What Is the Neighbor Principle?

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The neighbor principle is a principle that exists under English law, which states that people should do whatever they can to avoid injury or harm to those people who might be directly and intimately affected by their actions. This principle is said to be based on the popular saying, “Love thy neighbor.”

The principle was first set as the precedent by Lord Atkins in the Donoghue v. Stevenson case, where Donoghue sued Stevenson for neglecting to regard his injury in not purifying a ginger beer bottle of snail residue. Since then, neighbors are said to be any person who might be affected by a person’s omission.