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Scots Law Tales$
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John Grant and Elaine E. Sutherland

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781845860677

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781845860677.001.0001

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The Snail in the Ginger Beer Float

The Snail in the Ginger Beer Float

Donoghue v Stevenson

(p.83) Chapter 5 The Snail in the Ginger Beer Float
Scots Law Tales

Elspeth Reid

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the civil reparation lawsuit filed by May Donoghue against David Stevenson, a manufacturer of ginger beer. Donoghue alleged that the ginger beer float that she drank contained the decomposing remains of a snail, and caused her to suffer from gastro-enteritis. She initially claimed to the Court of Session that Stevenson should have observed duty of care as the concoction's manufacturer. In his defence, Stevenson argued that manufacturers could not be reasonably required to answer for the safety of their products to the ultimate consumers, to whom they do not owe duty of care. Donoghue won in the first instance the case was tried, causing Stevenson to appeal before the House of Lords, which also favoured Donoghue.

Keywords:   May Donoghue, David Stevenson, ginger beer float, gastro-enteritis, Court of Session, duty of care, House of Lords

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