Thursday, November 17, 2011

Byrne v. Boadle case brief

Byrne v. Boadle

-P was walking down a public street, past the D's shop, when a barrel of flour fell upon him from a window above the shop.  
-The D was a dealer in flour. 

Without affirmative proof of negligence, can a D automatically be liable for prima facie negligence?

Nonsuited the P, lack of evidence.  
Leave of Ct of Exchequer.  Reversed.  
Concluded unless PL shows cause on appeal. 

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 df and the injury does not ordinarily happen unless negligent.

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.

P argued: had no duty to exercise any more care than another walking down the street. D had control over the barrel of flour.

D argued: had no knowledge that the barrel fell as a result of his servants or as a result of his own volition.

Class: Torts

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