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Casebook on Law of Tort

Gloucestor Grammar School case (1410)

Fact:-

The defendant had set up a school rival to that of the plaintiffs


with the result that the plaintiffs were required to reduce the
rate of tuition fee and suffered substantial loss.
Issue:
1. Whether the plaintiffs were liable or not?
2. Whether the defendants act was illegal or not?

Decision:

It was held that the plaintiffs had no remedy at law.


Reasoning:
Whenever any person does something in exercise of his legal
right in a lawful manner without infringing the legal right of
another person, that other person cannot complain if he
suffers as a consequence of such exercise of legal right.
Chesemore v. Richars (1859)

Fact:The defendant sank a well a quarter of a mile away from a


natural stream and pumped up water for supply to a
neighboring town. It diminished the volume of water in the
stream. The plaintiff owned a watermill which could not be
worked because of the shortage of water level in the river, fed
by that stream. Thereupon the plaintiff sued the defendant.
Issue:
1. Whether the plaintiff had any legal rights or not?
2. Whether any legal right of the plaintiff had been violated
or not?

Decision:
It was held that the plaintiffs had no remedy at law.
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Reasoning:
It was held that the plaintiff had not acquired the legal right to
use the underground water intercepted by the defendant.
Ashby v. White (1703)

Fact:The defendant, a returning officer, wrongfully refused to


register a duly tendered vote of the plaintiff who was a
qualified voter. The candidate for whom the vote was tendered
was elected and hence no loss was caused as a consequence of
the rejection of vote of the plaintiff. The plaintiff sued the
defendant. It was contended that the action was not
maintainable, for the plaintiff had not suffered any actual or
pecuniary damage.
Issue:
1. Whether there is a damage or not?
2. Whether there is an injury or not?

Decision:
It was held that the defendant is liable for his refusal to allow
the plaintiff to register his vote.
Reasoning:
In this case, the plaintiff has not suffered any damage on his
part, because the candidate for whom the vote was tendered
was elected and hence no loss was caused as a consequence of
the rejection of vote of the plaintiff. But damage is not a
condition of liability in tort. Only injury or legal of violation of
right is enough. In this case, the plaintiff had a legal right to
vote and that was violated. Holt C.J. overruling this object
held:
If the plaintiff has a right, he must of necessity have a means
to vindicate and maintain it, and a remedy if he is injured in
the exercise or enjoyment of it; and indeed it is vain thing to
imagine a right without a remedy, for want of right and want of
remedy are reciprocal.
Hall v. Brooklands Auto-Racing Club (1983)
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Fact:In this case certain persons were owners of a racing tract for
motor cars. Spectators were admitted on payment to view the
races and stands were provided in which they could do this
safely but many persons preferred to stand along and outside
the railing. Two cars, which were running at a pace of 100
miles per hour, were approaching a sharp bend to the left. The
car in front and more to the left turned to the right; the other
car did the same, but in so doing touched the off side of the
first mentioned car, with the result that the first mentioned car
was shot into the air over the kerb and the grass margin and
into the spectators against the owners of the track.

Issue:
1. Whether there is a negligence on the part of the
defendant or not?
2. Whether the plaintiffs gave their consent or not?

Decision:
It was held that the defendants were not liable.
Reasoning:
1. There was no negligence on the part of the defendants.
Their duty was to see that the course was as free from
danger as reasonable care and skill could make it, but
they were not insurers against accidents which no
reasonable diligence could foresee or against dangers
inherent in a sport which any reasonable spectator can
foresee and of which he takes the risk.
2. There are some defenses to escape from liability in tort.
One of them is consent of the plaintiff. In this case
plaintiff gave their consent impliedly. Harm suffered
voluntarily is not actionable injury.
Cleghorn v. Oldham (1876)

Fact:-

The plaintiff, Jeanie Cameron Cleghorn claimed damages


against the defendant Cicely Mary Oldham, for personal
injuries caused by defendants negligence. The plaintiff was a
spectator at a golf course. The defendant, who was
demonstrating a stroke to the plaintiffs brother, struck the
plaintiff in the face with the gold club.
Issue:
1. Whether there is a negligence on the part of the
defendant or not?
2. Whether the injury is incidental or due to the negligence
of the defendant?
3. Whether the plaintiffs gave their consent or not?

Decision:
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The jury found that the defendant was negligent and,


therefore, was held liable.
Reasoning:
1. In this case the injury occurred due to the negligence of
the defendant.
2. The personal injury of the plaintiff occurs due to the
negligent act not incidental.
3. The plaintiff gave his consent to take a risk which is
reasonable. But he was not prepared to take a risk for a
negligent work and therefore in this case consent is not a
defense.
Smith v. Baker (1891)

Fact:The plaintiff was employed as a workman in the stone quarry


of the defendant, and worked there for some months, with full
knowledge of the fact that he was exposed to danger by reason
of the negligent practice, prevailing in the quarry, of swinging
stones over the quarrymens heads by means of a crane. The
plaintiff was injured by the fall of a stone, and in consequence
sued the defendant.
Issue:
1. Whether there is a negligence on the part of the
defendant or not?
2. Whether the plaintiff gave his consent or not?

