Cite as: SC (HL) 31, [] UKHL 3, [] UKHL , [] AC Donoghue v Stevenson [] UKHL (26 May ). Donoghue v Stevenson [] AC negligence, duty of care, neighbour test, tort law. Donoghue v Stevenson []. Facts. Donoghue’s friend purchased her a bottle of ginger beer; The bottle contained the decomposing remains.

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The liability for negligence, whether you style it such or treat it as in other systems as a species of “culpa,” is no doubt based upon a general public sentiment of moral wrongdoing for which the offender must pay.

In his judgment, delivered on the same day, he held that, as a general principle, there should be liability for negligent preparation of food. Lord Thankerton ruled that Donoghue had no contract with Stevenson, nor that her case was covered by one of the scenarios in which a duty of care had previously been found.

Lord Atkin stated as follows: Lord Thankerton further argued that it was impossible “to catalogue finally, amid the ever-varying types of human relationships, those relationships in which a duty to exercise care arises apart from contract” and commented that he “should be sorry to think that the meticulous care of the manufacturer to exclude interference or inspection by the [seller] should relieve the [seller] of any responsibility to the consumer without any corresponding assumption of duty by the manufacturer”.

Stevenson responded to the condescendences by denying that any of his bottles of ginger beer had contained snails and “that the alleged injuries are grossly exaggerated Retrieved 8 September Lord Atkin commented that he did “not think a more important problem has occupied your Lordships in your judicial capacity, important both because of its bearing on public health and because of the practical test which it applies to the system under which it arises”.

Donoghue claimed that she felt ill from this sight, complaining of abdominal pain. 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 manufacturer was liable.

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Dongohue of Lords Comment. The minority consisted of Lord Buckmaster and Lord Tomlin. English case law that required that liability for injuries resulting from goods b were not intrinsically dangerous to have a contractual basis breach of warranty was dismissed by Lord Moncrieff citing John Salmond for the narrowness of the approach and because there was no decision that incorporated it into Scots law.


Removal of PIP breast implants. New South Wales Law Journal.

Features A safer conversation: The answer acc to be — persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question.

The Principles of the Law of Restitution.

If your Lordships accept the view that this pleading discloses a relevant cause of action, you will be affirming the proposition that by Scots and English law alike a manufacturer of products, which he sells in such a form as to show that he intends them to reach the ultimate consumer in the form in which they left him, with no reasonable possibility of intermediate examination, and with the knowledge that the absence of reasonable care in the preparation or putting up of the products will result in an injury to the consumer’s life or property, owes a duty to the consumer to take that reasonable care.

Mrs Donoghue poured half the contents of the bottle over her ice cream and also drank some from the bottle. Who, then, in law, is my neighbour? Archived from the original on 14 April Stevenson died before the case was finalised and Donoghue was awarded a reduced amount of damages from his estate.

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In the sole dissenting judgment, Viscount Dilhorne held that the neighbour principle could not have been intended to be applied in all circumstances and that it could only be used to determine to whom a duty of care is owed rather than if one exists. Despite the ruling in MullenLeechman issued a writ on Donoghue’s behalf against Stevenson on 9 April But I think that the time has come when we can and should say that it ought to apply unless there is some justification or valid explanation for its exclusion.

After eating part of the ice cream, she then poured the remaining contents of the bottle over the ice cream and a decomposed snail emerged from the bottle. Mrs Donoghue suffered personal injury as a result.

Donoghue v Stevenson [] AC , HL | Croner-i

The case was reviewed by Frederick Pollock in a edition of Law Quarterly Reviewin which he commented that there was no doubt as to the importance of the decision and that “a notable step has been made in enlarging and clarifying our conception of a citizen’s duty before the law The York Nursery death: These protections began as common law but many have since been codified in legislation, such as the Trade Practices Act Commonwealth, However, neither of the circumstances in which negligence could be found in product liability cases applied to Donoghue: In a speech scheduled to be delivered in May although delayed by the Second World WarLord Justice MacKinnon jokingly suggested that it had been proven that Donoghue did not find a snail in the bottle.


D suffered injury when she drank the contents of a bottle of ginger beer which contained a decomposed snail. Retrieved 16 September Who, then, in law, is my neighbour? The suggested ratio decidendi Latin: This case was brought under common law.

Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562, HL

The bottle was made of dark opaque glass and D had no reason to suspect that it contained anything but stegenson ginger beer. The categories of negligence are never closed”. This evolution was taken further in the later decision of Letang v Cooper [] 1 QB when it was held that actions should not be jointly pleaded in trespass and negligence, but in negligence alone.

He therefore found that Donoghue had a cause of action and donoyhue that he was “happy to think that in Lord Tomlin concurred with Lord Buckmaster. The judgment and reasoning of Lord Donoghe in Donoghue v Stevenson is very similar to the judgment and reasoning applied by Cardozo CJ in the American case of Palsgraf v.

It laid the foundation of the modern law of negligenceestablishing general principles of the duty of care. Stevenson’s business was taken over by his widow, Mary, and his son, the third David Stevenson in the family. Etevenson supplementary statement from Donoghue’s appeal papers indicates that her counsel, George Morton KC and William Milligan later the Lord Advocate and a Privy Counsellorargued that “where anyone performs an operation, such as the manufacture of an article, a relationship of duty independent of contract may in certain circumstance arise, the extent of such duty in every case depending on the particular circumstances of the case”.

She continued to work as a shop assistant. Home Office was the culmination of a movement from duties of care being found in specific circumstances to using the neighbour donlghue as a general duty of care. Last reviewed 23 March