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Attia v British Gas

[1987] 3 All ER 455

Case summary last updated at 19/01/2020 10:50 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Attia v British Gas

D caused a fire to P’s home, and she sued him for negligence in causing her nervous shock. CA ruled that nervous shock could be admitted upon witnessing damage to property and NOT just physical injury (provided proximity and reasonable foreseeability could be proven). 
Lord Bingham: No reason why psychiatric shock should be allowed when it is caused by personal injury but not property damage. One argument advanced is the floodgates argument, but he says that this type of argument has always previously been overstated and rarely proved to be a justified fear. He says the need to prove reasonable foreseeability and psychiatric damage will prevent a flood of successful claims

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