Decision:
It was held that, mere knowledge on his part would not
prevent the plaintiff from recovering damages.
Reasoning:
Lord Halsbury held that the plaintiff did not even know of the
particular operation that was being performed over his head
until the injury happened to him and therefore, consent was
out of question.
Mohr v. Williams
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Fact:The defendant was an ear specialist doctor. The plaintiff


consulted him and he advised operation on her right ear. The
plaintiff agreed to that. While she was under the influence of
anesthetic, the doctor found that the left ear was more
diseased and consequently operated upon the left ear. The
plaintiff sued the doctor for assault.
Issue:
1. Is it assault or not?
2. Whether the plaintiff gave his consent or not?

Decision:
The defendant was held liable.

Reasoning:
In this case the defendant gave her consent only for the right
ear not for the left ear. Consent must be given to the precise
invasion or at least substantially the same invasion which has
been suffered by the plaintiff.
Nicholes v. Marseland (1876)

Fact:The defendant had constructed some artificial lakes on his


land by damning up a natural stream. Due to extra ordinary
rainfall of unprecedented violence the stream and lakes
swelled to such an extent that ultimately artificial banks burst
and some of the bridges were carried away by the rush of
escaping water.
Issue:
1. Whether there is an act of negligence or not?
2. Whether the predominant cause is natural force or human
act?

Decision:
It was held that the defendant was not liable.
Reasoning:
It is clear that the defendant could not have reasonably
anticipated such an extra ordinary rainfall and on this finding
the court held that, there was no liability inasmuch as the
water escaped by an act of God, which is a defense in tort.

Mahindra Nath Mukherjee v. Mathuradas Chaturbhuj


(1946)

Fact:The defendant was the proprietor of a motion picture


exhibition establishment called the Rupali cinema. On the roof
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of the building there was a skysign which was a more or less


permanent structure held firmly in a place in an upstanding
position. It was 12 feet high and 25 feet wide. On this
framework firmly attached to it in vertical position there was a
galvanized iron sheeting which covered the whole of the
framework. The banners were displayed from the sky-sign.
These banners were held against the galvanised sheeting by
means of cheap coir ropes. One day one of the banners (12
feet high and 3-1/2 feet wide) fell from its position against the
sky sign. The wooden frame of the banner struck the plaintiff
on his head.
Issue:
Whether there is a negligence on the part of the defendant or
not?
Whether the act is caused due to natural force or human act?

Decision:

The defendant was held liable.


Reasoning:
As to the defense of act of God the court held:An Act of God is an operation of natural force so unexpected
that no human foresight or skill could reasonably be expected
to anticipate it. In the town of Calcutta during the monsoon
season stormy weather is not unusual and storms of
considerable severity are by no means unprecedented. Wind
velocities of from 31 to 48 miles per hour are sometimes
experienced in Calcutta and gusts from 28 to 33 miles per
hour are not uncommon in monsoon season. Therefore, a gust
of wind with a velocity of less than 27 miles per hour in the
town of Calcutta during the monsoon season cannot be said to
be so unexpected that on human foresight could reasonably be
expected to anticipate it, and cannot be regarded as vis major
or act of God.
Kirk v. Gregory (1876)

Fact:X died in a state of delirium tre mens. While his servants were
feasting and drinking, Xs sister-in-law (Brothers wife)
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removed Xs jewellery and his watch from an unlocked box in


another room where X lay dead and kept in an unlocked box in
another room for safety. Some unknown person stole it.
Issue:
Whether it is a trespass to goods or not?
Whether there is any necessity of interference or not?

Decision:

The defendant was held liable.


Reasoning:
The sister-in-law was held liable to Xs executors for trespass
because there was no proof that her interference with the
jewellery was necessary, probably on the ground that the
property was not under actual attack.

Att. Gen. v. Nottingham Corporation (1904)

Fact:-

The corporation proposed to use a building as small pox


hospital in a populated area. As a result, it causes a damage of
infection to people living nearby. The defendant was sued for
nuisance.
Issue:
Whether there is a nuisance on the part of the defendant or
not?
Whether there is any statutory authority in favor of the
defendants act?

Decision:

The defendant was held liable for nuisance.


Reasoning:
1. In this case, erecting a small pox hospital in a populous
locality by the defendant was an act of nuisance because
it spread danger of small pox among the people living
nearby.
2. The defendants act was not a statutory authority.
However erecting a small pox hospital was his legal right,
he was not supposed to erect it wherever he liked, so, the
defendant was held liable for nuisance.

