Friday, October 19, 2012

Byrne v. Boadle case brief

Byrne v. Boadle (1863)

Facts
•    The Plaintiff was walking down a public street, past the Defendant shop, when a barrel of flour fell upon him from a window above the shop. The Defendant was a dealer in flour.
The Issue
•    Where an accident could not have happened in the absence of a defendant’s negligence, does a plaintiff does not have to prove the defendant’s negligence

Rule
•    Where an accident could not have happened in the absence of a defendant’s negligence, a plaintiff does not have to prove the defendant’s negligence.

Application
•    There is no evidence that anyone other than a servant or dealer had control over the barrel. The presumption is that a barrel could not roll out of the warehouse without some negligence. The barrel of flour was in the custody of the dealer of flour, who is responsible for his servants, and the PL is not bound to show that the barrel could not fall without negligence.
•    Exercise of ordinary care and prudence a person would observe under similar circumstance.
•    Res Ipsa Loquitor – The thing speaks for itself. Proof that the instrument causing the injury was under the exclusive control of the D and the injury does not ordinarily happen unless negligent.

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