Attia v British Gas: CA 26 Jun 1987

The defendant set the plaintiff’s house on fire when installing central heating. She claimed damages for the shock she suffered on hearing of the fire.
Held: The plaintiff could recover damages for psychiatric injury she suffered when the house was burnt down so long as such illness was foreseeable and therefore not too remote. The court considered where to draw a line between psychiatric and physical harm. The court referred to mental or emotional trauma ‘which precipitated the plaintiff’s psychiatric damage’, and in his own word, he defined psychiatric evidence as ‘comprehending all relevant forms of mental illness, neuroses and personality change’.
Bingham LJ
[1988] 1 QB 304, [1987] EWCA Civ 8, [1987] 3 All ER 455
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedFook, Regina v CACD 22-Oct-1993
The defendant appealed his conviction for assault. He had suspected a lodger of theft, and was accused of having assaulted him while interrogating him about it. He locked the complainant in his room, but he then fell whilst escaping through a first . .
CitedYearworth and others v North Bristol NHS Trust CA 4-Feb-2009
The defendant hospital had custody of sperm samples given by the claimants in the course of fertility treatment. The samples were effectively destroyed when the fridge malfunctioned. Each claimant was undergoing chemotherapy which would prevent them . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 May 2021; Ref: scu.245861