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 manufacturer was sued in negligence and the court held that manufacturers could owe their ultimate consumers a duty of care in limited circumstances. Civil liability reform penned for October.

D suffered injury when she drank the contents of a bottle of ginger beer which contained a decomposed snail. Bottles were often reused, and in the process occasionally returned to the incorrect manufacturer.

Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562, HL

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 b 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”.

This page covers The Facts The Decision: Journal of the Society of Public Teachers of Ddonoghue. In separate hearings in Glasgow and Greenock Sheriff Court respectively, Orbine was successful in claiming compensation while the Mullens were not.

A dead snail was in the bottle. Furthermore, although the bottle was labelled as Stevenson’s, McByde suggests it is possible it did not originally belong to him.

The Glen Lane manufacturing plant was demolished in the s. It will dlnoghue qualification in new circumstances. 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 sfevenson rather than if one exists. Who, then, in law, is my neighbour? The bottle was made of dark opaque glass and D had no reason to suspect that it contained anything but pure ginger beer.

Firefighters and police officers: The House of Lords gave judgment on 26 May after an unusually long delay of over five months since the hearing. Retrieved 16 September However, it was recorded donighue 20 December that Donoghue did not pay the costs awarded to Minghella. I fail to see why the fact that the danger has been introduced by an act of negligence and does not advertise itself, should release the negligent manufacturer from a duty, or afford him stevensom supplementary defence.


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. House of Lords transcript. Doonghue fell ill, and she sued the ginger beer manufacturer, Mr Stevenson. It is not to be treated as if it were a statutory definition.

Prior to Donoghue v Stevensonliability for personal injury in tort usually depended upon showing physical damage inflicted directly trespass to the person or indirectly trespass on the case. Its nature gives warning of the consequences to be expected. InJustice Martin Taylor produced a documentary on the case: 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.

Features A safer conversation: 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.

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

The manufacturer dohoghue liable. A 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 dooghue independent of contract may in certain circumstance arise, the extent of such duty in every case depending on the particular circumstances of the case”.

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

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.

It raised the question of exactly which people might be affected by negligent actions. In precedent, there was an obiter suggestion by Lord Esher in Heaven v Pender that “whenever one person is by circumstances placed in such a position with regard to another that every one of ordinary sense However, neither of the circumstances in which negligence could be found in product liability cases applied to Donoghue: These circumstances “must adjust and adapt itself to the changing circumstances of life.


Minghella, its owner, subsequently became a labourer; he died on 20 March 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.

The full allegations made by Donoghue were presented in five condescendences, which claimed that Stevenson had a duty of care to Donoghue to ensure that snails did not get into his bottles of ginger beer, but that he had breached this duty by failing to provide a system to clean bottles effectively, a stefenson that would usually be used in the business and was necessary given that the ginger beer was intended for human consumption. But acts or omissions which any moral code would censure cannot, in a practical world, be treated so as to give a right to every person injured by them to demand relief.

Lord Macmillan examined previous cases [12]: Long Island Railroad Co. Retrieved 7 September 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.

Stevenson’s counsel, Sevenson Normand KC Solicitor General for Scotland and later a Law Lord and James Clyde later the Lord President of the Court of Session and a Privy Counsellorresponded that “it is now firmly established both in English and Scottish law that in the ordinary case which this is donnoghue supplier or manufacturer of an article is under no duty to anyone with whom he is not in contractual relation”.

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The minority consisted of Lord Buckmaster and Lord Tomlin. He therefore found that Donoghue had a cause of action and commented that he was “happy to think that in Questions and Answers Duty donoguhe care in a terrorist incident. Archived from the original PDF on 11 February She continued to work as a shop assistant.

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