Cole v. Turner (1705)

Fact:The plaintiff and the defendant meet in a narrow passage and


without any violence or design of harm, they one touches the
other gently. The defendant applied force on the plaintiff and it
was very trivial. The force did not cause any harm, the wrong
was still constituted. It was not caused physical harm.
Issue:
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Whether touching gently without any intention to harm is


battery or not?

Decision:
The defendant was not held liable for battery.
Reasoning:
In order to constitute the tort of battery, it is essential that the
plaintiff should be conscious of the conduct at the time it
occurs. Interest in personal integrity is in any case, entitled to
protection, although the plaintiff is asleep. So, when two
persons touch each other gently it will not be treated as a
battery.
Stanley v. Powell (1891)

Fact:The defendant, who was a member of a shooting party, fired at


a pheasant. One of the pellets from his gun glanced off the
branch of the tree and wounded the plaintiff who was engaged
in carrying.
Issue:
Whether there is negligence on the part of the defendant or
not?

Decision:
It was held that the defendant was not liable.
Reasoning:
1. The defendant fired to the pheasant not to the plaintiff
and he has not an intention to injure the plaintiff.
Glancing off the branch of the tree is an inevitable
accident. So, he was not be held liable.
2. The defendant didnt fire negligently. Escaping the pellet
was not due to his negligence but merely for an inevitable
accident.
(The ratio decidendi in this case has been criticised as
erroneous, though the decision itself can be supported on the
ground of volenti non fit injuria).
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Stephens v. Myers (1830)

Fact:The plaintiff was in the chair at a Parish meeting. The


defendant who sat at the same table some six or seven places
away from the plaintiff became vociferous and interrupted the
proceedings of the meeting. By majority it was, then, resolved
that he be expelled. He said he would rather pull the plaintiff
out of the chair than be ejected and he advanced with a
clenched fist at the plaintiff, but he was stopped by the Church
warden who was sitting next but one to the plaintiff.
Issue:
Whether there is a reasonable apprehension of battery or not?
Whether there is an immediacy of use of force or not?
Whether there is an assault or not?

Decision:
The defendant was held liable for assault.
Reasoning:
1. The defendants action made a reasonable apprehension
of battery. His approach was likely to beat the plaintiff.
2. When the defendant advanced his clenched wrist there an
immediate possibility to commit a battery.
3. The defendants action was an assault, because it caused
the plaintiff a reasonable apprehension of immediate
infliction of a battery.
Cherubin Gregory v. State of Bihar (1964)

Fact:-

The defendant to prevent ingress of persons in his latrine fixed


up a naked copper wire across the passage leading up to the
latrine and connected with the electric wiring of the house.
One Mst. Madilen managed to enter the latrine without
contacting the wire but as she came out, came into contact
with the wire and died as a result of shock recieved.
Issues:
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1) Whether the act done by the defendant was dangerous or


not?
2) Whether the defendant had duty not to do so?
3) Whether the defendant could take defense of the victim
being trespasser?
Decision:
The defendant was held liable.
Reasoning:
Fixing up a naked wire across the passage the passage to
prevent ingress of any person in the latrine of the defendant
was definitely dangerous and he must have had duty not to
occupy such dangerous way. But occupying such dangerous
means to injure the trespasser, he breaches his duty. Though
the victim was a trespasser but where defendant causes such a
dangerous act intentionally, he should be liable because one
cannot be allowed to create danger with a deliberate intention
to injure a trespasser.
Blake v. Barnard (1840)

Fact:-

The defendant who was the captain of the ship went into his
cabin and brought out a pistol and pointed at the plaintiffs
head saying that if the plaintiff were not quiet he would blow
his brains out.
Issue:
Whether there is a reasonable apprehension of harm or not?
Whether there is an immediacy of committing a harm or not?
Whether there is an assault or not?

Decision:

It was held that the defendant was liable.


1. The defendant pointed at the head of the plaintiff is a
reasonable apprehension of committing a battery.
2. The defendant when points his pistol at the head of the
plaintiff, there is an immediate possibility to be
committed a battery to the plaintiff.
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3. As in this case there is reasonable apprehension of


immediate battery to the plaintiff it was an assault and
the defendant was held liable for assault.
Reasoning:
But if the person, who threatens to shoot, is at such a distance
that the bullet cannot reach the plaintiff there is no assault.
Bird v. Jones (1845)

Fact:-

The defendants had wrongfully enclosed a part of the public


footway on a bridge, put seats in it for the spectators of a
regatta on the river and charged for admission to the
enclosure. The plaintiff insisted on passing along the enclosed
part of the footpath and climbed over the fence of the
enclosure without paying the charge. The defendant refused to
let him go and told that he might go back into the carriage way
and cross the other side if he wished. The plaintiff declined to
go back and remained there for about half an hour.
Issue:
Whether the plaintiff confined wrongfully or not?
Whether the confinement was complete or partial?

