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Williams v. Holland
House of Lords
131 Eng. Rep. 848 (1833)
The father of two children who were injured in a carriage collision (plaintiff) brought an action on the case in the House of Lords against the owner and driver (defendant) of the carriage that caused the collision. The father alleged that the other driver’s carelessness and negligence resulted in the other driver’s gig and horse striking the father’s horse and cart with such violence that it broke to pieces and injured his son and daughter. The other driver denied liability. The jury found that the injury was caused by the other driver’s carelessness and negligence and gave their verdict for the father and awarded him £12 in damages. The other driver moved post-verdict for non obstante veredicto (a judgment notwithstanding the verdict) and argued that if the injuries were the result of his direct and immediate act, then the father’s action should have been for trespass, not case, and the action should be dismissed with judgment in his favor. To support his position, the other driver relied on cases in which the courts on similar facts held that trespass was a proper action and that a trespass action would not be proper against an employer for the willful acts of an employee. The trial court granted the other driver’s motion and entered judgment in his favor.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Tindall, C.J.)
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