Donoghue v Stevenson

Textual versions of document images

Donoghue v Stevenson – Appeal Papers – Appendix (Opinions)

Appendix Page 8

View an image of the original document

Appendix

OPINIONS

Lord Moncrieff

8

negligence or employ safeguards in the interest of such purchasers of his goods as should have made no direct contract with him. The single exception applied in the case of dangerous goods. I confess that I fail to understand upon what principle this particular concession was made.

    There are beyond question special duties which attach to those who release from control or maintain the control of instruments of danger. Under the doctrine of Fletcher v. Rylands, L.R. 3 H.L. 330, such instruments may not with impunity be enlarged so as to invade an area of safety. A manufacturer who distributes his product on the implied invitation of an eventual purchaser does not trespass against this rule of law. Again, I have no difficulty in recognising that a failure on the part of the seller to give warning of a danger, if known to him and not apparent, may involve a breach of a special and particular duty. In the case of Levy v. Langridge, 4 M. & W. 337, a seller of dangerous goods was found liable to a party other than the purchaser on the ground of fraudulent representation which had resulted in injury. Such a decision appears to have no connection with the question now at issue. See also Blacker v. Lake & Elliot, Limited, 106 L.T. 533, p. Lush. J., at p.540. It may be that in the case of instruments of danger there are also other special duties which attach and apply. Indeed it has been determined that those who install dangerous appliances within the premises of others, at least so long as they control them there, are answerable for any want of proper diligence in their installation or control. But I heard no argument to explain a requirement of special diligence in the preparation of such article before they are transferred or released, which would not apply with even added force to articles which are only made dangerous as the result of want of diligence. The suggested distinction appears to be founded on some misunderstanding of the view that those who handle dangerous

Appendix Page 8