“A negligent breach of contract may give rise to concurrent liability: a claim in contract or a claim in tort.”

Undertake an evaluation of this statement using related case law.


  • explain what is meant by concurrent liability using related case law
  • evaluate the use of concurrent liability using related case law
  • describe the practical differences between a claim in contract and a claim in tort.

This essay is asking you to distinguish between a claim in contract and a claim in tort. This requires you to explain the position when a claimant has a right to sue in contract or in tort. They are distinct actions (claims) which will have arisen out of the same set of circumstances as a result of a defendant’s behaviour. This is referred to as concurrent liability. You have been asked to evaluate the statement while using related case law. You must select a range of case law to demonstrate how or why a claimant may decide to bring an action (claim) against the defendant for a tort or a breach of contract.

You will need to explain what is meant by concurrent liability and should refer to Furmston (2017) Chapter 2, page 31 under the heading ‘The Interrelationship of Contract and Tort’. This provides a basic overview which places the subject (concurrent liability) in context.

You will need to draw upon Units 10, 11, 12 and 13 while preparing for this essay. There is a range of materials in these units which will introduce you to related case law to support your discussion. You may draw upon a range of sources, as the law of contract and the law of tort(s) are seen as a general law of obligations. Both branches of the law will allow for a claim and for a court to compensate victims for the harm done to them. Most importantly, in contract and in tort, the legal rules are based on duties (contractual and/or tortious) owed by one party to another. It is within this context that the essay statement will generate a range of answers.

  • This is an essay question and you will need to make sure you have undertaken the appropriate research.
  • Start with the directed reading which has been provided, above.
  • Make sure you understand the essay question and what it is asking you to do.
  • The structure of your essay is important: introduction, main body (discussion) and conclusion. Use the plan to identify the order of points.
  • Presentation is important. Write in sentences and paragraphs. Make sure there is a clear link between each paragraph.

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