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The Case of Donoghue V. Stevenson

             If you where to ask a lawyer today what case they think is the most famous case in legal history most would say without hesitation the case of Donoghue v. Stevenson. May Donoghue has had a huge impact on millions of people's lives around the world. Her story without doubt is one of the most famous in legal history. From a small town in Scotland all the way to the House of Lords in London. .
             It all started at the Welleadow café in Paisley August 1928 when a lady friend of Mrs. Donoghue purchased a "pear and ice- for herself and a bottle of ginger beer for May Donoghue. What they didn't know was that the bottle of ginger beer purchased for Mrs. Donoghue contained the remains of a decomposed snail. The ginger beer came in a dark brown coloured bottle this making it very hard to see through the bottle hence why they didn't notice the snail. As Mrs. Donoghue's lady friend poured the last of the bottles contents into Mrs. Donoghue's glass the remains of the decomposed snail flowed out. May Donoghue suffered from shock and severe gastro-enteritis. Because May Donoghue's lady friend purchased the bottle of ginger beer not Mrs. Donoghue herself she did not have a contract with the café owner so she could not sue under contact law. May Donoghue knew because she didn't buy the drink directly from the café owner he couldn't be held liable so she hired a lawyer to sue the manufacture, David Stevenson her argument was that he owed her a duty of care even though she did not have a contract with him. After four years of debate Mrs. Donoghue won her case against Mr. Stevenson. And the House of the Lords the highest court in London developed the new principle that everyone has a duty of care to avoid acts which are likely to harm your neighbour. Neighbour being any body close to you that will be likely to suffer harm from your actions. .
             If May Donoghue was the one that purchased the drink she would have been able to sue the café owner under contact law because the owner was in breach of the contract formed between him and the customer when he sold a product that was not fit for consumption.

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