Torts I, Pages 251–252

Byrne v. Boadle

Court of Exchequer, 1863

Facts:

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.

Issue:

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

Judgment:

Judgment for the plaintiff.

Reasoning:

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

Rule/Holding:

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.