Decision:

The defendants were held not liable.


Reasoning:
1. The plaintiff was not imprisoned wrongfully. He merely
excluded from entering into the enclosure. So, the
defendant is not liable.
2. Although the defendant enclosed the footway it was not
complete but merely partial. Mere partial restraint,
however inconvenient may be, cannot be actionable.
Herring v. Boyle (1834)

Fact:-

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In this case the plaintiff was placed by her mother at the


defendants school. She came to the defendant and wanted to
take the boy home during holidays for a few days. The
defendant refused to allow the mother to take her son unless
his dues were cleared.
Issue:
Whether the plaintiff was confined or not?
Whether the plaintiff has knowledge of his being confined
wrongfully?

Decision:

The defendant was held not liable.


Reasoning:
On being sued for false imprisonment it was held without any
dissent that there was no imprisonment because the boy had
no knowledge of his mothers having desired that he should be
permitted to go home and of the refusal by the school master.
Kanhaiya Lal v. Badri Lal (1965)

Fact:The plaintiff appellant had filed a suit for recovery of Rs.


600.00 as damages against the defendant respondents. The
plaintiff alleged that the defendants had obtained a decree
against Ganpat and Bhura and in execution of that decree they
had got attached one she-buffalo with a female calf and
another she-buffalo (called jhotri n local parlance). These
cattle were handed over by the plaintiff to Bhura and Ganpat.
After the attachment the cattle were kept in the custody of the
defendants as supurdar. It was found that all the cattle died
natural death without any negligence on the part of the
defendants.
The question arose, whether the plaintiff was entitled to
maintain suit for trespass.

Decision:

The plaintiff was entitled to sue the defendant.


Reasoning:
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The Court held that in the circumstances of the case Bhura


and Ganpat were holding the cattle as agents of the plaintiff
without acquiring any right in them, and the plaintiff was
entitled to sue for trespass inspite of the fact that he was not
in immediate possession ot the cattle.
Khan Mohammed v. State of Rajasthan (1967)

Fact:-

The plaintiff was granted a contract for preparing Katha from


a forest. After the termination of contract, the plaintiff again
prepared Katha which was seized by the State and agreed to
release it if the plaintiff paid market price of Katha and also
penalty and royalty. The plaintiff paid market price of Katha
and also penalty and proceedings were not taken in
accordance with the provisions of Mewar Forest Act.
Issue:
1. Were the proceedings brought according to provision of
the forest Act?
2. Was the plaintiff a true owner?
3. Was not the plaintiff a trespasser?

Decision:

The court held that the plaintiff could not claim any property in
Katha.
Reasoning:
The Court held although proceedings were not brought
according to provision of the Forest Act yet the plaintiff being
a trespasser could not claim any property in Katha against true
owners, namely, the State.
Meering v. Graham White aviation Co. Ltd. (1920)

Fact:-

English court of Appeal held that the tort of false


imprisonment could be committed even if the plaintiff did not
know that he was being detained. In this case the plaintiff was
suspected of stealing a keg of varnish from his employers
workshop. He was asked to wait in the waiting room and while
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he was there the policemen remained outside. When sued for


false imprisonment the defendant contended that the plaintiff
was perfectly fee to go wherever he liked, that he knew it and
did not desire to go away.
Issue:
1. Did the plaintiff know about his wrongful confinement?
2. Was there total restraint on the part of the plaintiff?

Decision:

The Court rejected these contentions and held the defendant


liable.
Reasoning:
Though the plaintiff had no knowledge about his confinement,
yet the wrong was committed by the defendant. Another
reason is there was total restraint on the part of the plaintiff.
Entick v. Grahame White Aviation Co. (1765)
Fact:
The defendant had entered into the land of plaintiff, without
causing any kind of harm or damage he came back. But the
plaintiff filed a suit against him for trespass.
Issues:
1. Whether the entry was wrongful or not?
2. Whether the plaintiff had possession or not?
3. Whether any actual damage needed to be trespass?
Decision:
The defendant was held liable.
Reasoning:
Only wrongful entry is enough for trespass. As the plaintiff was
in possession of the land and the defendant on it without any
lawful authority given by law or the owner he was liable for
trespass to land though on damage was caused, he coure no
actual damage is needed to prove one trespasser.
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Perera v. Vandier (1953)

