Byrne v. Boadle, 159 E.R. 299 (1863)

Nov 6, 2022 State Case Briefs
barrels

FACTS: Byrne was walking in a public street past Boadle’s shop. A barrel from Defendant’s shop fell onto Byrne. As a result, Byrne was injured and incurred medical expenses.

ISSUE: Whether Byrne (Plaintiff) may rely upon the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to infer Boadle (Defendant) is negligent and responsible for the barrel of flour dropping onto him.

RULE: Negligence requires a showing that defendant owed a duty of care to Plaintiff, defendant breached duty of care, Plaintiff was injured, and Defendant’s negligence resulted in Plaintiff’s injuries. Res ipsa loquitur applies if a defendant had sole control of the object that caused the injury. Second, the accident would not have occurred but for defendant’s negligence.

ANALYSIS: Defendant had the duty to maintain their barrels and to ensure they did not roll out. The Court reasoned that a barrel could not roll out on its own without Defendant being negligent.

CONCLUSION: Yes. Plaintiff may rely upon the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to infer Defendant is negligent and responsible for the barrel of flour dropping onto him.

Quianna Canada

Quianna Canada

Quianna Canada is a B.A. Law student at the University of Arizona and a human rights defender. Her conversance with the American criminal justice system has made her passionate about justice and equality. Her focused researched on the ills of rankism, racism, and gender-based prejudice makes her an insightful expert at identifying maltreatment immanent in institutions, and how oppression effects ostracised persons in the world.