The claimants sought damages after the loss of business when the defendants’ premises were the source of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. The organism had escaped from their premises via a broken drain.
Held: Much of the damage claimed was for economic loss. The number of people who would be brought within the scope of the duty of care asserted by the claimanst was too numerous. The claimants had no real prospect of succeeding, and the claim was struck out.
 EWHC 685 (QB)
England and Wales
Cited – Morrison Steamship Co Ltd v Greystoke Castle (Cargo Owners) HL 1946
A ship was damaged in a collision. Though their goods were not damaged, the owners of cargo on the first ship became liable to the owners of the ship for a general average contribution. The owners sued the other ship owners for their negligence. The . .
Cited – Weller v Foot and Mouth Disease Research Institute 1966
The plaintiff auctioneers sought damages in negligence from the defendants in having failed to prevent an outbreak of foot and mouth disease which led to damage to their business.
Held: Widgery J said: ‘Mr. Eveleigh says that, since the . .
Cited – Murphy v Brentwood District Council HL 26-Jul-1990
Anns v Merton Overruled
The claimant appellant was a house owner. He had bought the house from its builders. Those builders had employed civil engineers to design the foundations. That design was negligent. They had submitted the plans to the defendant Council for approval . .
Cited – Johnston v NEI International Combustion Ltd; Rothwell v Chemical and Insulating Co Ltd; similar HL 17-Oct-2007
The claimant sought damages for the development of neural plaques, having been exposed to asbestos while working for the defendant. The presence of such plaques were symptomless, and would not themselves cause other asbestos related disease, but . .
Cited – Sutradhar v Natural Environment Research Council HL 5-Jul-2006
Preliminary Report of Risk – No Duty of Care
The claimant sought damages after suffering injury after the creation of water supplies which were polluted with arsenic. He said that a report had identified the risks. The defendant said that the report was preliminary only and could not found a . .
Cited – Three Rivers District Council and Others v Governor and Company of The Bank of England (No 3) HL 22-Mar-2001
Misfeasance in Public Office – Recklessness
The bank sought to strike out the claim alleging misfeasance in public office in having failed to regulate the failed bank, BCCI.
Held: Misfeasance in public office might occur not only when a company officer acted to injure a party, but also . .
Cited – Swain v Hillman CA 21-Oct-1999
Strike out – Realistic Not Fanciful Chance Needed
The proper test for whether an action should be struck out under the new Rules was whether it had a realistic as opposed to a fanciful prospect of success. There was no justification for further attempts to explain the meaning of what are clear . .
Cited – Rylands v Fletcher HL 1868
The defendant had constructed a reservoir to supply water to his mill. Water escaped into nearby disused mineshafts, and in turn flooded the plaintiff’s mine. The defendant appealed a finding that he was liable in damages.
Held: The defendant . .
Cited – Muirhead v Industrial Tank Specialities Ltd CA 31-Jul-1985
The plaintiff reared lobsters in tanks into which seawater was pumped for the purpose of oxygenation. The whole purpose of the pumps was to preserve the health of the lobsters. Due to the negligence of the third defendant, the pumps cut out and the . .
Cited – F and H Contractors v Commercial Union CA 18-May-1993
Contractors had spread fertiliser unevenly on a field preparatory to the planting of a crop of potatoes. The result was ‘striping’, some potatoes showing signs of nutrient deficiency, whilst the remainder grew too quickly, resulting in an overall . .
Cited – Landcatch Ltd v The Braer Corporation and Others OHCS 6-Mar-1998
The pursuers reared salmon eggs to the age of two years (smolt), before then selling them on. The defenders caused an oil spill, and the area was designated as an exclusion zone preventing the pursuers continuing their trade and could not sell their . .
Cited – Landcatch Limited v The Braer Corporation and Williams and Jones and Hudner and Assurance Foreningen Skuld and the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund IHCS 19-May-1999
The pursuers raised freshwater salmon (smolt) to the age of two before selling them on. An oil spill prevented them trading. They appealed a refusal of damages on the baiss that this was pure relational economic loss.
Held: The appeal failed. . .
Cited – Caltex Oil (Australia) Pty Ltd v Dredge ‘Willemstad’ 9-Dec-1976
Austlii (High Court of Australia) Negligence – Duty of care – Foreseeability of harm – Economic loss not consequential upon damage to person or property – Damage to property of one person – Economic loss suffered . .
