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The Case of Donoghue v Stevenson (1932): A Summary

"advancedlawtutors" (2023-01-10)

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Donoghue v Stevenson is a landmark case in the law of tort, specifically in the area of negligence. The case involved a woman named May Donoghue, who consumed a bottle of ginger beer that contained a decomposed snail. Donoghue became ill and claimed that the manufacturer of the ginger beer, David Stevenson, was liable for her injuries.

The case ultimately went to the House of Lords, where the judges held that Stevenson was indeed liable for Donoghue's injuries. The decision established the principle of "duty of care," which requires individuals to take reasonable steps to avoid causing harm to others. This principle has since become a cornerstone of negligence law in the United Kingdom and many other common law jurisdictions.

The case also established the "neighbor principle," which holds that individuals have a duty of care to those who are foreseeable victims of their actions. This principle has been applied in many subsequent cases and has played a key role in shaping the law of negligence.

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