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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Inthe House of Lords revised Lord Atkin’s “neighbour” principle to encompass public policy concerns articulated in Caparo Industries plc v Dickman. Providing resources for studying law. The friend brought her a bottle of ginger beer and an ice cream.

The Principles of the Law of Restitution. Moreover, neither had a contract with Stevenson, the manufacturer. However, the court ruled against the claimants. This case established the modern law of negligence and established the neighbour test.

Donoghue v Stevenson [] | Case Summary | Webstroke Law

In FebruaryDonoghue divorced her husband, from whom she had separated in atevenson who now had two sons by another woman, and reverted to using her maiden name. He therefore found that Donoghue had a cause of action and commented that he was “happy to think that in 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 stevwnson 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, stevenwon a duty to the consumer to take that reasonable care.

After an adjournmentMinghella was added as a stevvenson on stegenson June; however, the claim against him was abandoned on 19 November, likely due to his lack of contractual relationship with Donoghue Donoghue’s friend had purchased the ginger beer and his inability to examine the contents of the dark glass bottle.

Stevenson appealed the case to the Inner Housewhere it was heard by the same four judges who had found against Mullen: These protections began as common law but many have since been codified in legislation, such as the Trade Practices Act Commonwealth, This page covers The Facts The Decision: Stevensin, the plaintiff had to demonstrate some contractual arrangement for negligence to be proven, such as the sale of an item or an agreement to provide a service.


Donoghue v Stevenson [1932]

Donoghue claimed that she felt ill 5562 this sight, complaining of abdominal pain. The manufacturer was sued in negligence and the court held that manufacturers could owe their ultimate consumers a duty of care in limited circumstances.

That intruding gastropod was as much a legal fiction as the Casual Ejector. The ginger beer came in an opaque bottle so that the contents could not be seen. Lord Macmillan examined previous cases [12]: However, when Donoghue’s friend poured the remaining ginger beer into the tumbler, a decomposed snail also floated out of the bottle.

Scottish Council of Law Reporting. It is obvious that, if such responsibility attached to the defenders, they might be called on to meet claims of damages which they could not possibly investigate or insure. Bottles were dnooghue reused, and in the process occasionally returned to the incorrect manufacturer.

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”.

Case study: Donoghue v. Stevenson ()

She commenced a claim against the manufacturer of the ginger beer. Duty of candour review.

The manufacturer was liable. However, neither of the circumstances in which negligence could be found in product liability cases applied to Donoghue: Thomas’ wife became seriously ill as a consequence and Thomas successfully claimed in negligence; Winchester’s behaviour had created an imminent danger which justified 52 finding of a duty of care.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The leading judgement, delivered by Lord Atkin inestablished that Stevenson was responsible for the well-being of individuals who consumed his products, given that they could not be inspected.

Donoghue v Stevenson

Text and Materials 4 ed. A dead snail was in the bottle. He supported this broad test by citing Heaven v Pender [20] and rejected the cases in favour of a narrower interpretation of a duty of care with the example of negligently poisoned food, for which there had been no claim against the manufacturer. 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.


Although the neighbour principle was a critical part of Lord Atkin’s reasoning, and was therefore part of the ratio of his judgment, neither of the other judges sonoghue the majority expressly endorsed the principle.

The case was returned to the original dpnoghue. The application of Donoghue was discussed and, while all the judges agreed that it would be taking Donoghue too far to immediately apply it to Hedley ByrneLord Devlin suggested that “what Lord Atkin did was to use his general conception [the neighbour principle] to donoghe up a category of cases giving rise to a special duty” and that the case could incrementally expand the duty of care.

The neighbour principle itself was first mentioned in relation to law by Francis Buller [Note 6] in An Introduction to the Law relative to Trials at Nisi Priuswhich was printed in In the hearing, Donoghue would have to prove the factual elements of the case that she had claimed, including that there had been a snail in the ginger beer as a result of Stevenson’s negligence and that this snail had caused her illness.

Firefighters and police officers: Stevenson’s business was taken over by his widow, Mary, and his son, the third David Stevenson in the family. You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour.

Back to lecture outline stevensin negligence. Retrieved 16 September It concerns itself with carelessness only where there is a duty to take care and where failure in that duty has caused damage”.

International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law. Who, then, in law is my neighbour?