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Flashcards in 3: Law of torts Deck (8)
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Bradford Corporation v. Pickles (1895)
(Malice or Motive)

- defendant wants to sell his land to the corporation.


Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932) case.

- Mary Donoghue visits a cafe with a man who buys her a bottle of ginger beer.

- discovers a decomposed snail in the bottle and become mildly ill. Encouraged to sue.

- Could not sue the cafe proprietor as they could not have known about the snail (opaque bottle).

- Sued the manufacturer and won.


Wilsher v. Essex Health Authority (1986)
(Professional person, Breach of duty, Negligence)

- Junior hospital doctor held liable for neglient medical treatment which injured a premature baby.

- inexperience as a doctor was held to be no defence.


Bolton v. Stone (1951)
(magnitude and possibility of risk in negligent acts, Breach of Duty, Negligence)

- claimant struck by cricket ball while standing at bus stop near a cricket ground. Ball has been hit 120m and clears a high wall.

- this had only happened 6 times in 35 years, no-one had ever been hit.

- no negligence on part of the cricket club, risk of injury very small. Could have been prevented, but these measures were not justified.


Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v. Mort's Dock and Engineering Co Ltd. (1961)

AKA The Wagon Mound case.

(Causation and Remoteness of Damage, Negligence)

- Men employed by the defendants negligently spilt fuel oil into Sydney Harbour

- oil, mixed with cotton waste and other debris spread to the claimants wharf where welding operations caused sparks to fall into the water. Sparks caused oil to ignite, setting fire the claimant's wharf.

- direct result of defendants negligence, but too remote to be reasonably foreseen (not known oil could catch fire in this way). Therefore too remote as damage of this sort could not have been foreseen.


Leading case Smith v. Leech Brain and Co. Ltd (1961)
(Succeeds Wagon Mound case)

(Causation and Remoteness of Damage, Negligence)

- worker has a pre-malignant cancer of the lip which was activated when a blob of molten metal struck him through the negligence of a fellow employee.

- death from such an injury, trivial and unforeseeable, yet employers were fully liable.


Hogan v. Bentinck Colliery (1949)
(Intervening cause in chain of causation, Causation and Remoteness of Damage, Negligence)

- claimant injured at work due to breach of employers.

- taken to hospital and his thumb was amputated as a result of faulty medical diagnosis.

- liability for the loss of the thumb and residual pain did not fall with the employers as poor medical action was new intervening cause.


Hedly Byrne v. Heller and Partners (1963)
(Negligent Misstatement, Negligence)

- Claimant had contacted the defendants (bankers to a firm) for a reference.

- good reference returned in respect of credit worthiness, but with a disclaimer of liability (Without Responsibility).

- Claimants gave substantial credit based on reference, company went into liquidation.

- Tried to sue defendants but were successful because of disclaimer.