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Turner v Thorne (1960), 21 DLR (2d) 29 (Ont HC)


Thorne (Robert (RT) is owner, and George (GT) is driver) runs the Speedit Delivery Service; they pick up parcels on request for delivery.

A aall was received to pick up cartons of material for delivery to Gas Machinery Co (GMC). GMC had done business before in a garage behind some private property. GT had made deliveries to that garage.

GT assumed that this case was similar when he arrived at the plaintiff’s property. GT knocked, but there was no answer. GT then opened the garage and unloaded the boxes into a stack in the middle of the garage. Plaintiff came home after dark; tripped over the boxes and sustained serious injuries amounting to about 10K$.


Is GT liable in trespass?


Innocent mistake is not a defence to trespass and its consequences. A trespasser to land is liable for both direct and indirect personal injuries resulting from the trespass.


GT was a trespasser on the plaintiff’s property.
** It was also trespass to leave the packages in the garage;
** GT is liable in damages

Mistake? A trespass that results from an innocent mistake (not deliberate) does not relieve the trespasser of liability or for any of the consequences of the trespass

Trespass to land: In trespass to land, the trespasser is liable for both direct/proximate and indirect/consequential personal injuries resulting from the trespass.


Decision in favour of Turner.

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