Seren V Harwood Case Study

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In Haynes v. Harwood, the defendant’s servants negligently left a horse van unattended in a crowded street. The throwing of stones at the horses by a child, made them bolt and a policeman was injured in an attempt to stop them with a view to rescuing the woman and children on the road. One of the defences pleaded by the defendant was novus actus interveniens, or remoteness of consequences, i.e., the mischief of the child was the proximate cause and the negligence of the defendant’s servants was the remote cause. It was held that the defendant was liable even though the horses had bolted when a child threw stones on them, because such a mischief on the part of the children was anticipated. “It is not true to say that where the plaintiff has…show more content…
Ltd. According to the test of directness, a person is liable for all the direct consequences of this wrongful act, whether he could have foreseen them or not; because consequences which directly follow a wrongful act are not too remote. The only question which has to be seen in such a case is whether the defendant’s act is wrongful or not, i.e., could he foresee some damage? If the answer to this question is in the affirmative, i.e., if he could foresee any damage to the plaintiff, then he is liable not merely for those consequences which he could have foreseen but for all the direct consequences of his wrongful act. The first authority for the view advocating the directness test is the case of Smith v. London & South Western Railway Company, the railway company was negligent in allowing a heap of trimmings of hedges and grass near a railway line during dry weather. Spark from the railway engine set fire to the material. Due to the high wind, the fire was carried to the plaintiff’s cottage which was burnt. The defendants were held liable even though they could not have foreseen the loss to the
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