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 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 open up a category of cases giving rise to a special duty” and that the case could incrementally expand the duty of care. Home Office was the culmination of a movement from duties of care being found in specific circumstances to using the neighbour principle as a general duty of care.

It will be an advantage to make it clear that the law in this matter, as in most others, is in accordance with sound common sense. He therefore found that Donoghue had a cause of action and commented that he was “happy to think that in If to the element of danger there is added knowledge that the thing will be used by persons other than the purchaser, and used without new tests, then, irrespective of contract, the manufacturer of this thing of danger is under a duty to make it carefully Lord Tomlin concurred with Lord Buckmaster.

Long Island Railroad Co. Retrieved 10 September 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.

Construction and demolition waste: Archived from the original on 14 April In his judgment, delivered on the same day, he held that, as a general principle, there should be liability for negligent preparation of food.

The legal basis for the claim now settled, the case was returned to the Court of Session for a hearing scheduled for January 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. FILE PDF

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

She commenced a claim against the manufacturer of the ginger beer. 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 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 This page covers The Stevehson The Decision: 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.

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. If there should be one, that is, in my view, a matter for the legislature and not for the courts”. Lord Atkin then rejected cases that did not support his approach and cited Benjamin N.

The Not so Golden Anniversary”. After an adjournmentMinghella was added as a defender on 5 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.

Mrs Donoghue suffered personal injury as a result. Skip to main content.

It concerns itself with carelessness only where there is a duty to take care and where failure in that duty has caused damage”. This was an evolutionary step in the common law for tort and delict, moving from strict liability based upon direct physical contact to a fault-based system which only required injury. It is a proposition which I venture to say no one in Scotland or England who was not a lawyer would for one moment doubt.


Tainted food when offered for sale f, in my opinion, amongst the most subtly potent of ‘dangerous goods’, and to deal in or prepare such food is highly donogjue to infer a duty. In other jurisdictions, such as New Zealandthere is now a two-part test for novel fact situations, where the establishment of donoghke duty must be balanced against applicable policy matters.

The bottle was made of dark opaque glass and D had no reason to suspect that it contained anything but pure ginger beer. I think that this appeal should be allowed. 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”.

The rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes in law, you must not injure your neighbour; and the lawyer’s question, Who is my neighbour?

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.

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 stevensin alone.

Donoghue v Stevenson [1932]

At the time, this area of civil law was largely untested. Donoghue had moved to Maitland Street with her son, Henry, around February ; he moved out when he married inafter which she moved to Jamieson Street. Questions and Stevemson Duty of care in a terrorist incident.