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Scott v. Shepherd

King’s Bench
96 Eng.Rep. 525 (1773)



On October 28, 1770, Shepherd (defendant) threw a lighted squib (i.e., a parcel containing gunpowder that was on fire) into a marketplace. The squib landed near a stand where Yates was selling gingerbread. Willis, afraid of injury and the damage it would cause to Yates’s goods, picked up the squib and threw it across the marketplace. It landed near a stand owned by Ryal, who was also selling goods. Ryal picked up the squib and threw it again across the market. The squib struck Scott (plaintiff) in the face and exploded, putting out one of Scott’s eyes. Scott brought suit against Shepherd for trespass and assault. The jury found in favor of Scott.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (De Grey, C.J.)

Dissent (Blackstone, J.)

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