Smith v Bush [1989]

Plaintiff applied to building society for mortgage.
Was required to pay for valuation to be done on
property by defendant surveyors for building society.
Defendants knew valuation would be shown to plaintiff
and would form basis of her decision whether or not to buy.
Valuation contained disclaimer as to liability for negligence.
Lord Templeman said that relationship was ‘akin to
contract’ and liability was imposed.
Disclaimer did not prevent imposition of liability as
it failed reasonableness test of UCTA 1977.
[NB Hedley Byrne
decided before UCTA came into force].
This case tried to get rid of ‘voluntary assumption of
responsibility’ principle – see Lord Griffiths’ comments.
Lord Griffiths also opined that in some cases – eg
where industrial property or very expensive house involved, may be that
purchaser should be expected to obtain his own survey.
[Therefore Smith
seems to be confined to modest residential housing.]