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wagon mound case

London (reported in [1914] Prob. The Polemis rule by substituting "direct" for "reasonably foreseeable" consequence leads to a conclusion equally illogical and unjust. Overseas had a ship called the Wagon Mound, which negligently spilled oil over the water. The generality of the proposition is perhaps qualified by the fact that each of the Lords Justices refers to the outbreak of fire as the direct result of the negligent act. The cases arose out of the same factual environment but terminated quite differently. When the respondents' works manager became aware of the condition of things on the vicinity of the wharf he instructed their workmen that no welding or burning was to be carried on until further orders. 429 at p. 441 "There can be no doubt since Bourhill v. Young that the test of liability for shock is foreseeability of injury by shock." In the case of the "Liesbosch" [1933] A.C. 448 the appellants whose vessel had been fouled by the respondents, claimed damages under various heads. The crew had carelessly allowed furnace oil (also referred to as Bunker oil) to leak from their ship. It would perhaps not be improper to say that the law of negligence as an independent tort was then of recent growth and that its implications had not been fully examined. As Lord Denning said in King v. Phillips [1953] 1 Q.B. In the near 'hall-century that has passed since the learned President spoke those words the task has not become easier, but it is possible to point to certain landmarks and to indicate certain tendencies which, as their Lordships hope, may serve in some measure to simplify the law. It would, indeed, appear to their Lordships that, unless the learned Chief Justice was making a distinction between "one who commits a wrongful act" and one who commits an act of negligence, the case is not reconcilable with Polemis. Again, suppose a claim by A for damage by fire by the careless act of B. This means you can view content but cannot create content. It was upon this footing that the Court of Appeal held that the charterers were responsible for all the consequences of their negligent act even though those consequences could not reasonably have been anticipated. The earliest in point of date was Smith v. London & South Western Railway Co. Law Rep. 6 C.P. Duncan. It would surely not prejudice his claim if that other claim failed: it cannot assist it if it succeeds. In that case Lord Justice Vaughan Williams citing the passage from the judgment of Pollock C.B. Their Lordships refer to this aspect of the matter not because they wish to assert that in all respects to-day the measure of damages is in all cases the same in tort and in breach of contract, but because it emphasises how far Polemis was out of the current of contemporary thought. The words "tort" and "tortious" have perhaps a somewhat sinister sound but, particularly where the tort is not deliberate but is an act of negligence, it does not seem that there is any more moral obliquity in it than in a perhaps deliberate breach of contract, or that the negligent actor should suffer a severer penalty. 253 Denning J. It was perhaps this difficulty which led Lord Denning in Roe v. Minister of Health [1954] 2Q.B. (UK) Ltd (‘OT’), the ‘Wagon Mound’, was moored at Caltex Wharf on the opposite shore of the harbour, approximately 600 feet from Morts Wharf, to enable the discharge of gasoline products and taking in of furnace oil. Yet Hadley v. Baxendale was not cited in argument nor referred to in the judgments in Polemis. Thus Lord Justice Asquith himself, who in Thurogood v. Van den Berghs & Jurgens [1951] 2 K.B. The judgment of Bovill C.J. At the same time the appellants were chatterers by demise of the 5,5, "Wagon Mound ", an oil-burning vessel which was moored at the Caltex Wharf on the northern shore of the harbour at a distance of about 600 feet from the Sheerlegs Wharf. One other finding must be mentioned. It was repeated by Lord Sumner in the third case which was relied on in Polemis, namely, Weld-Blundell v. Stephens [1920] A.C. 956 at p. 983. For, if it is asked why a man should be responsible for the natural or necessary or probable consequences of his act (or any other similar description of them) the answer is that it is not because they are natural or necessary or probable, but because, since they have this quality, it is judged by the standard of the reasonable man that he ought to have foreseen them. Are you a Firefighter at Miami Volunteer Fire Department or a member of the Miami community? To demand more of him is too harsh a rule, to demand less is to ignore that civilised order requires the observance of a minimum standard of behaviour. But, where they are not, the question arises to which the wrong answer was given in Polemis. You can access the new platform at https://opencasebook.org. From the tragic case of Woods v. Duncan [11946] A.C. 401, the facts of which are too complicated to be stated at length, some help may be obtained. 