Winterbottom v Wright: 1842

Owing to negligence in the construction of a carriage it broke down. A third party sought damages for injuries which he alleged were due to negligence in the work.
Held: The doctrine of privity of contract precluded actions in tort by third parties arising from negligence by a party to a contract in carrying it out. He had no cause of action either in tort or arising out of contract. ‘The only safe rule is to confine the right to recover to those who enter into the contract; if we go one step beyond that, there is no reason why we should not go fifty.’


Alderson B


(1842) 10 M and W 109, 152 ER 402


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedDonoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – 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 . .
CitedBlacker v Lake and Elliot Ld HL 1912
A brazing lamp which, by exploding owing to a latent defect, injured a person other than the purchaser of it, and the vendor was held not liable to the party injured. The House considered earlier cases on liability for defectively manufactured . .
AppliedEarl v Lubbock CA 1905
The plaintiff was injured when a wheel came off a van which he was driving for his employer, and which it was the duty of the defendant, under contract with the employer, to keep in repair. The county court judge and the Divisional Court both hold . .
CitedHeaven v Pender, Trading As West India Graving Dock Company CA 30-Jul-1883
Duty Arising to Use Ordinary Care and Skill
The plaintiff was a painter. His employer engaged to repaint a ship, and the defendant erected staging to support the work. The staging collapsed because one of the ropes was singed and weakened, injuring the plaintiff.
Held: The defendant had . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.192606