Donohe V Anglo American Oil Case Summary

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Assignment: Laws 7100


Before Donohue v Stevenson was decided in 1932 it was unclear whether the transferor of a product owed any duty of care to the ultimate receiver of the goods. It was taken as a matter of fact that there was a clear absence of contractual agreement between the parties and therefore no Duty of Care. The only Duty of Care implied was if the goods were in a class of “Dangerous Chattels” (the privity of contract fallacy 10-2) or if the goods in question were known to the transferor as being dangerous. (Langridge V Levy (1837).)

The problem with this framework was not only the fact that ultimate receiver of the goods and the purchaser of the goods were often different individuals, but also in the confusion of the classification of Dangerous Goods. This was prominently highlighted in the case of Hodge v Anglo American Oil Case
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The neighbor principal and in fact the precedent set by the Donohue v Stevenson case does have its detractors. Prior to the establishment of the Donohue v Stevenson principal of Neighbour Principal there was a degree of movement toward establishing a more consumer rights based Tort principal. In total contrast to the idea of consumer rights, the neighbor principal frames the faults of the defendant and does not focus at all on the rights of the Plaintiff or in the case of Donohue v Stevenson the appellant.

Prior to the precedent of the Neighbour principal, Thomas Cooley, William Blackstone, Frederick Pollock and Percy Winfield had proposed a more general acceptance that Tort Laws should be more structured toward the protection of individual’s

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