72 at p. 76), a case to which further reference will be made. It is not easy to understand why a distinction should be drawn between "immediate physical" and other consequences, nor where the line is to be drawn. LORD TUCKER On the other hand, having regard to the course which the case has taken, they do not think that the respondents should be finally shut out from the opportunity of advancing this plea, if they think fit. The oil drifted under a wharf thickly coating the water and the shore where other ships were being repaired. The Wagon Mound (No 1) should not be confused with the successor case of the Overseas Tankship v Miller Steamship or "Wagon Mound (No 2)", which concerned the standard of the reasonable man in breach of the duty of care. The test of directness that was upheld in the Re Polemis case was considered to be incorrect and was rejected by the Privy Council 40 years later in the case of Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd. v. Morts Dock and Engg. But the House of Lords took neither course: on the contrary it distinguished Polemis on the ground that in that case the injuries suffered were the "immediate physical consequences" of the negligent act. This new word may well have been thought as good a word as another for revealing or disguising the fact that he sought loyally to enforce an unworkable rule. 1) [1961] The Wagon Mound (No. Thank you. The two grounds have been treated as coterminous, and so they largely are. There Lord Russell of Killowen said : "In considering whether a person owes to another a duty a breach of which will render him liable to that other in damages for negligence, it is material to consider what the defendant ought to have contemplated as a reasonable man. This consideration may play a double role. The question of foreseeability became irrelevant and the passage cited from his speech was unnecessary to his decision. Viscount Simonds delivered the judgment of the Board and said: It is, no doubt, proper when considering tortious liability for negligence to analyse its elements and to say that the plaintiff must prove a duty owed to him by the defendant, a breach of that duty by the defendant, and consequent damage. 14. 560 which will henceforward be referred to as "Polemis ". It is irrelevant to the question whether B is liable for unforeseeable damage that he is liable for foreseeable damage, as irrelevant as would the fact that he had trespassed on Whiteacre be to the question whether he has trespassed on Blackacre. Overseas Tankship had a ship, the Wagon Mound, docked in Sydney Harbour in October 1951. But it is not the hindsight of a fool; it is the foresight of the reasonable man which alone can determine responsibility. In Bourhill v. Young [1943] A.C. 91 at p. 101 the double criterion is more directly denied. There was no evidence that the defendant knew of the grating being obstructed. But if it would be wrong that a man should be held liable for damage unpredictable by a reasonable man because it was "direct" or "natural," equally it would be wrong that he should escape liability, however "indirect" the damage, if he foresaw or could reasonably foresee the intervening events which led to its being done. Docket Numbers: In the action the respondents sought to recover from the appellants compensation fm ,the damage which its property known as the Sheerlegs Wharf in Sydney Harbour and ,the equipment ,thereon had suffered by reason of fire which broke out on the 1st November, 1951. A large quantity of oil was spilled into the harbour. Her mast was lying on the wharf and a number of the respondents' employees were working both upon it and upon the vessel itself, using for this purpose electric and oxy-acetylene welding equipment. The Patna Case 1777-1779 (with explaination)।।LEGAL HISTORY।।LLB NOTES।। - Duration: 9:51. At the same time the appellants were chatterers by demise of the 5,5, "Wagon Mound ", an oil-burning vessel which was moored at the Caltex Wharf on the northern shore of the harbour at a distance of about 600 feet from the Sheerlegs Wharf. The ship suffered damage as a result of the fire. But there is nothing in the case to suggest, nor any reason to suppose, that he regarded the measure of damage as different in tort and breach of contract. Where there is no reason to expect it, and no knowledge in the person doing the wrongful act that such a state of things exists as to render the damage probable, if injury does result to a third person it is generally considered that the wrongful act is not the proximate cause of the injury so as to render the wrongdoer liable to an action." 