 (Lord Steyn).16Ibid p. 39.17Ibid. pp. 30, 31, 40 ( See further pp. 224,225, post).18(1992) 2 All ER 65 (HL).19See Further Klaus Mittelbachert v The East India Hotels Ltd. AIR 1997 Delhi 201, p. 217 ( The Law of Torts,26thEdition 2012, Lexis Nexis Buttherworths Wadhwa Publication)20(1979) 2 All ER 910 : (1980) AC 174 : (1979) 3 WLR 44 (HL).21Watson v Powles, (1968) 1 QB 596.22Jefford v Gee, (1970) 2 QB 130
  12. 12. under this head, however serious the injury may be. Loss of amenities is a separate head ofdamage and covers deprivation of ordinary experiences and enjoyment of life. For example,if the plaintiff is deprived of his ability to play games which he used to play before the injury,he would be entitled to damage under this head. The important distinction between the headsof pain and suffering and loss of amenities is this that the fact of unconscious deprives theplaintiff of any damage under the former head but not so under the latter.Loss of expectation of life is a separate head of damage when a normal expectation of life isshortened as a result of the injury.23Quantification of damages for non-pecuniary damage such as pain and suffering and loss ofamenities presents great difficulties. The court cannot restore a person to the state of healthwhich he enjoyed before he suffered a serious injury to his body or brain. The Court canaward only reasonable compensation to the plaintiff for his suffering the assessment of whichis essentially a guess work.Pecuniary LossThe plaintiff is obviously entitled to the expenses consequential to the injury. This item willinclude expenses incurred for taking the plaintiff to a hospital, purchase of or equipmentneeded for his treatment, fees of private doctors if consulted and similar other expenses. If theplaintiff will require medical aid in future also, compensation for that too has to be allowed.If the plaintiff‟s injuries are such that he needed nursing and attendance, the expensesrequired for this are to be allowed under the head cost of care. Serious injuries sometimesmake a person invalid for years and even for life. The plaintiff in such cases has to becompensated for cost of future care.24In England as also in India, interest is allowed on damages awarded. In England interest onnon-pecuniary loss is allowed at the conventional rate of 2% from the date of writ to thejudgement.25Interest is also allowed on pretrial pecuniary loss but no interest is allowed onfuture pecuniary loss.26In India, the practice is to allow interest from the date of suit or claimapplication.27In Chameli Wati v Delhi Municipal Corporation28which was fatal accidentcase, interest was allowed on the total award, as finally increased in appeal, from the date ofthe claim application at the rate of 9 to 12% from the date of application on the amount ofcompensation finally awarded.23Flint v Lovell, (1934) All ER 200 : (1935) 1 KB 354 : 50 TLR 12724Lim Poh Choo v Camden & Islington Area Authority, (1979) 2 All ER 910 (HL).25Pallavan Transport Corporation v P. Murthy, AIR 1989 Mad. 14.26Cookson v Knowles, (1978) 2 All ER 604 : (1979) AC 556 : (1978) 2 WLR 978 (HL)27Section 34, Code of Civil Procedure; S.110 CC, Motor Vehicles Act, 1939; & Vinod Kumar Shrivastava vVed Mitra, 1974 ACJ 189.281985 ACJ 645 : AIR 1986 SC 1191
  13. 13. f. Damages for Unwanted Pregnancy resulting from medical negligenceThe question as to what damages are recoverable in case of unwanted pregnancy resultingfrom medical negligence sterilisation operation has been considered in different countries. Itis generally accepted that the mother in such a cases would be entitled to recover general andspecial damages for personal injury in suffering unwanted pregnancy. But there appears to bea sharp divergence of opinion on the question whether the parents would be entitled torecover damages for economic loss in rearing up the child.29g. Injury to PropertyIf a chattel be lost or destroyed by a wrongful act of the defendant, the measure of damagesis the value of the chattel, but if the chattel be only injured, then the depreciation in its valueis the measure, with an extra allowance for the loss of the use of the chattel while it is beingrepaired or replaced. The measure of damages where goods shipped are lost by fire would bethe market value of the goods when and where the goods were damaged less the proceeds ofthe sale of the damaged goods, and in addition any freight, insurance, premia, and otherincidental expenditure which may have been lost.30A person to whom a wrong is done isentitled to full compensation for restoring the thing damaged to its original condition. Thisapplies equally to a private person as to a Corporation or trustee. If this is called restitution, aCorporation as well as a private person would be entitled to it, but if by restitution is meantcomplete reconstruction irrespective of the damage done, then neither a private person nor aCorporation or a trustee is entitled to complete reconstruction irrespective of the damagedone.3129State of Haryana v Smt. Santra, AIR 2000 SC 1888, p. 1895 : (2000) 5 SCC 182.30Rogers Pyatt Shellac Co. v John King & Co. Ltd. (1925) ILR 53 Cal. 239.31Lotus Line P. Ltd. v State, (1965) 67 Bom LR 429 : AIR 1965 SC 1314.
