McQueen v Great Western Rly Co: CA 1875

If a prima facie case is made out capable of being displaced, and if the party against whom it is established might by calling particular witnesses and producing particular evidence displace that prima facie case, and he omits to adduce that evidence then the inference fairly arises, as a matter of inference for the jury and not a matter of legal presumption, that the absence of that evidence is to be accounted for by the fact that even if it was adduced it would not displace the prima facie case. But that always pre-supposes that a prima facie case has been established and unless we can see our way clearly to the conclusion that a prima facie case has been established, the omission to call witness who might have been called on the part of the defendants amounts to nothing.


Cockburn C J


(1875) LR 10 QB 569


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedLiennard v Slough Borough Council QBD 15-Mar-2002
The claimant sought damages from the respondents who had been responsible for his education, for having failed to diagnose his learning difficulties. The school had recognised that he was underachieving, but diagnosis as to the reason was not easy. . .
CitedWisniewski v Central Manchester Health Authority CA 1997
The court considered the effect of a party failing to bring evidence in support of its case, as regards the court drawing inferences: ‘(1) In certain circumstances a court may be entitled to draw adverse inferences from the absence or silence of a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 02 June 2022; Ref: scu.184029