Fact:-

The defendant had motive to make any kind of harm to the


plaintiff. The plaintiff got apprehended by the motive of the
defendant. The plaintiff filed a suit against the defendant for
damages.
Issues:
1. Whether the motive was harmful or not.
2. Whether the act was wrongful or apprehended to harm?
3. Whether wrongful motive could make a lawful act
unlawful?
Decision:
The defendant was not held liable.
Reasoning:
Though the motive might be harmful to plaintiff as such
apprehended but there found no wrong with act. Only an ill or
wrongful motive cannot make a lawful act unlawful where not
harm actually happens.
Graham v. Peat (1801)

Fact:-

The plaintiff was holding a land under a lease that was void.
The defendant entered into the land of the plaintiff without any
lawful justification. The plaintiff sued the defendant for
trespass to his land.
Issues:
1. Whether the entry of the defendant was lawful
2. Whether plaintiffs possession of land was lawful
3. Whether lawful possession of land needed to be necessary
for trespass
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Decision:
The defendant was held liable.
Reasoning:
The defendant entered the land without any lawful authority or
permission of the plaintiff. So his entry was unlawful and the
plaintiffs possession was unlawful as the lease was void. But
the defendant was held liable because to prove trespass. Only
possession is enough whether it is lawful or unlawful is
immaterial.
Six Carpenters Case (1610)

Fact:The proprietor of an inn brought an action for trespass against


six carpenters, who having entered the inn, ordered a quart of
wine, drank it, and refused to pay for it. The plaintiff sued for
damages.
Issues:
1. Whether in such circumstances, their failure to pay for
the wine could be treated as a misfeasance, which would
make their original entry into the inn unlawful as a
trespass.
Decision:
The defendant was held not liable.
Reasoning:
It was observed that, not doing cannot make the party who
has authority or license by the law, a trespasser ab initio,
because not doing is no trespass... So, in the case at Bar, for
the denying to pay for it is no trespass, and therefore, they
cannot be trespassers ab initio.
Elias v. Pasmore (1934)

Fact:
In order to arrest a person, the defendants, being policeofficers, entered the plaintiffs premises. While there, they
seized and carried away documents found on the premises.
Amongst the documents, there were some which constituted
evidence on the trial of the person arrested, but there were
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others which did not so constitute, and were subsequently


returned. The plaintiff took an action for trespass ab initio.
Issues:
1. Whether the entry of the defendants was unlawful
2. Whether enter ground of entry was abused;
3. Whether the entry would amount trespass ab initio for
abusing not the enter ground of such entry?
Decision:
The defendants were not held liable for trespass ab initio.
Reasoning:
It was held that the defendants were only trespassers ab initio
as to the documents that were seized and returned, but were
not liable for any damages in respect of the entry on the
premises for the purpose of arrest.
Thomson v. Gibson (1839)
Fact:
The defendant built a wall on the land, occupied by the
plaintiff that causes obstruction to access of the plaintiff to his
house on market.
Issues:
1. Whether the defendant will be liable for trespass or not?
2. Whether the plaintiff has suffered from damage or not?

Decision:

The defendant was held liable for trespass.


Reasoning:
When a person wrongfully put or erects something on others
land, it is directly a trespass. If that other suffers any danger is
immaterial question.

Youssoupoff v. Metro Pictures (1934)

Fact:-

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The defendant Metro-Golwyn Mayer Pictures Ltd. published in


the film pictures and words which were understood to mean
that the plaintiff had been seduced or raped by Rasputin.
Issue:
Was there any defamatory photographic part and speech which
synchronizes with it?

Decision:

The court held that the defendant was liable for defamation.
Reasoning:
There was defamatory photographic part and speech which
synchronizes with it, in the cinema film, and which pointed at
princes, youssoupoff, which constitutes libel.
Monson v. Tussauds (1894)

Fact:-

Tussauds Ltd who were wax-work exhibitions, displayed a


model of the plaintiff with a gun in their show-room. The figure
was placed in juxtaposition to three others criminals and
immediately adjoining the chamber of Horrors which was
filled with representatives of murderers and other criminals.
The plaintiff had been tried for murder but was released on a
verdict of non-proved. A scene of that murder was also
displayed in the chamber of Horrors.
Issue:
1. False defamatory statement
2. Libel actionable per se.

Decision:

The defendants were held liable.


Reasoning:

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It is libel in all cases actionable per se, when the false


statement made in a permanent form, the person defamed
whether has suffered damage or not. In this case, defendants
published defamatory statement against the plaintiff. So, they
were held liable.
Capital and countries Bank vs. Henry and Sons (1882)

Fact:The defendants having a dispute with one of the branch


managers or the bank sent a circular to their own customers
that they would not receive in payment cheques drown on any
of the Capital and countries Bank. The Bank brought an action
alleging that, the notice was defamatory inasmuch as it
amounted to an imputation insolvency.
Issue:
Whether there is an innuendo or not?
Whether there is any defamation or not?

