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Donoghue v Stevenson [1932]

October 3, 2018

This was a landmark court decision in Scots delict law and English tort law by the House of Lords. It laid the foundation of the modern law of negligence, establishing general principles of the duty of care.

 

Mrs Donoghue asked her friend to buy a bottle of ginger beer from the cafe owner and the ginger beer was provided by the manufacturer Mr Stevenson. A dead snail was in the bottle and Mrs Donoghue fell ill. She sued Mr Stevenson. 

 

The House of Lords held that the manufacturer owed a duty of care to her, which was breached, because it was reasonably forseeable that failure to ensure the product's safety would lead to harm to consumers.

 

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