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Bolton v Stone, [1951] AC 850, [1951] 1 All ER 1078 (Link)


Plaintiff was walking on a road adjacent to a cricket ground when she was struck and injured by a ball that had been hit out of the ground.


What standard of care does a land owner owe to persons on an adjoining highway?


There is no special duty of care owed by land owners to persons on an adjoining highway. The landowner is held to the standard of care of a reasonable, ordinary, prudent person. If the land owner's conduct is not unreasonable, he has not breached any duty to his neighbor.

The test: Whether the risk of damage to a person on the road was so small that a reasonable person in the position of the appellants, considering the matter from the point of view of safety, would have thought it unnecessary to refrain from taking steps to prevent the danger.


** Determining duty of care includes a consideration of the degree of risk in addition to foreseeability. It is necessary to consider the likelihood of being struck, but also how seriously one would be struck: question not of law but of fact and degree
** A reasonable person tries to not create a substantial risk


Appeal allowed in favour of cricket ground owner.

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