  14. 14. Remoteness of DamagesThe Problem of RemotenessAfter the commission of a tort, the question of defendant‟s liability arises. Theconsequences of a wrongful act may be endless or there may consequences of consequences.For example, a cyclist negligently hits a pedestrian who was carrying a bomb in his pocket.When the pedestrian is knocked down, the bomb explodes. The pedestrian and four otherpersons going on the road die and twenty other persons are severely injured due to theexplosion. A building nearby is engulfed in fire to due to the same explosion and somewomen and children therein are severely injured. The question is can the cyclist be liable forall these consequences?He is liable only for those consequences which are not too remote from his conduct. Nodefendant can be made liable ad infinitum for all the consequences which follow his wrongfulact. On practical grounds, a line must be drawn s omewhere, and certain kinds or types oflosses, though a direct result of defendant‟s conduct, may remain uncompensated. As LordWright has said :“The Law cannot take account of everything that follows a wrongful act; it regards,some subsequent matters as outside the scope of for its selection, because it were infinite orthe law to judge the causes of causes, or, consequences of consequences. In the varied web ofaffairs, the law must abstract some consequences as relevant, not perhaps on ground of purelogic but simply for practical reasons.”Remote and Proximate DamagesHow and where is such a line to be drawn? To answer this question we are to seewhether the damage is too remote a consequence of the wrongful act or not. If that is tooremote, the defendant is not liable. If, on the other hand, the act and the consequences are soconnected that they are not too remote but are proximate, the defendant will be liable for theconsequences. It is not necessary that the event which is immediately connected with theconsequences is proximate and that further from it is too remote.In Haynes v Harwood,32the defendant‟s servants negligently left a horse van unattended in acrowded street. The throwing of stones at the horses by a child, made them bolt and apoliceman was injured in an attempt to stop them with a view to rescuing the woman andchildren on the road. On of the defences pleaded by the defendant was novus actusinterveniens, or remoteness of consequences, i.e., the mischief of the child was the proximatecause and the negligence of the defendant‟s servants was the remote cause. It was held thatthe defendant was liable even though the horses had bolted when a child threw stones onthem, because such a mischief on the part of the children was anticipated. “It is not true to saythat where the plaintiff has suffered damage occasioned by a combination of the wrongful actof a defendant and some further conscious act by an intervening person, that of itself prevents32(1935) 1 K.B. 146.
