Woods v Thomas Wilson Sons and Co Ltd: HL 1 Mar 1915

A coalheaver was struck in the abdomen by a fall of coal while coaling a ship. He died from peritonitis, and the medical evidence showed him to have been suffering from chronic appendicitis. The question arose whether his death was the result of the blow or of the disease. The arbitrator found his widow entitled to compensation on the ground that the blow was the immediate cause of death though it would not have killed a healthy man. Held ( diss. Lords Parker and Sumner and rev. decision of Court of Appeal, 6 B.W.C.C. 750), that the award proceeded on sufficient evidence.


Earl Loreburn, Lords Atkinson, Parker, Sumner, and Parmoor


[1915] UKHL 516, 53 SLR 516




Workmen’s Compensation Act 1906


England and Wales

Health and Safety, Personal Injury

Updated: 26 April 2022; Ref: scu.620680