Decision:
The defendant was not held liable for innuendo.
Reasoning:
1. In this case, there are a number of good interpretations it
is undesirable that one should be seized upon to give
defamatory meaning to the statement. The test is that,
what is natural, necessary or reasonable inference from
the statement in question.
2. There is not defamation because of lacking of false
statement, defamatory and publication.
Tolley v. U.S. Fry and Sons Ltd (1930)

Fact:The defendants were famous manufactures. They made


advertisement a caricature of the plaintiff. The plaintiff filed a
suit for libel against the defendant that he did not permit his
port rait fobe exhibited and it imperiled his amateur status.
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Issue:
1. Whether there is a publication of defamatory statement
or not?
2. Whether the inner sense of the statement is defamatory
or not?

Decision:
The defendant was held liable for innuendo.
Reasoning:
1. In this case, publication of the statement is not
defamatory in its primary sense.
2. The inner sense of the libel is defamatory, which
imperiled plaintiffs amateur status. So, the defendant
was held liable.
Cassidy v. Daily Mirror Newspaper Ltd. (1929)

Fact:-

The plaintiff Mrs. Cassidy was lawful wife of Mr. Cassidy.


Though they didnt live together, Mr. Cassidy usually met her
in a shop where she was employed. At a horse race meeting
Mr. Cassidy posed, in company with a lady to a racing
photographer and told him that he was agreed to merry the
lady and he might announce it. The photographer without any
further inquiry sent the photograph to the Daily Mirror with an
inscription that their engagement has been announced. The
Newspaper published it.
Issue:
1. Whether there is a publication of defamatory statement
or not?
2. Whether the inner sense of the statement is defamatory
or not?

Decision:
The defendant was held liable for innuendo.
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Reasoning:
1. In this case the statement was a positive statement not
defamatory although it had lacking of inquiry.
2. The statement, however innocent, its inner sense is so
defamatory. The inscription meant that the plaintiff was
an immoral woman who cohabited with Mr. Cassidy
without being married to him. So, the defendant was held
liable.
Campbell v. Peddington Corporation (1911)

Fact:-

The defendant in pursuance of resolution of their council


erected a stand cross the highway to enable its members view
the funeral procession of his majesty the Edward viii. The
stand obstructed the view of the procession from plaintiffs
house. Consequently she was unable to let out her windows.
Issue:
Whether the act of the defendant was ultra vires or intra vires?

Decision:

It was held that the defendant was liable.


Reasoning:
Avory. J. expressed his opinion that every act done authorized
or ratified on behalf of the corporation by the supreme
governing authority of that corporation or by any person or
body of person to whom the general powers of the corporation
are delegated is for purpose of law of torts. An act of the
corporation is liable for it whether it is intra vires or ultra vires
of the corporation. This is the reason why defendant was made
liable for the act done by him.

Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932)

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Fact:
In this case the appellant drank a bottle of ginger beer
which was purchased by her friend from a retail shop. The
bottle contained remains of a decomposed snail. As the
bottle was opaque the snail could not be detected until
greater part of the content was consumed by the
appellant. She filed a suit for damages against the
respondent who were the manufacturers of ginger beer. It
was alleged that she suffered from a severe shock and
gastroenteritis.
Issues:
Whether the finding snail in the beer was actionable or
not?
Whether there was negligent on the part of the defendant
or not?
Decision:
The respondent was held to be liable.
Reasoning:
The production company has a legal obligation to take
reasonable care of their own goods. If the goods are not
suitable for consumption because of not taking care by the
production company, they must be liable. This is
actionable for the reason of negligence.
Glasgow Corporation v. Muir (1934)
Fact:One day plaintiffs party went to the defendants tearoom
and asked the manageress, Mrs. Alescandez, if they might
eat their food there. She then went back to serve a group
of children at the sweet counter in the hall. Mcdonald and
a boy of his party accordingly brought the urnof tea down
25

to the building. As they entered the hall, the children at


the sweet counter were about five feet away from then.
Mcdonald suddenly lost his grip on the back handle of the
urn and six children including the pursuer were scalded by
its contents. No one knew why Mcdonald lost his grip on
the urn, since the pursuer didnt call him as a witness. The
urn itself was a perfectly ordinary metal one.
Issue:

1. Was the urn of defendant not perfect?


2. Was the plaintiff negligent in his behavior?
Decision:
The respondent was held liable.

Reasoning:

It was so held because the urn of the defendant had taken


reasonable case of the picnic party on the part of her.
Dr. M. Maye Gawda v. State of karnataka (1996)
Fact:
The complaint and five children of his family took an
elephant joy ride in Mysore, after taking a number of
sounds while the complaints and other persons where in
the process of getting down the cradle, the elephant
became panicly in that, rush hour and san forward, the
complaint was thrown on the ground and as a result of
which he received serious injury resulting in total left of
eye sight of both the eyes. He was a medical practitioner.
He claimed compensation of Rs 99,000.
Issues:
Whether the opposite party, who organized the ride was
liable of negligence or not?
26

