Garden Cottage Foods Ltd v Milk Marketing Board: HL 1984

In English law a breach of statutory duty, is actionable as such by a private individual to whom loss or damage is caused by a breach of that duty. Lord Diplock said that it was quite unarguable: ‘that if such a contravention of Article 86 gives rise to any cause of action at all, it gives rise to a cause of action for which there is no remedy in damages to compensate for loss already caused by that contravention but only a remedy by way of injunction to prevent future loss being caused.’ and ‘A cause of action to which an unlawful act by the defendant causing pecuniary loss to the plaintiff gives rise, if it possessed those characteristics as respects the remedies available, would be one which, so far as my understanding goes, is unknown in English private law, at any rate since 1875 when the jurisdiction conferred upon the Court of Chancery by Lord Cairns’ Act passed to the High Court. I leave aside as irrelevant for present purposes injunctions granted in matrimonial causes or wardship proceedings which may have no connection with pecuniary loss. I likewise leave out of account injunctions obtainable as remedies in public law, whether upon application for Judicial Review or in an action brought by the Attorney General ex officio or ex relatione some private individual. It is private law, not public law, to which the company has had recourse. In its action it claims damages as well as an injunction. No reasons are to be found in any judgments of the Court of Appeal and none has been advanced at the hearing before your Lordships why in law in logic or in justice if contravention of Article 86 of the Treaty of Rome is capable of giving rise to a cause of action in English private law at all, there is any need to invent a cause of action with characteristics that are wholly novel as respects the remedies that it attracts, in order to deal with breaches of Articles of the Treaty of Rome, which have in the United Kingdom the same effect as statutes.’
Lord Diplock considered the balance of convenience in granting an interlocutory injunction: ‘The status quo is the existing state of affairs; but since states of affairs do not remain static this raises the query: existing when? In my opinion, the relevant status quo to which reference was made in American Cyanamid is the state of affairs existing during the period immediately preceding the issue of the writ claiming the permanent injunction or, if there be unreasonable delay between the issue of the writ and the motion for an interlocutory injunction, the period immediately preceding the motion. The duration of that period since the state of affairs last changed must be more than minimal, having regard to the total length of the relationship between the parties in respect of which the injunction is granted; otherwise the state of affairs before the last change would be the relevant status quo.’

Diplock L
[1984] AC 130
England and Wales
CitedAmerican Cyanamid Co v Ethicon Ltd HL 5-Feb-1975
Interim Injunctions in Patents Cases
The plaintiffs brought proceedings for infringement of their patent. The proceedings were defended. The plaintiffs obtained an interim injunction to prevent the defendants infringing their patent, but they now appealed its discharge by the Court of . .

Cited by:
CitedCrehan v Inntrepreneur Pub Company (CPC) CA 21-May-2004
The claimant had taken two leases, but had been made subject to beer ties with the defendant. He claimed damages for the losses, saying he had been forced to pay higher prices than those allowed to non-tied houses, and that the agreement was . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Transport Ex Parte Factortame Ltd and Others (No 5) Admn 31-Jul-1997
A breach of EU law by the UK government was not sufficient to justify or allow the award of punitive damages. Liability had been established. The court considered whether exemplary damages could and should be awarded. In that context liability was . .
CitedConsorzio Del Prosciutto Di Parma v Asda Stores Limited and others HL 8-Feb-2001
The name ‘Parma Ham’ was controlled as to its use under Italian law, and the associated mark, the ‘corona ducale’, was to be applied to a sale of Parma Ham, including any packaging. Proper Parma Ham was imported and resold through the defendant’s . .
CitedInternational Transport Workers’ Federation and Another v Viking Line Abp and Another CA 3-Nov-2005
An order had been made restraining the defendant trades unions from taking industrial action. The unions said the UK court had no jurisdiction.
Held: ‘It is at first sight surprising that the English Commercial Court should be the forum in . .
CitedAdidas-Salomon Ag v Drape and others ChD 7-Jun-2006
The claimants had sponsored tennis players to wear their logo. The respondents organised tennis tournaments whose intended rules would prevent the display of the claimant’s logos. The claimants said that the restriction interfered with their rights . .
CitedBrennan v National Westminster Bank Plc QBD 27-Nov-2007
The claimant, a customer of the defendant had been charged sums when he went overdrawn beyond his limit. He claimed that the sums were unlawful penalties under the Regulations. The bank said that it had refunded the charges. The claimant sought . .
CitedDevenish Nutrition Ltd and others v Sanofi-Aventis SA (France) and others ChD 19-Oct-2007
The claimant sought damages for the losses it had suffered as a result of price fixing by the defendant companies in the vitamin market. The European Commission had already fined the defendant for its involvement.
Held: In an action for breach . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, European

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.197723