Devine v Colvilles Ltd: HL 11 Mar 1969

The House considered the position of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitir. The plaintiff had been injured falling or jumping from a raised platform.
Held: The claim succeeded. ‘ I hold it proved that there was a general panic. Now the defenders must take men as they are, and all men are not brave and wise neither are all men cowardly and foolish. Within these two limits there must be infinite variety. All men would not act with the exemplary courage which was shown by Mr Haggart. Plainly he was the exception amongst those who were present. If the pursuer did jump from the platform, which is the worst for him, in my opinion that was a reaction which, in the circumstances of this explosion, must be held as being within reasonable contemplation. If he had been a man of stronger fibre, possibly his reaction would have been different, but his reaction to the situation was not so absurd as to be beyond foreseeability. On the contrary, in my opinion it was just the reaction which might be anticipated where conditions were such as to have caused a general panic among the men at the plant.
It follows in my view that the defence of foreseeability fails.’
[1969] 1 WLR 475, [1969] UKHL 11, [1969] 2 All ER 53, 1969 SC (HL) 67
CitedWoods v Duncan 1946
Viscount Simonds said: ‘Before the liability of a defendant to pay damages for the tort of negligence can be established in an action brought by or on behalf of an injured man, three things have to be proved – (1) that the defendant failed to . .
CitedMoore v R Fox and Sons CA 1956
The plaintiff, a workman in the course of his employment, was injured by an unexplained explosion.
Held: The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applied, no explanation for the explosion having been offered. ‘Res ipsa loquitur’ is a rule of evidence . .
CitedDavie v New Merton Board Mills Ltd HL 1959
The employer provided an employee with a simple metal tool, a drift, with no apparent defect, which had, in fact, been manufactured to excessive hardness, as the result of negligent heat treatment by the otherwise reputable manufacturer. That was a . .
CitedHarvey v Singer Manufacturing Co SCS 18-Dec-1959
The pursuer claimed reparation from the Singer Manufacturing Company, Limited, for personal injuries which he sustained in their employment . .
CitedHughes v Lord Advocate HL 21-Feb-1963
The defendants had left a manhole uncovered and protected only by a tent and paraffin lamp. A child climbed down the hole. When he came out he kicked over one of the lamps. It fell into the hole and caused an explosion. The child was burned. The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 25 August 2021; Ref: scu.279726