Kuddus v Regina: CACD 16 May 2019

The defendant appealed his conviction for gross negligence manslaughter. He ran a takeaway food business. A meal was ordered by the victim through a third party website, adding that she suffered mild allergies. There was no evidence that the defendant knew of that information.
Held: The appeal succeeded.
Looking at someone responsible for running a restaurant: ‘such a person is or will be under a duty to take reasonable care to avoid serving food which can reasonably be foreseen would be likely to injure (or cause illness to) persons who may consume it. Although this is expressed as a duty owed to all who may consume the food, the scope of the duty that is owed must be answered by reference to the individual who consumes the food, applying normal tortious principles of the law of negligence . . .
The scope of the duty owed to any individual will be determined by the circumstances (or, as described in Honey Rose, the factual matrix). Thus, a restaurateur must obviously take reasonable steps not to serve food to a customer that is injurious to all and any members of the public. In relation to allergens (such as peanut protein) which may have an adverse effect on a sub-set of the population, the scope of the duty owed to members of the class (or subset) of allergy sufferers may well extend to identifying by warning in a menu or otherwise the presence of such allergens in food with the request that notice be given to the restaurant if, in a particular case, such an allergen is likely to cause harm.
Whether such a warning is provided by the restaurant or not, if a customer does alert the restaurant about a harmful allergy, the scope of the duty may then extend to operating a system either to ensure that such identified allergens are not provided or, ultimately, to warning the customer that the restaurant cannot provide food which meets their requirements. If the customer does not give notice to the restaurant of the harmful allergy (particularly when warning has been given on the menu or otherwise), it is difficult to see how the scope of duty could be extended to require the exclusion of all potential allergens in the food provided. Thus, the scope of the duty is fact specific.’


Sir Brian Leveson P, Stuart-Smith, Jeremy Baker JJ


[2019] EWCA Crim 837, [2019] WLR(D) 286


Bailii, WLRD


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Shulman, Regina v Prentice, Regina v Adomako; Regina v Holloway HL 1-Jul-1994
An anaesthetist failed to observe an operation properly, and did not notice that a tube had become disconnected from a ventilator. The patient suffered a cardiac arrest and died, and the defendant was convicted of manslaughter, being guilty of gross . .
CitedSouth 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 . .
CitedRose v Regina CACD 31-Jul-2017
The court was asked ‘In assessing reasonable foreseeability of serious and obvious risk of death in cases of gross negligence manslaughter, is it appropriate to take into account what a reasonable person in the position of the defendant would have . .
CitedZaman, Regina v CACD 8-Nov-2017
The court considered what was required to be established for the offence of gross negligence manslaughter: ‘The prosecution has to prove the following elements.
(i) In accordance with the ordinary principles of negligence, the defendant owed . .
CitedWinterton v Regina CACD 6-Nov-2018
Appeal against conviction for gross negligence manslaughter: ‘The question of available knowledge and risk is always to be judged objectively and prospectively as at the moment of breach, not but for the breach.’ . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 05 July 2022; Ref: scu.637825