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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M03S

Emily asked her friend, Robert, who presented himself as having some knowledge of cars, to find a suitable one that had not been involved in an accident. Robert duly found one and recommended it to her as an unpaid favour. After Emily bought the car, she discovered that it had been in an accident after all and was unroadworthy and quite valueless. Does Emily have grounds for suing Robert in negligence?

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Robert’s failure to ensure that the car met Emily's stipulations breached his duty to take reasonable care, making him liable to Emily. In Chaudhry v Prabhakar [1989] 1 WLR 29, the court held that even if the advice was given gratuitously, the person giving the advice is under a duty to exercise reasonable care and skill. The fact that Robert presented himself as knowledgeable about cars heightened his duty to act with reasonable care and skill in giving advice. As a result, his negligent misstatement led to Emily's financial loss, making him liable for the damages. 


Key Point: The Chaudhry v Prabhakar case establishes that a duty of care can arise even in non-contractual, gratuitous situations, particularly when one party relies on the other’s purported expertise. This case highlights that negligent misstatements can lead to liability when there is reasonable reliance on the advice given.

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