Blacker v lake and elliot 4 is of importance because

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Blacker v Lake and Elliot(4) is of importance because of the survey of previous decisions which itcontains. It related to a brazing lamp which, by exploding owing to a latent defect, injured a personother than the purchaser of it, and the vendor was held not liable to the party injured. There appearsto have been some difference of opinion between HAMILTON, J, and LUSH, J, who heard the casein the Divisional Court, whether the lamp was an inherently dangerous thing. The case seems to haveturned largely on the question whether, there being a contract for sale of the lamp between the vendorand the purchaser, the article was of such a dangerous character as to impose upon the vendor in aquestion with a third party any responsibility for its condition. This question was answered in thenegative. So far as negligence was concerned, it may well have been regarded as too remote, for Ifind that HAMILTON, J, used these words (106 LT at p 537):"In the present case all that can be said is that the defendants did not know that their lampwas not perfectly safe and had no reason to believe that it was not so in the sense that noone had drawn their attention to the fact, but that had they been wiser men or moreexperienced engineers they would then have known what the plaintiff's experts say thatthey ought to have known."I should doubt indeed if that is really a finding of negligence at all. The case on its facts is very farfrom the present one, and if any principle of general application call be derived from it adverse to theappellant's contention I should not be disposed to approve of such principle. I may add that inWhiteand wife v Steadman(34) ([1913] 3 KB at p 348) I find that LUSH, J, who was a party to the decisioninBlacker v Lake and Elliot, Ltd(4) expressed the view that
Page | 91"a person who has the means of knowledge and only does not know that the animal orchattel which he supplies is dangerous because he does not take ordinary care to availhimself of his opportunity of knowledge is in precisely the same position as the personwho knows."As forBates v Batey & Co, Ltd(13) where a ginger-beer bottle burst owing to a defect in it which,though unknown to the manufacturer of the ginger-beer, could have been discovered by him by theexercise of reasonable care, HORRIDGE, J, there held that the plaintiff who bought the bottle ofginger-beer from a retailer to whom the manufacturer had sold it and who was injured by its explosionhad no right to action against the manufacturer. The case does not advance matters, for it really turnsupon the fact that the manufacturer did not know that the bottle was defective, and this, in the viewof HORRIDGE, J, as he read the authorities, was enough to absolve the manufacturer. I would observethat in a true case of negligence knowledge of the existence of the defect causing damage is not anessential element at all.

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Term
Summer
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Tags
Court of Appeal, Land Drainage Act

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