case law

EXTRA INFO I “THINK” MIGHT HELP

So in regards to liability/ breach of duty

Bolton V stone 1951 – calculus of risk – has breach of duty occurred?

Miss Stone was injured when she was struck by a cricket ball outside her home. She brought an action against the cricket club in nuisance and negligence. The cricket field was surrounded by a 7 foot fence. The pitch was sunk ten feet below ground so the fence was 17 feet above the cricket pitch. The distance from the striker to the fence was about 78 yards and just under 100 yards from where the claimant was standing. A witness who lived in the same road as the claimant but close to pitch said that five or six times during the last 30 years he had known balls hit his house or come into the yard. Two members of the Club, of over 30 years’ standing, agreed that the hit was altogether exceptional to anything previously seen on that ground.

Held, that the members of the club were not liable in damages to the injured person, whether on the ground of negligence or nuisance.

Although the possibility of the ball being hit on to the highway might reasonably have been foreseen, this was not sufficient to establish negligence, since the risk of injury to anyone in such a place was so remote that a reasonable person would not have anticipated it.


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