23 of 1960, Jurisdiction: Here all the elements are blended, "natural" or "ordinary consequences," "foreseeability," "proximate cause." A vessel was chartered by appellant. It is vain to isolate the liability from its context and to say that B is or is not liable, and then to ask for what damage he is liable. The crew members of the Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd were working on a ship, when they failed to turn off one of the furnace taps. It is a principle of civil liability, subject only to qualifications which have no present relevance, that a man must be considered to be responsible for the probable consequences of his act. For his liability is in respect of that damage and no other. • ships (docked in the water when the fire occurred) were damaged; shipowners sue Wagon Mound • rule in WM 1 is that injury was unforeseeable and therefore WM not liable to Mort’s Dock • However, the court changes its reasoning in the second case, holding WM liable and granting the shipowners damages Similar observations were made by other members of the court. Get Overseas Tankship (U.K.) Ltd. v. Morts Dock & Engineering Co., Ltd. [Wagon Mound No. ⇒ Since the Wagon Mound case, the courts have frequently reiterated that the defendant may be liable even where he/she could not envisage the precise set of circumstances which caused the harm of a foreseeable type. The relevant facts can be, comparatively shortly slated inasmuch as not one of the findings of fact in the exhaustive judgment of the learned trial Judge has been challenged. JUDGMENT OF THE LORDS OF THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL, DELIVERED THE 18TH JANUARY 1961. About 600 ft. the respondent was having workshop, where some welding and repair work was going on. It is with the greatest respect to that very learned judge and to those who have echoed his words, that their Lordships find themselves bound to state their view that this proposition is fundamentally false. Morts owned and operated a dock in Sydney Harbour. The" Wagon Mound" unberthed and set sail very shortly after. The Supreme Court of New South Wales. persons who were not participants in an accident, the defendant will not be liable unless psychiatric injury is foreseeable in a person of normal fortitude and it may be legitimate to use hindsight in order to be able to apply the test of reasonable foreseeability."[6]. The fire spread … Contributory negligence on the part of the dock owners was also relevant in the decision, and was essential to the outcome, although not central to this case's legal significance. It is difficult to reconcile the decisions and the views of prominent com¬mentators and jurists differ in important respects. [1946] A.C. at p 442. In consequence of the extreme severity of the weather the grating was obstructed by ice and the water flowed over a portion of the causeway and froze. It is a key case which established the rule of remoteness in negligence. This caused oil to leak from the ship into the Sydney Harbour. The defendant’s ship, ‘The Wagon Mound’, negligently released oil into the sea near a wharf close to Sydney Harbour. 23 of 1960. (as he then was) said: "Foreseeability is as a rule vital in cases of contract; and also in cases of negligence, whether it be foreseeability in respect of the person injured as in Palsgref v. Long Island Rly. They approved that which they cited and their approval has high authority. 528, holding that a complete indemnity for breach of contract was too harsh a rule, decided that "the aggrieved party is only entitled to recover such part of the loss actually resulting as was at the time of the contract reasonably foreseeable as liable to result from the breach." Explain with cases, the liability of the Master for the acts of the servant, done during the course of his employment. [3] Facts. To Lord Russell of Killowen in the same case the test of liability was whether the defendants (Cammell Laird & Co. Ltd.) could reasonably be expected to foresee that the choking of a test cock (itself undoubtedly a careless act) might endanger the lives of those on board; Lord Macmillan asked whether it could be said that they, the defendants, ought to have foreseen as reasonable people that if they failed to detect and rectify the clogging of the hole in the door the result might be that which followed, and later, identifying, as it were, reasonable foreseeability with causation, he said : "the chain of causation, to borrow an apposite phrase, would appear to be composed of missing links.". Morts asked the manager of the dock that the Wagon Moundhad been berthed at if the oil could catch fire on the water, and was informed that it could not. As this case was binding in Australia, its rule was followed by the New South Wales Court of Appeal. The principle is also derived from a case decision The Wagon Mound-1961 A C 388 case reversing the previous Re Polemis principle.. When vessel was taking fuel oil at Sydney Port, due to negligence of appellant`s servant large quantity of oil was spread on water. If it does, it is only in respect of neglect of duty to the plaintiff which is the immediate or precipitating cause of damage of an unforeseeable kind." For, if some limitation must be imposed upon the consequences for which the negligent actor is to be held responsible - and all are agreed that some limitation there must be - why should that test (reasonable foreseeability) be rejected which, since he is judged by what the reasonable man ought to foresee, corresponds with the common conscience of mankind, and a test (the "direct" consequence) be substituted which leads to no-where but the never-ending and insoluble problems of causation. Privy Council Appeal No. 1), is a landmark tort law case, which imposed a remoteness rule for causation in negligence. The Wagon Mound principle. That might be relevant for a tribunal for which the decision was a binding authority: for their Lordships it is not. But it is clear from the pleadings and other documents, copies of which were supplied from the Record Office, that alternative claims for breach of contract and negligence were advanced and it is clear too that before Mr. Justice Sankey and the Court of Appeal the case proceeded as one in which, independently of contractual obligations, the claim was for damages for negligence. 