Wagon Mound 2 case brief
Facts: Oil was negligently discharged onto the surface of the water and set alight.
Decision: For plaintiff in this case; they found a way to argue that the defendants should have known that the oil could have been set alight, it was foreseeable to them.
Reasoning: It was the wagon mound’s chief engineer’s duty and in his interest to stop the oil leak in any way. It ought to have been foreseeable that the oil can catch fire since it has happened before in the past. He ought to have shown that it can happen and corrected it. They use carroll towing formula in that if the burden of correcting the harm was moderate while foreseeability is kind of high, taking into account the gravity of the injury this should result in liability. This judge put a different spin on foreseeability, saying that a reasonable man would correct the mistake. He would need to weigh the risk against the difficulty of eliminating it. Here the risk is high and difficulty of eliminating it is probably high too but worth the cost.
Holding: A defendant is liable to the plaintiff for injuries that result from a negligent act when the risk is clear and foreseeable to a reasonably prudent man and the cost of prevention is less than the maintenance of such a risk.