Updated: Jul 14
Student Contribution: Jordan Cook
Donoghue v Stevenson, the snail in the bottle, the tort law case. Whatever you would like to call it, Donoghue v Stevenson remains a case accredited to have pioneered modern negligence law.
Our correspondent remembers having the case drilled into her at every opportunity - legal studies in high school, contracts and tort law, arguably having a certain omnipresence that cannot be ignored.
However, she is left shell shocked after hearing a law student breakdown claiming its lack of existence.
“I just started hearing rumours - someone told me that the case never happened, then I was told it was a beetle instead, then I was told it actually occurred in India? It reached a point where I had to do my own research.”
After going straight to the questionable holy grail of law students completing last minute assignments, Wikipedia, he found the source of the rumours through a cited speech by Lord Justice Mackinnon.
“At that trial it was found that there never was a snail in the bottle at all. That intruding gastropod was as much a legal fiction as the Casual Ejector.”
The law student in question has not been seen since finding out that the case he built his legal knowledge around fails to exist. We fear that he may have fallen into a deep state of neurosis.
Our correspondent herself isn’t even sure if this article should be posted…