Torts I, Pages 251–252

Byrne v. Boadle

Court of Exchequer, 1863


Plaintiff was walking in a public street past defendant's shop. A barrel of flour was dropped by defendant's servants from a window above the shop and injured plaintiff.

Procedural History:

The Assessor found there was no evidence of negligence for the jury and nonsuited the plaintiff.


Whether defendant was liable for a barrel falling from his shop's warehouse


It would be preposterous to require plaintiff to prove defendant was negligent as the evidence of the act shows defendant violated his duty.


It is the duty of people keeping barrels in warehouses to keep them from rolling out. Failure to do so is negligence on the face.


Judgment for the plaintiff.