McKillen v Barclay Curle and Co Ltd: 1967

The Lord Ordinary had awarded the pursuer damages for tuberculosis, on the basis that in the accident he had fractured a rib and this had reactivated his pre-existing tuberculosis.
Held: The pursuer had failed to prove the causal connexion between the fractured rib and the tuberculosis, since there was no corroboration of the evidence of the pursuer’s expert witness. They accordingly allowed the reclaiming motion. In Scots law a wrongdoer takes his victim as he finds him. Foreseeability had no relevance to the determination of the measure of damage, once liability had been established.


Lord President Clyde


1967 SLT 41




ConfirmedSmith v Leech Brain and Co Ltd CA 1962
The reasoning in The Wagon Mound did not affect the rule that a tortfeasor takes his victim as he finds him.
Lord Parker CJ said: ‘The test is not whether these employers could reasonably have foreseen that a burn would cause cancer and that . .
CitedOverseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Dock and Engineering Co Ltd (The Wagon Mound No 1) PC 18-Jan-1961
Foreseeability Standard to Establish Negligence
Complaint was made that oil had been discharged into Sydney Harbour causing damage. The court differentiated damage by fire from other types of physical damage to property for the purposes of liability in tort, saying ‘We have come back to the plain . .
CitedBourhill v Young’s Executor HL 5-Aug-1942
When considering claims for damages for shock, the court only recognised the action lying where the injury by shock was sustained ‘through the medium of the eye or the ear without direct contact.’ Wright L said: ‘No doubt, it has long ago been . .

Cited by:

CitedSimmons v British Steel plc HL 29-Apr-2004
The claimant was injured at work as a consequence of the defender’s negligence. His injuries became more severe, and he came to suffer a disabling depression.
Held: the Inner House had been wrong to characterise the Outer House decision as . .
Obiter rmarks doubtedM’Kew v Holland and Hannen and Cubitts (Scotland) Ltd 1969
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Damages

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.196527