E-law cases
Custom Search
   Case summaries      Watt v Hertfordshire
Watt v Hertfordshire [1954] 1 WLR 835

The claimant was a fireman. A woman had been involved in a traffic accident and was trapped underneath a lorry. This was 200-300 yards away from the fire station. The fire services were called to release the woman. They needed to transport a heavy lorry jack to the scene of the accident. The jack could not go on the fire engine and the normal vehicle for carrying the jack was not available. The fire chief ordered the claimant and other firemen to lift the jack on to the back of a truck. There was no means for securing the jack on the truck and the firemen were instructed to hold it on the short journey. In the event the truck braked and the jack fell onto the claimant's leg causing severe injuries.


There was no breach of duty. The emergency of the situation and utility of the defendant's conduct in saving a life outweighed the need to take precautions.
Back to lecture outline on breach of duty in tort law