Cited – Candlewood Navigation Corporation Limited v Mitsui OSK Lines Limited and Matsuoka Steamship Co Limited PC 1-Jul-1985
(New South Wales) Two ships had collided, after, without negligence, an anchor on one ship failed. The Supreme Court had found the crew negligent after failing to react appropriately to the loss of the anchor. The company now appealed against the . .
Cited – Lojinska Plovidba v Transco Overseas Ltd (The Orjula) 1995
A layer of hydrochloric acid had leaked on to the deck of a ship. The port authorities required the vessel to be decontaminated of the acid before she could sail. The defendants applied to have the claim struck out.
Held: Mance J considered . .
Cited – Perre v Apand Pty Ltd 12-Aug-1999
(High Court of Australia) The plaintiff farmers sought damages for financial losses incurred after the defendant negligently introduced a disease. Although the disease was not shown to have spread, neighbouring farm owners suffered economic loss by . .
Cited – Spartan Steel and Alloys Ltd v Martin and Co (Contractors) Ltd. CA 22-Jun-1972
Damage was negligently inflicted by the defendants on the power line which they knew to be the direct electricity supply to the plaintiff’s factory.
Held: Damages were recovered for depreciation in value of one spoiled melt, plus consequential . .
Cited – Jan De Nul (Uk) Limited v NV Royale Belge CA 10-Oct-2001
The contractor undertook to dredge a stretch of river. Due to its failure to investigate properly, the result was the release of substantial volumes of silt into the estuary, to the damage of other river users and frontagers. The act amounted to a . .
Cited – Transco Plc v United Utilities Water Plc QBD 25-Oct-2005
The defendant’s employee closed off a valve, cutting off the gas supply to the claimant’s customers. The claimant incurred costs investigating and restoring the gas supply.
Held: The tort of wrongful interference with goods was made out. . .
Cited – SCM (United Kingdom) Ltd v W J Whittall and Son Ltd CA 1970
The defendants’ workmen damaged an electric cable belonging to the electricity board, cutting off several factories, including the plaintiff’s. The defendant sought to have the claim struck out.
Held: The part of the claim arising from . .
Cited – Cattle v The Stockton Waterworks 1875
The owner of land had contracted with the plaintiff for him to build a tunnel under a road, along which there was a defective water pipe. The pipe leaked, and when the contractor started to dig, the water that had accumulated under the road flowed . .
Cited – Donoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability
The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .
Cited – British Celanese Ltd v A H Hunt (Capacitors) Ltd QBD 1969
Metal foil had been blown from the defendant’s factory premises on to an electricity sub-station, which in turn brought the plaintiff’s machines to a halt.
Held: The meaning Lawton J would give to the phrase ‘direct victim’ was a person whose . .
Cited – R J Tilbury and Sons (Devon) Ltd t/A East Devon Shellfish v Alegrete Shipping Co Inc (Owners of the Ship ‘Sea Empress’), Assurance Foreningen Skuld (Gjensidig) and the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund 1971 CA 7-Feb-2003
The applicants had a business processing whelks. After the loss of the Sea Empress, an order was made prohibiting the sale of seafood from the area. They appealed a refusal of compensation for their losses. The respondents would be liable to make . .
Cited – Marc Rich and Co Ag and Others v Bishop Rock Marine Co Ltd and Others HL 6-Jul-1995
A surveyor acting on behalf of the classification society had recommended that after repairs specified by him had been carried out a vessel, the Nicholas H, should be allowed to proceed. It was lost at sea.
Held: The marine classification . .
Cited – Leigh and Sillavan Ltd v Aliakmon Shipping Co Ltd (The Aliakmon) HL 24-Apr-1985
The plaintiff contracted to buy a cargo to be shipped on the defendant’s vessel. Because of poor stowage, the cargo was damaged. At the time of the damage the claimant was neither the owner nor possessor of the cargo, but under the terms of the . .
Cited – South Australia Asset Management Corporation v York Montague Ltd etc HL 24-Jun-1996
Limits of Damages for Negligent Valuations
Damages for negligent valuations are limited to the foreseeable consequences of advice, and do not include losses arising from a general fall in values. Valuation is seldom an exact science, and within a band of figures valuers may differ without . .
Cited – Lyons Son and Co v Gulliver CA 1914
The defendants operated the Palladium theatre. People wanting to attend queued either along the footpath or along the roadway itself in front of the premises from which the plaintiff neighbour carried on its business as lace merchants and wholesale . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Agriculture, Torts – Other, Damages, Negligence
Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.328004