Decision:
It was held that there was no negligence on the part of the
opposite party who has recognized the joy ride.
Reasoning:
The reason of the accident was unusual an unfortunate
behavior of the elephant because it was held that it was a
female elephant having participated in such ride and
festival for more than thirteen years. It had acted in film
shooting, various religious functions and honoring the
VIPs.
Fardon v. Harcourt Rivington (1932)
Fact:The defendant and his wife went to the market leaving
their dog in their shut car. They went into a shop. While
they were in the shop for reasons unknown the dog
became excited and jumped about and broke the back
window by its nose or paws. A fragment of the broken
glass went into the eye of the plaintiff and he lost his eye.
Issue:

1. Whether there is negligence on the part of the


defendant or not?
2. Was the dog ferocious in general?
3. Did it happen before?
Decision:
The defendant was held not liable.

Reasoning:

This accident was not happened for the negligence of


plaintiff. It was a mere accident. Lord Duned held that,
people must guard against reasonable probabilities but
they are not bound to guard against fantastic possibilities.
27

Manjit Kaur v Deol Bus service Ltd (1989)


Fact:Manjit Kaur, a widow, whose husband had been killed in a
motor accident, filed an appeal through her counsel
claiming enhanced compensation. The case remained on
the daily list two weeks and then it was dismissed in
default. The counsel not only failed to appear on behalf of
the client and the appeal became time barred because the
council did not communicate with the party anything
about the appeal for years. An action was brought against
be counsel.
Issue:

i)

ii)

Whether there was any duty of the counsel towards


the client or not?
Whether there was any breach of that duty or not?

Decision:
It was held that the defendant was liable.
Reasoning:

In this case, the case remained on the daily list for two
weeks and then it was dismissed for default. So, if
provided it, that the counsel was not active in the way of
performing his duty towards his client. The counsel for his
negligence or through the breach of duty towards the
client held liable.

28

Tokugha v. Apollo Hospital Enterprises Ltd. (1999)


Fact:The appellant, a doctor by profession, whose marriage was
proposed to be held on December 12, 1995, with one Mrs
Akhi, was called off, because of disclosure by the Apollo
Hospital Madras to Mrs Akhi that the appellant was HIV+.
Issue:

Whether the statement was true or not?


Whether it was published to the third party or not?
Whether the plaintiff suffered damage to his reputation or
not?
Decision:
The defendant is held not liable.
Reasoning:

In this care, the statement was true, it was published and


for this the plaintiff suffered damage. But when
circumstances demand disclosure of patients health to
save another it will not be defamation
Buckle v. Holmes (1916)
Fact:The defendants cat strayed from his land to that of the
plaintiff and killed fowls and pigeons there. The cat didnt
give earlier indication. The gate through which the cat
strayed was not broken.
Issue:

Whether the cat is a cattle or not?


Whether the cat gave any earlier instruction to do so or
not?
Whether there is a negligence on the part of the defendant
or not?

29

Decision:
The defendant was held not liable for trespass, nor was he
liable under the scienter rule for there was no evidence
that the cat had given earlier indications of a savage
disposition.
Reasoning:

1) In this case, the cat was not cattle, because animals


ferae naturae even if tamed and trained are not
cattle. So, for its tort the master is not liable.
2) If the cat would be given instruction earlier, the
defendant would be held liable. Hence the cat was not
instructed he is not liable.
3) In this case, the defendant does not commit any
negligent act. If the door through the cat strayed
would unrepaired due to negligence of the defendant
he would be liable.
Ellis v. Leftus Iron company
Fact:The defendants horse injured the plaintiffs mare by
biting and killing her through a fence belonging to the
defendant.
Issue:

Whether there was any trespass by animals or not?


Whether the defendant was responsible for trespass or
not?
Decision:
It was held that this was included as a trespass for which
the defendant was liable.
Reasoning:

Under the cattle trespass rule, the defendant was totally


failed to perform his obligation. So, here the defendant
was held liable.

30

Theyer v. Purnell (1918)


Fact:The defendants sheep trespassed on plaintiffs land. They
develop scope there and conveyed the same on the
plaintiffs sheep and all these were by the government
even though the defendant did not know about the
infection of this sheep with the disease.
Issue:

Whether the defendant was liable for the cattle trespass or


not?
Whether the defendant was liable for damage due to
trespass or not?
Decision:
The defendant was held liable for the loss due to trespass.
Reasoning:

In this case, due to trespass of cattle of the defendant,


plaintiffs sheep were injured and the plaintiff suffered a
great loss so, defendant was liable.
Hudson v Roberts (1857)
Fact:The defendants bull was irritated by a red handkerchief
which the plaintiff was wearing, ran at and injured the
plaintiff.
Issue:

Whether the defendants bull was (under scienter rule)


dangerous or not?
Whether the defendant had the actual knowledge of the
viciousness or not?
Decision:
The defendant was held liable.
Reasoning:
31

As we know that bulls are animals mansutea naturae.


