Dominion Natural Gas Co Ltd v Collins: 1909

The defendants had installed a gas apparatus to provide natural gas on the premises of a railway company. They had installed a regulator to control the pressure and their men negligently made an escape-valve discharge into the building instead of into the open air. The railway workmen, the plaintiffs, were injured by an explosion in the premises.
Held: They were liable. Those who sent forth inherently dangerous articles were subject to a common law duty to take precautions. Though there was no relation of contract between the plaintiffs and the defendants: ‘There may be, however, in the case of anyone performing an operation, or setting up and installing a machine, a relationship of duty. What that duty is will vary according to the subject-matter of the things involved. It has, however, again and again been held that in the case of articles dangerous in themselves, such as loaded firearms, poisons, explosives, and other things ejusdem generis, there is a peculiar duty to take precaution imposed upon those who send forth or install such articles when it is necessarily the case that other parties will come within their proximity.’
Lord Dunedin
[1909] AC 640

  • Cited – Caledonian Ry Co v Mulholland or Warwick HL 1898
    The appellant company were held not liable for injuries caused by a defective brake on a coal wagon conveyed by the railway company to a point in the transit where their contract ended, and where the wagons were taken over for haulage for the last . .
    [1898] AC 216

Cited by:

  • Cited – The Attorney General v Hartwell PC 23-Feb-2004
    PC (The British Virgin Islands) A police officer had taken the police revolver, and used it to shoot the claimant. It was alleged that the respondent police force were vicariously liable for his acts and also . .
    [2004] UKPC 12, Times 27-Feb-04, Gazette 25-Mar-04, [2004] 1 WLR 1273, [2004] PIQR 27
  • Cited – Donoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
    Decomposed Snail in Drink – 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 . .
    [1932] AC 562, [1932] SC (HL) 31, [1932] ScLT 317, [1932] All ER Rep 1, (1932) 101 LJPC 119, (1932) 147 LT 281, [1932] SLT 317, (1932) 48 TLR 494, (1932) 37 Com Cas 350, [1932] UKHL 100, [1932] Sol Jo 396, [1932] WN 139, [1932] SC 31, (1933) 4 DLR 337, 533 CA 47
  • Cited – Hodge and Sons v Anglo-American Oil Co 1922
    The plaintiffs, London barge repairers claimed after an explosion on the Anglo-American Oil Company’s oil tank barge Warwick, when she was being repaired by the plaintiffs, to whom she had been sent for that purpose by the defendants. As a result of . .
    (1922) 12 Ll L Rep 183
  • Cited – McTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
    The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
    Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
    [2005] ScotCS CSOH – 69, Times 14-Jun-05

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 December 2020; Ref: scu.193882