In re Polemis, 3 K.B. 560 (1921)

Nov 8, 2022 State Case Briefs
Benzine drums

FACTS: The stevedores created a make-shift platform to facilitate the transfer of benzine drums. When the stevedores hoisted the sling that contained the benzine, the benzine struck the wooden platform. The fall of the benzine onto the platform caused an explosion. As a result of the fire, the ship was destroyed.

ISSUE: Whether a reasonable person would find defendant negligent and responsible for the damages caused by the explosion.

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: In its evaluation of the case, the Court found that the falling platform caused the explosion. The Court also agreed with the Arbitrators, who found the defendants had control over the benzine. The explosion, in the Court’s view, would not have occurred but for the benzine falling onto the platform. While defendants alleged they were unable to foresee the explosion, they are still liable for damages because the explosion was a proximate cause of the falling platform.

CONCLUSION: Because the explosion was a proximate cause of the falling platform that defendants had control over, the plaintiff can recover. Indeed, the Court dismissed the appeal.

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.

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