Junior Books Ltd v Veitchi Co Ltd

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Junior Books Ltd v Veitchi Co Ltd [1983] 1 AC 520 was a House of Lords judgment on whether a duty of care in delict exists between a contractor or sub-contractor and an employer.


Veitchi was a special nominated subcontractor employed to lay flooring at Junior Books' factory. The floor was defective but as there was only a contract between Junior Books and the main contractor there was no relationship in contract through which Junior Books could sue Veitchi, the subcontractor. Therefore, Junior Books was forced to bring an action in delict, arguing that Veitchi owed Junior Books a non-contractual duty of care.


The House of Lords ruled that there was a sufficient degree of proximity between the parties to allow Junior Books to sue in delict. The decision was not followed by the House of Lords in D & F Estates Ltd v Church Commissioners for England [1989] AC 177, where Junior Books was described as a "unique" case and could not be regarded as laying down any principal of general application.

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