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Groves v Wimborne

[1898] 2 QB 402

Case summary last updated at 20/01/2020 18:36 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Groves v Wimborne

D owned a factory and breached his statutory duty on fencing around dangerous machinery, as a result of which P was injured. P sued and CA held that this breach of statutory duty (NB NOT breach of merely general tortious duty of care) did give a cause of action. 
Rigby LJ: Whether an act is intended to grant a private action depends on taking a “purview” of the whole act. In this case, the only penalty proscribed by the act was a small fine and “the legislature cannot have seriously intended that whether the workman suffered death or mutilation the liability of the master should never exceed” this small fine. He comes to this conclusion because (1) the duty was absolute, and couldn’t be delegated; and (2) the harm caused by a breach of duty could far exceed the fine in terms of value. 

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