Cartledge v E Jopling and Sons Ltd: CA 1962

The court gave guidance on when an injury passes from being de minimis to being sufficiently significant to found a cause of action: ‘there is from the beginning some injury occurring from day to day, as each of the minute particles which enter the lung tissue causes some microscopic injury and permanent scarring, but a reasonable application of the de minimis rule postpones the first damage for legal purposes to the point at which the accumulated scarring is sufficient to diminish appreciably the elasticity of the lungs and deprive them of much of their reserve capacity; that point is not likely to be reached for several years, and may not be reached for many years, but when it is reached there is the damage completing the cause of action . . ‘
References: [1962] 1 QB 189
Judges: Pearson LJ
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Rothwell v Chemical and Insulating Co Ltd and Another CA 26-Jan-2006
    Each claimant sought damages after being exposed to asbestos dust. The defendants resisted saying that the injury alleged, the development of pleural plaques, was yet insufficient as damage to found a claim.
    Held: (Smith LJ dissenting) The . .
    (, [2006] EWCA Civ 27, [2006] ICR 1458, Times 31-Jan-06, [2006] 4 All ER 1161, (2006) 90 BMLR 88)
  • Appeal from – Cartledge v E Jopling and Sons Ltd HL 1963
    The plaintiffs were steel dressers who, in the course of their employment, had inhaled quantities of noxious dust which had caused them to suffer from pneumoconiosis. They issued proceedings on 1 October 1956 but were unable to show any breach of . .
    ([1963] AC 758, [1963] 1 All ER 341)

These lists may be incomplete.
Last Update: 21 November 2020; Ref: scu.238190