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London and North Eastern Railway v Berriman [1946] AC 278

A railway worker was killed whilst oiling the track. No look out man had been provided. A statute provided compensation payable on death for those 'relaying or repairing' the track. Under the literal rule oiling did not come into either of these categories. This result although very harsh could not to be said to be absurd so the golden rule could not be applied. There was no ambiguity in the words therefore the mischief rule could not be applied. Unfortunately the widow was entitled to nothing.
 
Back to lecture outline on the literal rule of statutory interpretation