Potential TORT Liabilities of Parties

While the project manager designs the construction of infrastructure, the main contractor conducts the actual construction. Therefore, at common law, a duty of care exists between the parties. The existence of a duty of care gives way to liability in all tortuous claims. Lord Diplock opined in Dorset Yacht Co Ltd v Home Office that sometimes it is important to determine whether or not ‘a duty of care ought to exist,’ as a matter of policy. (Dorset Yacht Co. Ltd v Home Office (1970) AC p. 1004)Lord Diplock took pains to explain that a duty of care is owed for the safety and security of persons on premises under the custody and control of another. (Dorset Yacht Co. Ltd v Home Office (1970) AC p. 1004) In this sense, it is safe to assume, that the project manager is vicariously and jointly liable for foreseeable damages sustained to a third party by the main contractor. Likewise, the project manager is vicariously and jointly liable in respect to foreseeable damages sustained by employees of the main contractor. This is so because to a certain extent the project manager as the actual director of construction has custody and control of the premises under construction, together with the main contractor.This application of the common law doctrine of a duty of care rests in large part on concepts of propriety rights. Lord Diplock said. ‘In the context of proprietary rights, the concept of a duty of reasonable care was one with which the courts were familiar in the nineteenth century as constituting a cause of action in negligence.’ (Dorset Yacht Co. Ltd v Home Office (1970) AC p. 1004)The applicable test for the existence of a duty of care has long been established by the hallmark case Donoghue v Stevenson. In this case, Lord Atkin developed the firmly established and respected neighborhood principle in determining to whom a duty of care is owed. He maintained that a duty of care exist to the extent that one must take all necessary precaution to prevent injury to one’s neighbor. ‘Who then in law is my neighbour?