ON 26 MAY 1932, the House of Lords delivered Donoghue v Stevenson  AC 562;  UKHL 100 (26 May 1932).
Mrs Donoghue suffered shock and severe gastro enteritis after consuming a bottle of ginger beer which contained the decomposed remains of a snail. The bottle had been purchased by her friend. She sought damages from the manufacturer without having a contractual relationship with them.
Mrs Donoghue was awarded damages as the court ruled that the manufacturer owed her a duty to take reasonable care and that duty existed independently of the contract.
The case established the tort of negligence.
Per Lord Atkin:
“You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour. Who then in law is my neighbour? The answer seems to be persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question.”
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