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Doughty v Turner

[1964] 1 QB 518

Case summary last updated at 15/01/2020 19:36 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Doughty v Turner

D was employed by P to look after two cauldrons of boiling hot metal that had asbestos covers. D accidentally let the cover slide into the cauldron. Since the cover was bought off a reputable manufacturer, nobody thought it was dangerous that the cover was in the cauldron and they stayed in the room. The metal exploded injuring D. CA dismissed D’s claim since the only reasonably foreseeable damage was that there might be a “splash”, while an explosion was completely unforeseeable. Therefore, because the actual danger was of a fundamentally different type to the reasonably foreseeable danger, P was not liable. Harman LJ says that unlike in Hughes where the explosion was merely on a larger than expected scale of the same type of damage, the difference between “splash” and explosion here is fundamental. 

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