  15. 15. the court from coming to a conclusion in the plaintiff‟s favour if the accident was the naturaland probable consequence of the wrongful act.”There are two main tests to determine whether the damage is remote or not :1. The test of reasonable foresightAccording to this test, if the consequences of a wrongful act could have been foreseenby a reasonable man, they are not too remote. If, on the other hand, a reasonable manwould not have foreseen the consequences, they are too remote. According to theopinion of Pollock C.B. in Rigby v Hewit,33and Greenland v Chaplin,34theliability of the defendant is only for those consequences which could have beenforeseen by a reasonable man placed in the circumstances of the wrongdoer.According to this test, if I commit a wrong, I will be liable only for thoseconsequences which I could foresee, for whatever could not have been foreseen is tooremote a consequence of my wrongful act.2. The test of directnessThe test of reasonable foresight was rejected and the test of directness was consideredto be more appropriate by the Court of Appeal in Re Polemis and Furness, Wilthy &Co. Ltd.35According to the test of directness, a person is liable for all the directconsequences of this wrongful act, whether he could have forseen them or not;because consequences which directly follow a wrongful act are not too remote. Theonly question which has to be seen in such a case is whether the defendant‟s act iswrongful or not, i.e., could he foresee some damage? If the answer to this question isin the affirmative, i.e., if he could foresee any damage to the plaintiff, then he is liablenot merely for those consequences which he could have foreseen but for all the directconsequences of his wrongful act.The first authority for the view advocating the directness test is the case of Smith vLondon & South Wetern Railway Company ,36the railway company was negligentin allowing a heap of trimmings of hedges and grass near a railway line during dryweather. Spark from the railway engine set fire to the material. Due to the high wind,the fire was carried to the plaintiff‟s cottage which was burnt. The defendants wereheld liable even though they could not have foreseen the loss to the cottage.33(1850) 5 Ex. 240.34(1850) 5 Ex. 243.35( 1921) 3 K.B. 56036
  16. 16. Interim DamagesThe court has no inherent jurisdiction to order interim payment of damages pending the finaldisposal of a suit for it is not a matter of procedure but of substantive right.37Absence of sucha power in a court resulted in hardship in many cases. In England on the recommendation ofthe Winn Committee on personal injuries litigation, provision was made in Section 20 of theAdministration of Justice Act, 1969 for making of rules to enable a court to make an order ofinterim payment. Rules 9 to 18 of Order 29 of the Supreme Court Rules made in that behalfregulate the grant of interim payment. Briefly stated, the rules provide that a court may orderthe defendant to make an interim payment of such an amount as it thinks just, not exceeding areasonable proportion of the damages which are likely to be recovered finally by the plaintiff.Interim payment can only be ordered when (1) the defendant has admitted liability, or (2) theplaintiff has obtained judgment against the defendant for damages to be assessed, or (3) if theaction proceeded to trial, the plaintiff would obtain judgment for substantial damages.Further, no order for interim payment can be made if it appears to the court that the defendantis not (1) a person who is insured in respect of plaintiff‟s claim, (2) a public authority, or (3) aperson whose means and resources are such as to enable him to make interim payment. InIndia, there are no corresponding statute or statutory rules. The High Court of MadhyaPradesh has, however, held that interim payment can be ordered in a suit on the analogy ofthe English Rules which can be applied as principles of justice, equity and good conscience.38It was on the basis that the High Court allowed interim payment of Rs.250 crores in a suit onbehalf of Bhopal Gas victims and their dependants against the Union Carbide Corporation.3937Moore v Assignment Courier Ltd., (1977) 2 All ER 842 : (1977) 1 WLR 638 (C.A.)38Union Carbide Corporation v Union of India, 1988 MPLJ 540.39Ibid.
  17. 17. ConclusionTort is a civil wrong, and secondly every civil wrong is not a tort. Tort is a civil wrong whichis redressible by an action for unliquidated damages and which is other than a mere breach ofcontract or breach of trust. In a suit for damages in a tort case, the Court awards pecuniarycompensation to the plaintiff for the injury or damage caused to him by the wrongful act ofthe defendant.Types of Damages :a. Contemptuous Damages, Nominal Damages, Ordinary Damages and ExemplaryDamages . Damages for Unwanted Pregnancy resulting from medical negligenceb. General and Special Damages.c. . Perspective and Continuing Damagesd. . Damages for Mental suffering and Psychiatric Injury or Nervous Shocke. Damages in an action for personal injuriesf. Damages for Unwanted Pregnancy resulting from medical negligenceg. Injury to PropertyThe Problem of RemotenessAfter the commission of a tort, the question of defendant‟s liability arises. Theconsequences of a wrongful act may be endless or there may consequences ofconsequences. For example, a cyclist negligently hits a pedestrian who was carrying abomb in his pocket. When the pedestrian is knocked down, the bomb explodes.The court has no inherent jurisdiction to order interim payment of damages pendingthe final disposal of a suit for it is not a matter of procedure but of substantive right.
  18. 18. Bibliography1. The Law of Torts, 26thEdition Reprint 2012, Justice G.P.Singh(former Chief Justice M.P. High Court) Lexis Nexis ButterworthsWadhwa, Nagpur Publication.2. Law of Torts, 22ndEdition 2010, Dr. R.K. Bangia, Allahabad LawAgency, Allahabad Publication.3. Google