Friday, October 10, 2014

Byrne v. Boadle case brief summary


Byrne v. Boadle case brief summary

F: P was walking in a public street past the D’s shop, and that a barrel of flour fell upon him from a window above the shop, and injured him.
I: Whether D can automatically be liable for prima facie negligence without proof of negligence when the object causing the injury was under the sole control of D and the injury does not happen without D’s negligence.

R: If the instrument causing the injury was under the exclusive control of the D and the injury does not ordinarily happen unless negligent, then D can be liable for negligence under the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur
A:
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 P is not bound to show that the barrel could not fall without negligence.
The court found that D had a control of barrel of flour
Co: doctrine of evidence of inference for circumstantial evidence.

Legal fiction
If two requirements are met, then establishes negligence (without proving 4 elements of general negligence)
D has very likely control of the burden of proof in Res Ipsa Loquitur, not P.
In some situations that is not fair for P to bear the full burden of proof.

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