Caughie v Robertson & Company

Judgment Date15 October 1897
Docket NumberNo. 1.
Date15 October 1897
CourtCourt of Session
Court of Session
2d Division

Lord Justice-Clerk, Lord Young, Lord Trayner, Lord Moncreiff.

No. 1.
Robertson & Co.

Reparation—Safety of the public—Joint and several liability—Issue.—

In an action of damages for personal injury against two manufacturers ‘jointly and severally,’ the pursuer averred that his pupil son had been injured when walking along a public footpath in consequence of ‘falling into a heap of smouldering ashes placed there by the said defenders, or both or either of them,’ and that ‘the defenders have been for some time in the habit of tipping ashes in a live condition’ at the place in question. Each defender pleaded that the action was irrelevant.

Held (dub. Lord Trayner) that the pursuer was entitled to an issue.

Form of issue approved.

In February 1897 James Caughie, 53 Dunn Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow, as tutor and administrator-in-law of his pupil son Robert Caughie, raised an action in the Sheriff Court at Glasgow, against John Robertson & Company, calico printers, Springfield Print Works, Dalmarnock, and James Orr & Company, bleachers, dyers, and cloth finishers, Summerfield Works, Dalmarnock, praying for ‘decree against the above-named defenders, ordaining them, jointly and severally, to pay to the pursuer, as tutor and administrator-in-law to his pupil son, Robert Caughie, the sum of £200.’

The pursuer averred;— (Cond. 1) ‘… The defenders John Robertson & Company are calico printers, carrying on business at Springfield Print Works, Dalmarnock, Glasgow, and the defenders James Orr & Company are bleachers, dyers, and cloth finishers, carrying on business at Summerfield Works, Dalmarnock, aforesaid.’ (Cond. 2) ‘On or about 5th August 1896 the said Robert Caughie was walking upon the public footpath along the north or right bank of the River Clyde at Dalmarnock, when he fell into a heap of smouldering ashes, placed there by the said defenders, or both or either of them, and was severely burnt about the feet, legs, and right hand….’ (Cond. 3) ‘The above-mentioned smouldering ashes are situated immediately alongside of the said public footpath which follows the banks of the Clyde at this point. An embankment has been formed immediately south of the said Summerfield Works by the tipping of ashes across this footpath, which now goes over said embankment. Immediately along the edge of said footpath the defenders have been for some time in the habit of tipping ashes in a live condition. Those ashes, though dead to all...

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