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Tuesday March 26th 2019Tim Candler9

 

    "Difficult Issues...." As an understatement, it does strike the kind of chord the organ of a cathedral might produce for a scene in a Frankenstein movie. I would have gone for "Tricky Business," but the only legalese that's fun to read is a Casebook of Torts. One case called Donoghue and Stevenson, 1932, the British House of Lords established a Duty to Care. Mr. Stevenson was a manufacturer of Ginger Beer. Mrs. Donoghue was having a day out and she chose to purchase a bottle of Mr. Stevenson's Ginger Beer in a Cafe, and half way through drinking that bottle of Ginger Beer Mrs. Donoghue discovered the bottle contained a Snail. The Snail, Mrs. Donoghue claimed, made her very ill.

 

Past

     Torts are about Mens Rea, Guilty Mind, a case law of how intention or knowledge of wrong doing has been demonstrated by lawyers in the courts. The Duty to Care was an onus on the defendant. He had an obligation to actually care whether there were snails in his bottle of Ginger Beer. As the case wound through the mysteries of a court system where principal actors in the drama of the court room wear wigs, the case finally found its way back to the local level where it was determined to try the case on the Facts. The local court was unable to decide with certainty that there was actually a snail in the bottle of Ginger Beer. Either way, after Mr. Stevenson died the case was settled out of court. His estate parted with 200 pounds sterling instead of the claim for 500 pounds.

 

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