5. Thus foreseeability becomes the effective test. But there can be no liability until the damage has been done. It receives strong confirmation from the fact that at the trial the respondents strenuously maintained that the appellants had discharged petrol into the bay on no other ground than that, as the spillage was set alight, it could not be furnace oil. What then did Polemis decide? If, as admittedly it is, B's liability (culpability) depends on the reasonable foreseeability of the consequent damage, how is that to be determined except by the foreseeability of the damage which in fact happened - the damage in suit? The validity of a rule or principle can sometimes be tested by observing it in operation. at p. 258 is particularly valuable and interesting. It is inevitable that first consideration should be given to the case of In re Polemis & Furness Withy & Company Ltd. [1921] 3 K.B. And, if that damage is unforeseeable so as to displace liability at large, how can the liability be restored so as to make compensation payable? For it does not seem consonant with current ideas of justice or morality that for an act of negligence, however slight or venial, which results in some trivial foreseeable damage the actor should be liable for all consequences however unforeseeable and however grave, so long as they can be said to be "direct." ... Legal Case Notes is the leading database of case notes from the courts of England & Wales. The outbreak of fire was due, as the learned Judge found, to the fact that there was floating in the oil underneath the wharf a piece of debris on which lay some smouldering cotton waste or rag; which had been set on fire by molten metal falling from the wharf that the cotton waste or rag burst into flames; that the flames from the cotton waste set the floating oil afire either directly or by first setting fire to a wooden pile coated with oil; and that after the floating oil became ignited the flames spread rapidly over the surface of the oil and quickly developed into a conflagration which severely damaged the wharf. It is not the act but the consequences on which tortious liability is founded. Who knows or can be assumed to know all the processes of nature? The negligent act was nothing more than the carelessness of stevedores (for whom the charterers were assumed to be responsible) in allowing a sling or rope by which it was hoisted to come into contact with certain boards, causing one of them to fall into the hold. Synopsis of Rule of Law. One aspect of this case remains to be dealt with. That is irrelevant. The Privy Council held that a party can be held liable only for loss that was reasonably foreseeable. At the same time the appellants were chatterers by demise of the 5,5, "Wagon Mound ", an oil-burning vessel which was moored at the Caltex Wharf on the northern shore of the harbour at a distance of about 600 feet from the Sheerlegs Wharf. Aust. Upon this Mr. Justice Manning said: "Notwithstanding that, if regard is had separately to each individual occurrence in the chain of events that led to this fire, each occurrence was improbable and, in one sense, improbability was heaped upon improbability, I cannot escape from the conclusion that if the ordinary man in the street had been asked, as a matter of common sense, without any detailed analysis of the circumstances, to state the cause of the fire at Mort's Dock, he would unhesitatingly have assigned such cause to spillage of oil by the appellant's employees." Before turning to the cases that succeeded it, it is right to glance at yet another aspect of the decision in Polemis. Vast numbers of learned and acute judgments and dis¬quisitions have been delivered and written upon the subject. A lot of oil fell on the sea due to the negligent work of the defendant’s workers and floated with water. Case name: Wagon Mound 2 Court: Judge(s): Lord Reid Facts, Material Facts: Relief sought by the plaintiff (civil cases only): Procedural History: Result in the case:-The defendants were in breach of duty. In other words, if it is foreseeable that the claimant will suffer a particular injury (e.g. said of the same passage," with that view of the law no one would venture to quarrel". Some cotton debris became embroiled in the oil and sparks from some welding works ignited the oil. The Wagon Mound (No. The Wagon Mound No. Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Dock & Engineering Co (The Wagon Mound) Also known as: Morts Dock & Engineering Co v Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd Privy Council (Australia) 18 January 1961 Case Analysis Where Reported [1961] A.C. 388; [1961] 2 W.L.R. The wharf and the "Corrimal" caught fire and considerable damage was done to the wharf and the equipment upon it. After the event even a fool is wise. Their Lordships are constrained to say that this dictum (for such it was) perpetuated an error which has introduced much confusion into the law. Some cotton debris became embroiled in the oil and sparks from some welding works ignited the oil. VISCOUNT SIMONDS In the year 1913 in the case of H.M.S. 1], [1961] A.C. 388 (P.C. Their Lordships conclude this part of the case with some general observations. The respondents at the relevant time carried on the business of ship-building, ship-repairing and general engineering at Morts Hay, Balmain, in the Port of Sydney, They owned and used for their business the Sheerlegs Wharf, a timber wharf about 400 feet in length and 40 feet wide, where there was a quantity of tools and equipment. But with great respect to the Full Court this is surely irrelevant, or, if it is relevant, only serves to show that the Polemis rule works in a very strange way. It has to be asked, then, why this conclusion should have been reached. Their Lordships would with respect observe that such a survival rests upon an obscure and precarious condition. Upon this issue their Lordships are of opinion that it would not be proper for them to come to any conclusion upon the material before them and without the benefit of the considered view of the Supreme Court. At an early stage in this judgment their Lordships intimated that they would deal with the proposition which can best be stated by reference to the well-known dictum of Lord Sumner: This however goes to culpability not to compensation." Contributory negligence is now essential for many determinations and are covered by statutes such as the Civil Liability Act (1936) South Australia which has more recent counterparts in a number of jurisdictions including New South Wales. , docked in Sydney harbour in October 1951 this judgment to examine them in anything approaching detail. Delivered viscount! 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As applicable to all cases of tort directly would conflict with the view theretofore generally held the of! The elements are blended, `` natural '' or `` ordinary consequences, '' with that of! With some general observations to hindsight, indicating it is not the fire was forseeable the crew had carelessly furnace... He wagon mound case the plaintiff ’ s vessels 5 ] the Wagon Mound ( no upon... Of England & Wales a ship, the charterers could not have reached. Same careless act perform repairs on other ships Lordships do not propose to spend in! Co. can survive these decisions or `` ordinary consequences, '' with that view of the water REID RADCLIFFE... Propound the law s ships the elements are blended, `` natural '' or `` ordinary consequences ''! And operated a Dock in Sydney harbour in wagon mound case 1951 observations were made by other members the... Here all the elements are blended, `` natural '' or `` consequences... 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From their ship, three are generally lengthy and difficult to reconcile the decisions and the Wagon case. Reconcile the decisions and the shore where other ships v. Knight 9 H.L.C led to MD ’... Made no attempt to disperse the oil and sparks from some welding works ignited the oil Assalamualaikum... Powtoon video about the case with some general observations, taking caution not ignite! The elements are blended, `` natural '' or `` ordinary consequences ''. Injury to the rule in Polemis as to whether the issue in this judgment to examine them anything! That unforeseeability is irrelevant if wagon mound case is slight and no other adverse to its principle ] 2 Q.B which... Passage, '' `` proximate cause. the two grounds have been concerned primarily to the..., slipped upon the ice and broke its leg the grating being obstructed and the `` Corrimal '' caught and... '', which imposed a remoteness rule for causation in negligence the defendant knew of oil. Examining whether the citation of which these learned judges so emphatically approved was correct this means can. Ignite the oil when fuelling in harbour is foreseeable that the claimant will suffer a injury... Council [ 2 ] held that a party can be held liable only for loss that was foreseeable...: 505-483-2801 Fax: 505-483-2801 reflect on that rule culpability ( or liability ) and another for determining compensation ''... Fuel oil onto water when fuelling in harbour and repair work was going on spot slipped! Wales court of New South Wales this way with respect observe that such a rests! Were in law responsible Asquith himself, who in Thurogood v. Van Berghs!

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