Nevertheless the defendant was held liable because the
consequence and the occurrence were reasonably
foreseeable.
Rylands v Fletcher (1815)
Fact:A reservoir was caused by a constructed by an
independent contractor employed by B. a great damage
caused to A because of the water escaping from the
reservoir caused to B.
Issue:

Whether some dangerous thing have been brought by a


person his land or not?
Whether the thing thus brought escaped or not?
Whether it was for the natural use of land or not?
Decision:
This case was the case of strict liability, so the defendant
was held liable.
Reasoning:

The liability of owner could not arise unless there was


negligence on the part of the owner. Ponting v. Nookerwhere the rule of strict liability was not applicable due to
the plaintiffs own negligence. In present case, there was
no negligence on the part of the plaintiff. So defendant
was held not liable.
M.C. Mehta v. Union of India (1987)
Fact:The Supreme Court was dealing with the claims arising
from the leakage of the aleumn gas on December 4 and 6,
1985 from one of the units of shriram foods and fertilizers
Industries, in the city of Delhi belonging to Delhi Cloth
32

Mills Ltd. As a consequence of this, it was alleged that one


advocate practicing in this court had dead and several
others were affected by the same. The action was brought
through a writ petition under Article 32 of the constitution
by way of PIL.
Issue:

1. Where there is any negligence on the part of


defendant or not?
2. Whether it is an inevitable accident or not?
Decision:
It was held that, the liability is absolute and the defendant
was held liable.

Reasoning:

The leakage of gas was not caused by the negligence of


the defendants company. It may be called partially an
inevitable accident but not absolutely because there lies a
possibility of an accident in any industry. So, the
defendants were held liable for absolute liability. Though
there was no negligence yet they were liable for the
damage and injury.

33

Re Polemis and Furness, withy and co. (1921)


Fact:The defendants chartered the plaintiffs ship to carry
cargo which included petrol. The tins containing petrol
leaked and thus there was a lot of petrol vapor in the hold.
While shifting cargo at a port, the defendants servant
negligently dropped a plank in the hold which cased
sparks. The fire occurs and destroyed the ship.
Issue:

1. Whether the act done by the defendant or not?


2. Whether there is a reasonable foreseeability or not?
3. Whether there is a negligence on the part of the
defendant or not?
Decision:
The defendant was held liable.

Reasoning:

If the defendant could foresee some damage of any kind


then he must be answerable for all direct consequence of
his act and thereby he would be held liable.

Wagon Mound Case No. 1 (1961)


Fact:Appellant vessel was taking oil in Sydney Harbor at the
Caltex Wharf. A large quantity of the oil was allowed to
spill into the harbor through the carelessness of the
servants of the appellants. The escaped oil was carried by
wind and the tide beneath the wharf owned by the
respondents, who were ship builders. Soon after the oil
had spread itself on the water, the oil caused fire and
34

serious damage caused to the respondent. An action was


brought.
Issue:

1. Whether the incident was foreseeable or not?


2. Whether there was any negligence on the part of the
defendant or not?
Decision:
The defendant was held not liable.
Reasoning:

In this case the damage to the plaintiff by fire was not


reasonable
foreseeable.
The
essential
factor
in
determining the liability for consequences of a tortuous
act of negligence, whether the damage is of such kind a
reasonable man should have foreseen. Tortuous liability is
the effective test for both and direct consequences test
leads now have but no never ending and insoluble problem
of causation.
Hughes v. Lord Advocate (1963)
Fact:Employees of the post office opened a manhole in the
street surrounded by warning paraffin lamps. A boy of
eight years accompanied by his uncle aged ten brought
one of the lamps into the shelter. He stumbled over the
lamp and the lamp fell into the manhole. An explosion
followed and the boy also fell into the manhole. He was
seriously burnt.
Issue:

Was the injury different in kind from damages?


Could the explosion have reasonably been foreseen?
Decision:
The defendants were held liable.
35

Reasoning:

In this case it was foreseeable that the boys might play


with lamps and suffer injury from burns. But the explosion
could not have been reasonably foreseen. Even then, the
defendants were held liable on the ground that the injury,
which actually resulted, was not different in kind from the
injury, which could reasonably have been foreseen. Thus,
according to the test of foreseeability, as interpreted in
this case, the liability depends upon the fact that the
breach of duty to the plaintiff results in damage of the
kind, which could have been reasonably foreseen. The
extent of damage and the exact or precise manner of its
occurrence need not be foreseeable.

36