Personal Injury - 1849- 1899

All matters relating to Personal Injury Law. See also Damages, and Torts General, Negligence, Professional Negligence, and Health and Safety Law. Damages for personal injury actions are normally included here.

These cases are extracted from a very large database. The entries on that database are now being published individually to the main website in a much improved form. As cases are published here, the entry here will be replaced by a link to the same case in that improved form on In addition the site includes very substantial numbers of cases after 2000. Please take the time to look.  

This page lists 13 cases, and was prepared on 19 May 2014. These case are being transferred one by one to the main site which presents them better, with links to full text where we have it, and much improved cross referencing.
Longmeid -v- Holliday; 1851
Richard Mitchell And Dorothy, His Wife, -v- Chrassweller And Another [1853] EngR 174; (1853) 13 CB 237; (1853) 138 ER 1189
27 Jan 1853

Personal Injury, Vicarious Liability
A master is responsible for an injury resulting from the negligence of his servant whilst driving his cart or carriage, provided the servant is at the time engaged in his master’s business, even though the accident happens in a place to which his master’s business did not call him: but, if the journey upon which the servant starts be solely for his own purposes, and is undertaken without the knowledge or consent of his master, the latter is not responsible. The defendants’ carman, having finished the business of the day, returned to their shop in Welbeck Street, with their horse and cart, and obtained the key of the stable, which was close at hand; but, instead of going there at once, and putting up the horse, as it was his duty to do, he, without his masters’ knowledge or consent, drove a fellow workman to Euston Square ; and, in his way back, ran over and injured the plaintiff and his wife. Held, that, inasmuch as the carman was not at the time of the accident engaged in the business of his masters, they were not responsible for the consequences of his unauthorised act. The declaration alleged that “the defendants were possessed of a certain cart and horse, which was being driven by and under the care and direction of their servant,” --not saying, at the time of the grievances complained of; and that, “whilst the plaintiff was crossing a certain street, &c., the defendants, by their servant, so negligently and improperty drove and directed the said cart and horse along the said street, that the plaintiff was knocked down and injured. Held, that the first allegation was immaterial, and not traversable ; and that, under ("not guilty,’’ the defendants might shew that the driver was not at the time of the accident acting as their servant. Quaere, as to the power of the judge to add a plea at the trial, under the 222nd section of the common law procedure act, 15 & 16 Vict. c, 76.
Link[s] omitted
Wootton -v- Dawkins [1857] EngR 408; (1857) 2 CB NS 412; (1857) 140 ER 477
18 Apr 1857

Personal Injury, Torts - Other
The plaintiff entered the defendant’s garden at night, and without his permission, to search for a stray fowl, and, whilst looking closely into some bushes, he came in contact with a wire, which caused something to explode with a loud noise, knocking him down and slightly injuring his face and eyes: Held, that the defendant was not liable for this injuryt common law, nor, in the absence of evidence that it was caused by a spring-gun or other engine “calculated to inflict grievous bodily harm,” under the statute 7 & 8 G. 4, c. 18, s. I.
Link[s] omitted
Jane Birkett, Executrix Of John Birkett, Deceased -v- The Whitehaven Junction Railway Company [1859] EngR 649; (1859) 4 H & N 730; (1859) 157 ER 1029
31 May 1859

Personal Injury
[ Commonlii ]
Lynch -v- Knight; HL 1861
Bolch -v- Smith [1862] EngR 369; (1862) 7 H & N 736; (1862) 158 ER 666
30 Jan 1862

Health and Safety, Personal Injury
Link[s] omitted
Read -v- Great Eastern Railway Company; 1868
Foulkes -v- Metropolitan District Railway Co (1880) 5 CPD 157

Personal Injury, Contract Casemap
1 Citers
The court considered the liability of a railway company where the plaintiff had bought his ticket from one railway company, but claimed liability from another which had undertaken responsibility for part of the services to be rendered to the plaintiff under the contract evidenced by the ticket.
Haigh -v- Royal Mail Steampacket Co Ltd [1883] 52 LJ QB 640
Brett MR
Damages, Personal Injury

“‘personal injury’ is not ‘loss’ because a limb may be broken without being lost. The word ‘injury’ would certainly have been more apt, but the word ‘damage’ can certainly mean personal injury”.
Brunsden -v- Humphrey (1884) 14 QBD 141
Bowen LJ
Personal Injury, Damages

The defendant had negligently caused damage to a cab driver and his vehicle in the same accident. The cab driver obtained damages for the damage to his vehicle. Held: He was not disentitled from bringing fresh proceedings for damages for personal injury. There were two causes of action. Bowen LJ discussed the single action rule, saying: "Nobody can doubt that if the plaintiff had recovered any damages for injury to his person, he could not have maintained a further action for fresh bodily injuries caused by the same act of negligence, merely because they had been discovered or developed subsequently." The rule is based on the maxim interest rei publicae ut sit finis litium, "otherwise great oppression might be done under colour and pretence of law."
Wakelin -v- London and South Western Railway Co; HL 1886
Joseph Smith (Pauper) -v- Charles Baker & Sons [1891] UKHL 2; [1891] AC 325
21 Jul 1891
Lord Halsbury LC
Personal Injury, Health and Safety
1 Cites
1 Citers
[ Bailii ]
Penny -v- Wimbledon Urban District Council; 1898