Donoghue v stevenson case summary

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donoghue v stevenson case summary

Donoghue V. Stevenson and the Modern Law of Negligence: The Paisley Papers : the Proceedings of the Paisley Conference on the Law of Negligence by Peter T. Burns

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Published 19.01.2019

Donoghue v Stevenson (Negligence)

Donoghue v Stevenson

It laid the foundation of the modern law of negligence , establishing general principles of the duty of care. A dead snail was in the bottle. She fell ill, and she sued the ginger beer manufacturer, Mr Stevenson. The House of Lords held that the manufacturer owed a duty of care to her, which was breached, because it was reasonably foreseeable that failure to ensure the product's safety would lead to harm to consumers. There was also a sufficiently proximate relationship between consumers and product manufacturers.

Please read them to help you prepare. The main legal principles are those underlying the original case of Donoghue v Stevenson S. In that case The House of Lords held decided :—. Where the manufacturer of a product intended for human consumption sends it out in a form which shows that he means it to reach the ultimate consumer in the form in which it left his factory, with no reasonable possibility of intermediate examination by the retailer or consumer, and with the knowledge that want of reasonable care on his part in the preparation of the product may result in injury to the consumer, the manufacturer owes a duty to the consumer to take such care, and will be liable to the latter, in damages if he suffers injury through the failure to take such care. Who, then, in law is my neighbour?

The Paisley Snail MiniTrial

The case of Donoghue v Stevenson is very important, as it set a major precedent - the legal concept of duty of care. In the case, the judge, Lord Aitken, defined the " neighbour " principle. Lord Aitken stated that a " neighbour was anyone who is so closely and directly affected by my act, or failure to act, that I ought reasonably to have them in my contemplation ". What all of us now have to take from this case is that as we go about our work, our leisure and our life in general, we must think about the safety of people around us our neighbours. We cannot simply organise sport activities with no regard to the safety of all participants, including spectators. We cannot perform work duties without concern for our fellow workers or our clients.

Donoghue v. Donoghue could not sue Stevenson for breach of contract because she had not purchased the drink herself. At the time, this area of civil law was largely untested. AG Barr, where a dead mouse was found in a bottle of soft drink; judges dismissed this action due to a lack of precedent. The leading judgement, delivered by Lord Atkin in , established that Stevenson was responsible for the well-being of individuals who consumed his products, given that they could not be inspected. The case was returned to the original court. Stevenson died before the case was finalised and Donoghue was awarded a reduced amount of damages from his estate.

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1 COMMENTS

  1. Sulamita V. says:

    Donoghue v Stevenson [] | Case Summary | Webstroke Law

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