Spring v Guardian Assurance [1994]

Plaintiff’s prospective new employer sought reference
from plaintiff’s former employer.
Reference alleged plaintiff had no integrity, had
abused his position etc.
Plaintiff did not get job.
Brought action in negligence against former employers.
House of Lords found for plaintiff.
Reasoning of Lord Goff based on assumption of
responsibility.
General principle that where defendant undertook
responsibility to plaintiff in conduct of his affairs and plaintiff relied on
defendant to exercise due skill and care, defendant liable for any failure to
use reasonable skill and care.
This applies to making a reference.
Reasoning of Lords Lowry, Slynn and Woolf based on Caparo:
In employer / employee relationship, where economic loss
is clearly foreseeable if careless reference was given, and there was obvious
proximity of relationship, it was fair, just and reasonable that law should
impose duty of care.