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Bryne v. Boadle

From lawbrain.com

Bryne v. Boadle, 1863. 2 H. & C. 722, 159 Eng.Rep. 299, is a famous tort law case from England that first applied the concept of re ipsa loquitur- the legal doctrine providing that in some circumstances the mere fact of an occurrence raises an inference of negligence that establishes a prima facie case.

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Contents

Summary of Case Facts

Plaintiff was walking in front of the defendants flour shop and was struck by a barrel of flour on his shoulder and knocked towards the defendants shop.

Issue

Is the defendant negligent without concrete evidence based on the accident alone?

Holding and Law

Yes. The court applied a three part test to determine liability: 1.)The accident must be one that does not ordinarily occur unless someone is negligent. 2.)Condition must not have been due to the plaintiff’s actions or contributions 3.)Must be caused by an agency or instrumentality within the exclusive control of the defendant. Applied here, the accident alone provides prime facie evidence of negligence. It is apparent that the barrel was in possession of the defendant and his responsibility. The plaintiff is not bound to show that the barrel could not fall without negligence.

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